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Oral Communication and Written Communication

Updated on October 31, 2014

Type of Communication

Business Communication can be of two kinds. They are Oral Communication and Written Communication. An oral communication is either informal or formal. Usually, business communication is a formal method of communication such as interviews, meetings, speeches, group discussions and so on. A perfect example of informal business communication is Grapevine. Written Communication means that kind of communication which includes reports, agendas and manuals etc.

Oral Communication

Oral Communication means communication using the mouth and includes individuals conversing with each other by direct oral conversation or having a telephone conversation. The different kinds of oral communication include presentations, speeches, holding discussions etc. Oral communication is used when the communication is temporary and needs a direct rapport with each other. Personal communication (conferences, lectures, meetings, interviews, etc) is important in order to strengthen the trust and bond with each other.

Advantages of Oral Communication

  • Achieving a higher level of rapport and clarity in oral communication because it is interpersonal.
  • Rigidity in oral communication is not present and an elasticity in permitting changes in the previous decisions that are made.
  • There is a spontaneous feedback in this kind of communication and hence it is easy to make swift decisions.
  • Oral communication saves time as well as your effort and money.
  • Oral communication is good in solving any problems. It is easy to end any disputes or conflicts by talking and discussing the issues or differences with each other.
  • Oral communication is necessary for group liveliness and cooperation of the teams.
  • Oral communication encourages an amicable and supporting the morale among all the employees of the organization.
  • Oral communication is used effectively for conveying the confidential or private matter to each other.

Disadvantages of Oral Communication

  • Depending only on oral communication is not enough as business communication is very formal and methodical.
  • Oral communication is not very genuine when compared to written communication because it is informal and not methodical unlike written communication.
  • Oral communication saves time where interactions on a daily basis are meant, however meetings and lengthy speeches take up a lot of your time and effort and are sometimes fruitless.
  • Oral communication is difficult to maintain and is hence very unreliable.
  • Misunderstandings may happen because of incomplete information being conveyed and the absence of real facts.
  • It needs great concentration and high receptiveness of the audience or the receivers.
  • Oral communication such as speeches is rarely made use of as legal records excepting in the case of carrying out any investigation work.

Written Communication

Written communication is given great importance in the current world of business. It is considered as a novel idea of the human mind. Effective written communication is necessary for organizing important and useful promotional materials for the development of business. Even though speech came much before writing began, it is considered more special and formal when compared to speech. Hence, efficient writing includes a careful use of words, organizing them correctly in forming sentences besides the composition of sentences in a cohesive manner. Moreover, writing is considered as a valid record and much more dependable than speech. Though speech is considered as being natural, writing may be delayed sometimes as the response or feedback from the receiver is not instant.

Advantages of Written Communication

  • Written communication aids in setting the principles, rules and policies for managing the organization.
  • This is considered as an enduring means of communication and is highly useful where it is necessary to maintain any important records.
  • It aids in aptly delegating all the responsibilities. However, in oral communication, it is not possible to delegate any responsibilities on the proof of speech as the speaker can deny his words or refuse to accept his speech.
  • Written communication is accurate and candid.
  • The efficient use of written communication enhances and builds the image of an organization.
  • It also offers records for ready references.
  • Legal defenses can safely depend on written communication as it offers them authentic records.

Disadvantages of Written Communication

  • Written communication does not reduce the costs. It is expensive because of the stationery used and the labor utilized for typing and writing or delivery of letters.
  • Moreover, if the receivers are at a different city and have to clarify their doubts, their response is not instant.
  • Written communication takes up a lot of time because of the slow feedback. The encoding and transferring the message requires a lot of time.
  • For written communication to be highly effective, it needs skills and aptitude in utilizing language and vocabulary. The organization’s reputation will have a negative impression because of the low quality of writing skills.
  • The inconvenience of excess paper work and e-mails is employed.


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