We explain what oral communication is and what its characteristics are. Also, its elements, advantages, disadvantages and more.

What is oral communication?

Oral communication is one of the forms of expression of human beings that consists of using spoken words that vary according to the tone, volume, speed and clarity with which they are enunciated.

This type of communication occurs between two or more people who use the same linguistic code and the message is transmitted over the air or through some physical means, such as a device.

It is an intrinsic capacity of the human being that differentiates it from the rest of the animals that, although they can emanate sounds , they are not capable of modulating words and elaborating such a complex code of signs.

Oral communication made it possible for ancient man to organize himself into groups and populations , and contributed to their evolution . Today, life in society is possible due to oral language that is important in various fields, such as school, professional, business and politics.

Characteristics of oral communication

Oral communication is characterized by:

  • Being a natural capacity and proper to the human being .
  • Be of a fleeting nature , that is, it is not recorded time later (unless it is recorded by a device).
  • Being informal and prone to mistakes , such as the use of augmentatives, diminutives or fillers that would not be appropriate in a written communication .
  • Allow a quick exchange of opinions and responses between the sender and the receiver.
  • Be representative of each culture because it reflects different accents according to each particular population.

Elements of oral communication

Elements of oral communication

Oral communication requires the following elements to be carried out:

  • Transmitter. He is the one who delivers the speech.
  • Receiver. He is the one to whom the speech is directed.
  • Message. It is the information that is transmitted.
  • Channel. It is the medium through which the message is transmitted, like the air in the case of a face-to-face conversation, or the telephone for two people who live in different places.
  • Code. It is the language or group of signs that the sender and receiver share.
  • Situation. It is the context in which communication occurs and that influences the meaning and interpretation of the message.

In addition to the elements of communication, there are strategies that exert influence according to the objective of the message, such as:

  • The clarity when modulating.
  • The ability to be concise and brief.
  • Precision.
  • Empathy with the receiver.
  • The conviction of the issuer at the time of enunciating his message.

Advantages and disadvantages of oral communication

Advantages and disadvantages of oral communication

Oral communication is suitable for certain times or purposes, but it is not as useful in certain situations.

Among the advantages of oral communication are:

  • The diversity of expressions that can be used.
  • The possibility of obtaining an immediate response from the receiver.
  • The possibility of making clarifications at the moment.
  • The possibility of diverting the central topic to talk about a particular topic.
  • The speed to resolve conflicts .

Among the disadvantages of oral communication are:

  • The possibility of misunderstandings or different interpretations arising from the statement.
  • The impossibility of reversing something said.
  • The lack of understanding should not handle the same system of signs.
  • The demand for attention it requires from the recipient.
  • The lack of formality for the registration of legal matters.

Forms of oral communication

Forms of oral communication

Oral communication can be:

  • Spontaneous It is the type of communication that does not require planning and denotes a disorderly discourse structure.
  • Planned. It is the kind of premeditated, organized, and even rehearsed communication, such as a speech, an interview, or an academic training.

Body language in oral communication

Body language in oral communication

In face-to-face, recorded or virtual oral communication, body language influences, that is, gestures, body posture and even the way of looking at the receiver. These attitudes of the issuer influence when transmitting a message, both positively and negatively (in case they are not understood or adequately developed).

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable sources and recommendations from experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


Luke is passionate about fostering student involvement and connection. He studied psychology for his major and likes learning about the past. Luke aims to specialize in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. .

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