ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ORAL/VERBAL COMMUNICATION.
Communication is defined as the process by which information is exchanged between individuals through common system of symbols, signs or behavior.(Merriam Webster)
Communication is an exchange of information or the expression of ideas or feelings ( Nancy Comstock Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2014.)
Can also be defined as the act of conveying intended meaning from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs and semiotic rules.(Wakipedia).
The two major sytems of communication is Oral/Verbal and written communication.
Oral communication has several advantages and disadvantages,
• Oral communication is less time consuming as, For instance when a Lecturer is giving a lecture in class He/she is able to answer the questions of the students freely and give great ideas. The Lecturer does not waste time looking for reference materials
• Also the speaker and the audience are closer to each other, in terms of individual personality and ideas; this is common in lectures, seminars and research meetings. Since it’s a direct communication process, the audience respects the speaker since he/she is the one with ideas and knowledge of particular subject.
• In some istances like acting and singing the actors are able to reach the haerts of the audience, due to the art they perform either through singing, dramatizing or giving a short speech.
• Verbal communication is also very vital in places where no other means of communication is not available, for instance in remote parts of the country, most common one is using Radio communication, thus keeping people informed.
However Oral communication has the following disadvantages:
• Oral communications tend to distort or exaggerate the message(s), through distortion wrong information can be communicated either from superior to subordinates ; vice versa and this can even lead to collapse of business.
• Oral communication can also not be kept for future reference, once spoken its final.
• Due to the same risky occupations such as the military, police and secrete service, this kind of communication has been limited in that area because of dangers like plugging of the listening devices or being overheard by the enemies. Just by looking at the cold war era, we will come to learn how the Soviet Union states suffered politically and socially because of their agents relying mainly on wired communication devices as a means of sending delicate information. On the side of military, some civil wars have also been received by careful spies and eavesdroppers.
• Institutions like campuses, universities and colleges have difficulties in teaching and training students due to relying heavily on verbal communication. Because of this, lecturers and teachers who teach courses concentrating mainly on theory in form of speech realized that the only way to drive a point home from any of these courses is by using hands, heads and legs in expressing a reaction, rate, mood, size and even shape. As today’s world becomes more sophisticate, verbal communication in training institutes is becoming confusing more and more , as materials for study and teaching increase.
Randall McCutchem, James Schaffer and Joseph R. Wycloff (1994). Communication Matters . West Publishing Company, United States of America.
Warren K. Agree, Philip H. Ault and Edwin Emery. New York (1988) Introduction to Mass Communication. Ninth Edition. Harper and Row, Publishers, United States of America.
Comstock Nancy , Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2014.