Oral communication is not only just speaking or listening to someone. Visual Communication and nonverbal expressions are an integral part of Oral Communication process. Therefore, the technical communicators should properly use these fundamentals of oral communication to enhance their oral communication. In many of the school and colleges oral communication class has been an very important part of the education curriculum which will help in enhancing their oral skills. This will lead to improvement in their oral and written communication skills.
Oral communication is the process of exchanging information and ideas through spoken language. This can happen in person through face-to-face interaction or through an electronic device such as a phone, video platform, or radio. Communication through oral means such as a staff meeting, webinar, or workshop is the most effective way for businesses to transmit information verbally.
It is important to communicate verbally in order to establish trust and reliability. Oral communication is much more effective than an email or a text message. When it comes to important and sensitive conversations, such as salary negotiations or conflict resolution, oral communication is often the best way to get your message across, avoid misunderstandings, and minimize confusion.
In addition, oral communication is vital to understand people around you, both professionally and personally. It enables us to solve problems and is an essential component of learning a language. Moreover, it allows people to exchange information rapidly as well as express emotions during conversations.
Elements of Oral Communication
There are five elements of oral communication. They are:
1. Sender: The sender is the one who initiates communication with the recipient.
2. Medium: A medium is the format in which a message is sent. An email, a voice mail or a PowerPoint presentation are all examples of text messages.
3. Channel: A channel is the platform on which a message is delivered.For instance, on a podcast, over the phone, or in person.
4. Receiver: The receiver listens to and decodes the message sent by the sender. The receiver responds to the message by providing feedback to the sender.
5. Feedback: The final stage is the receiver’s reaction, such as verbal or written communication. No response from the receiver is also considered feedback. Oral communications are complete when there is no response from the receiver.
Forms of Oral Communication
The forms of oral communication are as follows:
1. Interpersonal: A form of oral communication is interpersonal when two or more people communicate with each other. This typically occurs when people meet in a social setting.
2. Intrapersonal: When you talk to yourself, you are engaging in intrapersonal communication. Intrapersonal communication is not often emphasized. People who are about to make a decision usually engage in intrapersonal oral communication. It has been found that intrapersonal communication increases self-awareness and mindfulness.
3. Group: Typically, oral communication occurs in groups of five to ten people (as the name implies). This kind of communication is intended for relationships and companionship. At work, group communication occurs to discuss project complexities and to work collaboratively.
4. Public: During this type of communication, a speaker and an audience participate. Public speaking is another name for this form of communication. There is no limit on the size of the audience – from a few people to hundreds of thousands. For this form of communication to be effective, excellent persuasion skills are required.
5. Mass: A mode of mass communication is used to transmit messages from one party to another. Using a variety of modes such as TV, radio, internet, etc., a message is sent from the sender to the people across the globe.
6. Corporation: The term “corporate communication” refers to all communications that take place within the corporation. Every conversation, from talking to employees to talking to coworkers, falls under the same category. An organization’s all-round development depends on a good and healthy corporate communication.
7. Intercultural: Communication between people who hold different cultural beliefs occurs interculturally. Communication of this type requires excellent skills since not only language knowledge is important, but also emotional intelligence plays a significant role.
Ways to enhance Oral Communication
Some of the ways to enhance oral communication are:
1) Seek Professional Help: Improved oral communication can benefit from this. Expert guidance may be sought to enhance communication skills. Furthermore, such coaching conducts their practice sessions so you will be able to improve. Organisations can also create an environment for their members to take professional guidance on improving their communication skills.
2) Practice: Communication skills can only be improved through practice. The first time you try communicating ideas, you may not be as effective, but if you keep working hard, you will eventually be able to communicate effectively. Organizations can conduct seminars and training sessions for their members to practice oral communication skills.
3) Informal and Formal Group communication: Communication with friends and colleagues can help you improve your communication skills. Ensure that your friends provide valid feedback on your efforts. Focus on the areas you need to improve from these feedbacks. Such communication can also help you improve your listening skills.
4) Enhance confidence level: The truth is, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you may think. It’s just a matter of practice and guidance for anyone to improve their oral communication skills. Have confidence in yourself. Additionally, organizations should create a healthy atmosphere to prevent employees from feeling uneasy.
5) Self-evaluation: This is a very effective method of improving oral communication skills. Video recordings of solo sessions can be made and then evaluated to know their shortcomings. It will improve both confidence and communication style. Ensure that the recording sessions are not too large at the start.
Along with this if you need there are also various online oral communication class available if you don not have the opportunity to have oral communication class in college. Oral communication can be made effective by the proper use of visual communication and non-verbal expressions which are explained below:
1. Using Visual Aids
Visual aids are one of the most powerful forms of communication as they are not limited to charts but can also include pictographs, pie charts, schedules, seating charts, financial statements, drawings, videos, slides or sketches. Visual aids can be very useful to a speaker because they help to add interest in the presentation, simplify the message and to increase the audience’s understanding. There are different kinds of people around us, some may not be auditory learners and can respond better to visual materials. Visual aids are often helpful to a speaker because they can highlight the most important points that the speakers wants an audience to remember. For some of the people, oral communication may be too fast, in that case, visuals aids help to grasp such presentations.
Use the visual aid properly taking care of the copyright laws if you have taken it from other sources.Use the aid only to reinforce information and to make human contact, to engage the audience because too much visual information can be distracting, and audience members can be carried away by them instead of focusing on your presentation.Use proper size of images and text, etc so that audience can easily understand it.
If you are using booklets or other printed visual materials, make sure your audience have a copy of them. Highlight key points, if possible. Keep extra copies for unexpected participants. Use graphics and charts in a way their functions meet the purpose. Use the overhead projector properly, make sure the equipment is in good condition and works well. During the presentation, make sure your head or body does not cover the screen, is only means blocking the view. Focus on the audience, not the screen only meant to get to the audience effectively. Just like the screen, flip and posters should also be placed at the level of the eyes of the audience.
2. Using Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal communication between people is communication through sending and receiving wordless clues which include the use of visual cues such as body language (kinesics), distance (proxemics) and physical environments/appearance, of voice (paralanguage) and of touch (haptics).It is necessary to pay attention to the way you use your hands, the way you stand, and how much you move while delivering presentation effectively.
Avoid waving your hands around too much because doing so can distract the audience from what you are saying. It is always not possible to maintain eye contact with a large group but tries to look at them often. Make everyone feel relaxed and positive by smiling.
During the presentation never remain fixed in one place but also be careful not to walk forward backward all the time. Do not put your hands in your pockets and maintain a professional posture. Always keep your face and your screen directly visible and avoid blocking them to keep them visible to an audience. Vary the level of the tone a to avoid monotone. In meetings and interviews, sit professionally and upright and always pay attention to the speaker or the audience. Identify your nervous manners( biting fingernails, tapping your feet, sweating, breathing heavily, etc) so that you can overcome it.
Practice and familiarize yourself with the content and structure of your meeting, interview presentation in advance. Increase your confidence to ease your nervousness. Arrive at the presentation place early, survey the venue and find out where you will be meeting or speaking. To feel calmer, you may also take a few deep breaths. Learn to genuinely connect with the readers so the fear becomes unreal.
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