17 April 2010



Oral communication, also known as verbal communication, is the interchange of verbal messages between sender and receiver. It is also more natural and informal.

Man is the only species gifted with language. And the usage of language is primarily in speech. Writing comes afterwards. In any organisation, as in everyday life, both formally and informally, we communicate more orally than in writing. It is primarily oral communication that builds human relationships.

Forms of Oral Communication

Oral communication usually takes place in any of the following forms :

1. Informal Face to Face Talk: Informal face-to-face talk takes place outside the formally prescribed and planned organisational network. It occurs spontaneously and beyond organisational hierarchy. There are no set rules and no particular direction. It is multidirectional and strengths the social relations among organisational members. Sometimes it assumes the form of false and baseless rumours.

2. Interviews: The word ‘interview’ means ‘view between’ or ‘sight between’. It suggests a meeting between two persons for the purpose of getting a view of each other, or for knowing each other. Face to face conversation is more informal, casual and spontaneous. But interview is more formal, serious and structured.

3. Group Communication: Oral communication also assumes the form of group communication. Group is a gathering of two or more persons interacting and influencing each other through the process of communication. These groups may be formal groups – explicitly designed as part of the organisational structure – such as committees, task forces, quality circles, etc. It may also be informal groups which emerge spontaneously without deliberate design in the organisational hierarchy.

4. Speeches and Presentations: Speeches and presentations involve the oral communication by one speaker to the large number of audience members. They involve the same principles of oral communication and provide the advantage of influencing people with enthusiasm and confidence. Speeches are more formal and are delivered on formal occasional whereas presentations are usually short and less formal and are delivered with demonstrations of audio-visual aids followed by answers to questions from the audience.


“Aural” refers to information that is heard. In other words aural communication refers to listening. The ability to listen, not just hear. Hearing is purely physiological. Listening is the ability to interpret what to hear. It is important not just to emphasize what is communicated, but the form that the communication takes.

A person whose hearing is impaired experiences barriers related to aural communication. The same person may be able to communicate orally, however. A person who has speech impairment, or a cognitive impairment that affects speech, may experience barriers in communicating orally, but have no difficulty receiving information that is conveyed aurally. Each person will require different auxiliary aids and services in order to be provided equally effective communication.


Listening might be defined as the art of hearing and understanding what someone is saying. Listener is the kingpin the entire process of communication for whom actually the message is meant to understand, interpret correctly and to act accordingly. Hence, listening is one of the most difficult aspects of communication.

Listening is a process involving awareness, reception and perception. A common mistake is to anxious to say what we want to say, that we are not really listening to what is being said. It commonly happens when we are talking to someone, we observe that he is not really listening but only hearing. It appears that the listener is just waiting for the speaker to complete his speech so that the listening work is over or he can say his piece. Alternatively, if neither person is listening to the other, there is a complete breakdown in communication.


Reading is an important communicative process and reading skills are probably the most important language skills required for academic and professional purposes. Quick, efficient, and imaginative reading techniques are essential in order to achieve academic success, because academic performance depends on the quantity and quality of reading.

Reading is a complex communicative process of receiving and interpreting the written word. It involves recognising what is written and comprehending the matter that is understanding the main and subsidiary points as well as links between different parts of the written material. While receiving and interpreting the written word the reader is concerned with four factors i.e., decoding, comprehending, text analysis and response.

Decoding or interpreting in reading refers to the process of changing the coded message into information.

Comprehension in reading refers to the identification of the central theme, main ideas, supporting details, and writing patterns.

Text analysis is essential for critical and evaluate understanding of a text.

Response is an action or reaction to the written message.