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Trainer Vijayagopal

Written and Oral Communication

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Written and Oral Communication

Written and oral communication media have favorable and unfavorable characteristics; consequently, they are often used together so that the favorable qualities of each can complement the other.  In addition, visual aids may be used to supplement both oral and written communications.  For example, the lecture in the management training session may be made more effective when written handouts, transparencies, videotapes, and films are used.  Evidence has shown that when a message is repeated through several media, the people receiving it will more accurately comprehend and recall it.

In selecting the media, one must consider the communicator, the audience, and the situation.  As executive who feels – uncomfortable in from of a large audience may choose written communication rather than a speech.  On the other hand, certain audiences who may not read a memo may be reached and become motivated by direct oral communication.  Situations may also demand a specific medium.   


Written communication: 

            Salient features of written communication are:


v      Written communication has the advantage of providing records, references, and legal defenses. 

v      The message can be carefully prepared and then directed to a large audience through mass mailings. 

v      Written communication can also promote uniformity in policy and procedure and can reduce costs, in some cases. 

v      The disadvantages are that written messages may create mountains of paper, may be poorly expressed by ineffective writers, and may provide no immediate feedback. 

v     Consequently, it may take a long time to know whether a message has been received and properly understood.

Oral communication

A great deal of information is communicated orally.

v      Oral communication can occur in a face-to-face meeting of two people or in manger’s presentation to a large audience;

v      It can be formal or informal, and it can be planned or accidental.

v      It makes possible speedy interchange with immediate feedback. 

v    People can ask questions and clarify points.  In a face-to-face interaction the effect can be noted. 

v    It may not always save time, as any manager knows who has attended meetings in which no results or agreements were achieved.  These meetings can be costly in terms of time and money.

Telephone communication

            It is important to choose the correct medium for the communication process. Telephone is a excellent means to save time. But

v      Call only if it is inevitable. Think if it is better to talk personally


v      Identify yourself as the first thing. This will save a lot of time and trouble.


v      Speak softly. You are talking into somebodies ears and not from a drama stage.


v      Avoid mannerism. That other person can not see you.


v      Do not express disregard even in a wrong call. Nobody would like to talk to you unnecessarily. It could be a mistake after all.


v      Identify the caller by voice if you can. You can not ask the boss who he is!


v      Be precise. You will save the time and trouble for two people.


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