Unit - 5
The word 'oral' comes from the Latin word for mouth. So oral communication is communication by speaking rather than in some other way – for example, writing. Oral communication implies communication through mouth. It includes individuals conversing with each other, be it direct conversation or telephonic conversation. Speeches, presentations, discussions are all forms of oral communication. Oral communication is generally recommended when the communication matter is of temporary kind or where a direct interaction is required. Face to face communication (meetings, lectures, conferences, interviews, etc.) is significant so as to build a rapport and trust.
Modes of Oral Communication
Research studies have shown that 80% of communication by executives of a company is in the oral form. The modes include:
Principles of oral communication
The principles of oral communication are discussed below:
Clear pronunciation: Clear pronunciation of message sender in the main factor or oral communication. If it is not clear, the goal of the message may not be achieved.
Preparation: Before communicating orally the speaker should take preparation both physically are mental.
Unity and integration: The unity an integration of the speech of the message sender is a must for successful oral communication.
Precision: Precision is needed to make oral communication effective. The meaning of the words must be specific.
Natural voice: The speakers must not fluctuate at the time of oral communication. On the other hand, the artificial voice must be avoided.
Planning: Organized plan is a must for effective oral communication. The speaker should take a proper plan for delivering speech.
Simplicity: The speaker should use simple understandable words in oral communication. It should be easy and simple.
Legality: The speaker’s speech should be legal and logical at the time of oral communication.
Avoiding emotions: At the time of oral discussion, excessive emotions can divert a speaker from main subject. So, the speaker should be careful about emotion. The speech must be emotionless.
Acting: Many people lose concentration after listening for a few minutes. So, speech must be emotionless.
Efficiency: Speaker’s efficiency and skill is necessary for effective oral communication.
Vocabulary: Words bear different meanings to different people in different situations. In oral communication, a speaker should use the most familiar words to the receiver of the message to avoid any confusion in the meaning of the words.
The easiest approach to speech delivery is not always the best. Substantial work goes into the careful preparation of an interesting and ethical message, so it is understandable that students may have the impulse to avoid “messing it up” by simply reading it word for word. But students who do this miss out on one of the major reasons for studying public speaking: to learn ways to “connect” with one’s audience and to increase one’s confidence in doing so. You already know how to read, and you already know how to talk. But public speaking is neither reading nor talking.
Speaking in public has more formality than talking. During a speech, you should present yourself professionally. This doesn’t mean you must wear a suit or “dress up” (unless your instructor asks you to), but it does mean making yourself presentable by being well groomed and wearing clean, appropriate clothes. It also means being prepared to use language correctly and appropriately for the audience and the topic, to make eye contact with your audience, and to look like you know your topic very well.
While speaking has more formality than talking, it has less formality than reading. Speaking allows for meaningful pauses, eye contact, small changes in word order, and vocal emphasis. Reading is a more or less exact replication of words on paper without the use of any nonverbal interpretation. Speaking, as you will realize if you think about excellent speakers, you have seen and heard, provides a more animated message.
Modes of Delivery
There are four main kinds of speech delivery- Impromptu, Extempore, Manuscript and Memorized.
Impromptu Speech -An Impromptu speech is delivered at the spur of
the moment and is spontaneous. It is an unprepared speech, an
example of which can be a toast at a wedding or a reception party.
Extempore Speech - An Extempore speech is a style used in public speaking which uses an outline for the speech and some prior preparation. It is a mix of spontaneous and prepared speech in the sense that the speaker can change the speech as it goes. The speaker may speak using main points or a brief outline.
Manuscript Speech- When a speaker reads from a prepared speech, using a manuscript, the style of speaking falls under this category. The entire speech may be read out from notes or printed material. An example would be a televised news report which a teleprompter reads out during a newscast.
Memorized Speech- When a speaker delivers a speech by memorizing it or committing it to memory, it can be termed as a memorized speech. This kind of delivery has its pros and cons. Such a speech may either appear effortless or not very natural to the audience.
Confidence allows public speakers to speak with clarity. When you are calm and focused, you can manage your thoughts better. Confidence also helps speakers speak slowly so they are understood and answer audience questions like a pro.
Greater self-confidence allows you to experience freedom from self-doubt and negative thoughts about yourself. Experiencing more fearlessness and less anxiety. Greater confidence makes you more willing to take smart risks and more able to move outside your comfort zone. Having greater freedom from social anxiety.
To appear confident:
- Maintain eye contact with the audience.
- Use gestures to emphasise points.
- Move around the stage.
- Match facial expressions with what you're saying.
- Reduce nervous habits.
- Slowly and steadily breathe.
- Use your voice aptly.
Self-confidence is very important for having a successful career. If you do not have confidence in yourself and your abilities, how can you expect others to? When attending job interviews or hoping for a promotion, the way you behave and believe in yourself will ultimately create a win or a lose situation.
Here are five tips to help boost your self-confidence:
- Socialise with self-confident people and spend time in good environments. The people around you affect your confidence levels, so seek the company of people who are positive and are honest with you. Try to avoid negative people, as they can pull you down and deplete your energy. Choose your environments carefully and don’t compromise for others.
- Be true to yourself by taking action when you want something. Follow through on it even if you think you might fail. Be gentle with yourself and don’t put yourself down if you make a mistake – you are only human and we all make mistakes sometimes. The good thing is that you learn from them so that you know what not to do until you achieve your goal. If you keep trying, you will eventually succeed.
- If you are afraid of something, do it anyway. Often fear disappears when we face the things we are scared of, as we experience it how it is rather than how we have imagined. You will find the reality is that talking to that person was actually quite fun or attending that interview wasn’t as uncomfortable as you thought.
- Make sure that you keep a note of your achievements in life. Sometimes we feel like we don’t make any progress because ‘we can’t see the wood for the trees.’ Take time out to write down how far you have come over the years. Write down any fears you faced and obstacles you overcame. This will help keep you motivated and give you the confidence you need.
- When you go to bed at night think of any achievements you had during the day – no matter how small – and give yourself credit for them. This will make you feel good as you sleep, and when you wake in the morning, you can visualise yourself being happy and confident for the day. So, you set yourself up for success!
Clarity is often considered when we think about content, structuring our thoughts in a logical sequence and choosing the right words. We even acknowledge the importance of things like projection, pronunciation and diction. But good communication skills require more than just language. You need more than just your mouth and your brains.
To communicate well, you must do more than just say the words. You must care for the listener and make sure they get the message. It’s easy to overlook that final phase of the process when you have the advantage of knowing what you’re about to say, before you’ve said it. Don’t assume you’re being clear.
Here are some common obstacles to clarity. Addressing these issues will ensure you have the communication skills to be consistently and easily understood.
Fast rate is one of the most common causes of unclear speech. Vowel sounds get shortened and words become a jumble of consonants. Slowing the rate of your speech gives you time to form sounds accurately and gives your listeners time to absorb what you’ve said. Learning to breathe deeply while speaking is one of the most effective strategies for slowing down naturally.
Mumbling often goes hand in hand with fast speech. When you speak quickly, your mouth doesn’t have time to open very far. Speech sounds get distorted while being squeezed through your teeth. Practicing jaw and tongue relaxation creates more openness in your mouth and encourages more precision in the formation of vowels and consonants.
A quiet voice often contributes to a lack of clarity. When you’re not putting enough sound into the room, your listeners have nothing to work with. Using more breath, feeling sound vibrations in your body and allowing your voice to fill the room will generate more power, without straining. Remember, your voice will seem louder to you than it sounds to your listeners. Get used to it.
An accent can make it difficult for others to understand you. There’s nothing wrong with accents. In fact, everyone has one, depending on who’s listening. But a strong accent can lead to confusion and even frustration, especially if it’s combined with a quiet voice and/or fast speech. Learning to improve a few strategically selected language skills will often produce dramatic improvements in clarity. But first, make sure you’re speaking slowly and projecting well. That might be all that’s required.
Failure to speak clearly is not a minor inconvenience; it has serious implications for your personal image and professional success. When listeners struggle to understand you, they eventually ignore you. Addressing the underlying causes enables you to communicate fluently and distinctly. Enhancing clarity not only strengthens your communication skills, it improves your image and makes others more responsive to your message.
Fluency is the flow and efficiency with which you express your ideas, particularly when speaking. A few grammar mistakes may appear here and there in the explanation, but it should be delivered in a way that is easy to understand and shows how comfortable you are with the language. Speaking fluently is important when relaying information and socializing. The more dysfluent speech is the more difficult is it for the speaker and the listener to engage in the conversation effectively and easily.
Fluency in speaking is known as the natural ability to speak spontaneously, quickly and comprehensibly with few numbers of errors that may distract the listener from the speaker's message; when accuracy is focus on the elements of phonology, grammar, and discourse in spoken output.
The three components of fluency, and the interactions between them, have been studied in detail. It is useful to understand these concepts in order get a better sense of how they inform teaching practice, especially for children whose fluency is affected by difficulties with one or more of them.
Accurate reading requires students to be able to pronounce written words correctly. Correct pronunciation of a word allows the young reader to access its meaning from their existing oral vocabulary – the words they use and recognise in spoken language.
Accurate word reading is dependent on the ability to decode words efficiently and the process of ‘orthographic mapping’. Briefly, when we decode a word, we use knowledge of the relationships between letters (graphemes) and speech sounds (phonemes) and blend them together in the correct order to form a word.
Initially, students do this in a conscious way, sound by sound — ‘sounding the word out’. After they have decoded a word multiple times and stored it in their memory, it becomes a ‘sight word’, according to Ehri’s definition: familiar words that can be accessed by memory.
The rate at which students read is important because slow reading hinders comprehension. Automaticity is the effortless and autonomous recognition and production of a word. Effortlessness is apparent when we see someone reading for long periods of time without fatigue and when they are reading in an easy and natural way. Automatic word reading is important because it allows the reader to pay attention to the meaning of the text rather than decoding the words.
Reading speed does not suddenly go from slow to fast. For children who are learning to read, their speed increases with repeated practice, as they build up their orthographic memory and their reading stamina.
Text reading speed is dependent on more than just singular word reading speed. Students read more quickly when they are able to break text into syntactic and semantic phrases and clauses ‘on the fly’ (Sabatini et al., 2019). This demonstrates the reciprocal relationship between fluency and comprehension when students are reading more complex text.
Therefore, when teaching fluency to students it is better to focus on reading rate rather than speed per se. ‘Speed’ suggests that faster is always better, but that is not necessarily the case. If students think that the main goal is to read as quickly as possible, they may not attend to meaning. The goal is to achieve a pace that allows for appropriate phrasing and which acknowledges punctuation and changes in tone, but which is quick enough to enable comprehension.
Prosody is the third element of text reading fluency. Prosody means reading with expression – with the appropriate rhythm, tone, pitch, pauses, and stresses for the text. Prosody depends on both accuracy and rate. In order to read with expression, the student must be able to read words efficiently and break the text into meaningful syntactic and semantic units.
Prosody has a reciprocal relationship with comprehension. For a student to read with prosody, they must be gaining some understanding of the text as they read it if they know the appropriate intonations and pitch to use. Likewise, by reading with prosody, they are more likely to be processing information as they read it, which leads to better retention and comprehension.
Students who exhibit good prosody in oral reading tend to have higher comprehension scores from silent reading as well.
Nonverbal communication refers to gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, eye contact (or lack thereof), body language, posture, and other ways people can communicate without using language.
When we talk about ‘communication’, we often mean ‘what we say’: the words that we use. However, interpersonal communication is much more than the explicit meaning of words, and the information or message that they convey. It also includes implicit messages, whether intentional or not, which are expressed through non-verbal behaviours.
Non-verbal communication includes facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, gestures displayed through body language (kinesics) and the physical distance between the communicators (proxemics).
These non-verbal signals can give clues and additional information and meaning over and above spoken (verbal) communication. Indeed, some estimates suggest that around 70 to 80% of communication is non-verbal.
Kinesics- Body Language
Kinesics is the technical term for Body Language – an important part of today’s modern communication and relationship. It is the study of the way the body communicates, without the using words, and by the various movements of the body parts. Kinesics looks into the meaning of signs and symbols which are communicated by the physical movements of the body like face, eyes, gestures and physical appearance.
Importance of Body Language.
Body Language plays a vital role in both general as well as professional life. It is important to match body language with the purpose and verbal content of the speech, otherwise the wrong impression is transmitted to others. Body Language helps to know how the person feels and what he means.
Types of Body Language
Body Language helps in communicating our values, thoughts, beliefs and intentions through conscious and unconscious feelings, attitudes and mental states. Kinesics or body language includes.
Head, body shape and posture
'Face is the mirror of inner consciousness.” An important part of body language as it is the index of mind.
It is said,' the greater the gesture, the louder the speech.’ Gestures include the movements of other parts of the body like arms, legs, hands and head. It is important to make perfect coordination in speech and gestures.
Eyes are called the mirror of the human heart. Eye contact means looking into the eyes of the listener while communicating which helps a lot in oral face to face communication. It is a useful part of confidence and social communication.
Head and posture:
Head is an important part of body language. Nodding of head gives meaning to feelings and different positions of head talks about personality, attitude and feeling.
Posture, which comes in body language is the position of the body with respect to each other, or of a particular purpose based on a situation.
An appearance is manifested by clothing, hair, jewelry, cosmetics etc. It demonstrates the culture, mood, level of confidence, age, gender and authority.
Body Language can be voluntary (with purpose) or involuntary (beyond control) in forming an impression about a person whom we meet for the first time.
“Our interaction with the people around us has rather a well- defined or well- understood spatial dimension.”
Many a times, it gives a feeling of uneasiness, when a person talking to is either too close or too far. In order to express many non-verbal messages, including the sign of nearness, aggressive behaviour, natural impulse, all these require physical space for expressing them.
Proxemics is thus, the helps in our study to understand in what way people use the physical space and surroundings they have around. “Proxemics” is derived from the word 'proximity' which means closeness or nearness. The word was used by a well-known author of body language and communication, Edward Twitchell Hall during 1950.
Definition of Proxemics
Proxemics refers to the study of how space is used to communicate message. The term is also used to explain human behaviour which divides the personal space into various areas in this context. It’s the amount of space where a person feels comfortable between themselves and others.
Space Zones (Distances) in Proxemics.
Edward.T. Hall has given four kinds of space language, depending on the distance:
Intimate Space Language- Here the speaker and the listener are within the circle of about 18 inches/5-45 cm distance. This is usually observed amongst family members and those who share a close relationship. Such intimacy like, whispering, hugging or touching are included.
Personal Space Language- In this the speaker and listener are in the, space of about 18 inches to 4 feet. In this space usually normal conversation takes place.
Social Space Language- In this formal and business relationship are viewed where only hand shake is possible provided the two person are ready and initiate to do it. Here the circle extends from 4 feet to about 12 feet.
Public Space Language- Such kind of space is used when a person wants to avoid interaction with the unknown person. Here the speaker speaks loudly to a large gathering so that the audience can be heard clearly. It extends from 12 feet to the range of eye sight.
So, the sudden entrance into personal apace-zone, eventually creates discomfort, emotional disturbances and also violent outburst. In a nutshell, proxemics is related to basic characteristics of a person's interaction and the way the different space Zones i.e., intimate, personal, public and social are utilized.
“Time is very democratic in nature as it treats all absolutely impartiality.”
The powerful communication tool which helps in achieving the predetermined goals are the organization, management and utilization of time, which also includes punctuality, effective use of waiting time as well as utilizing exact speaking speed.
Chronemics or time Language is the study of the use of time in nonverbal communication. The term Polychronic time and Monochronic time were devised by Edward. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall.
Monochronic time: To have a narrow sharp focus on one thing at a time is termed as Monochronic time. It also means to do things with proper arrangement and scheduling of time management. Usually, European countries and the United States follow this time system. They stick to plan as well execute the rules of privacy and also give importance to promptness of action.
Polychronic time: Having an open focus on different aspects at the same is termed as Polychronic time system. Here scheduling of time is done in a more flexible way. Most Asian, African and Arab countries are found using this time system. It is seen that people following this kind of time frame are distracted easily and keep changing plans.
In short, time is considered a valuable resource, which has to be used as effectively as possible. Its impact is to be understood on various aspects of our lives and to be acted accordingly. It is seen in India, time is used according to the occasion like, for professional meeting punctuality is given much importance in comparison to the party or social gathering. Use of Time for Indian is quite liberal. In contrast European countries follow strict rules of punctuality. Time Language differs from culture to culture.
“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”
Paralinguistics is the part of communication outside of the words themselves – the volume, speed, intonation of a voice along with gestures and other non-verbal cues. Whenever there is confusion or stereotyping in cross-cultural communication, paralinguistics is most often responsible.
Paralinguistics is an aspect of communication that conveys information distinctly from other forms of language. The way the voice is used as well as the way people use their bodies while communicating sends powerful, yet subtle messages to people.
Paralinguistic features in verbal communication are the vocal signals beyond the basic verbal message. Paralinguistic elements in a person's speech convey meaning beyond the words and grammar used. Examples of paralinguistic features include pitch, rate, quality of voice and amplitude.
Preparation is the single most important part of making a successful presentation. It is an absolutely crucial foundation, and you should dedicate as much time to it as possible, avoiding short-cuts. Good preparation will ensure that you have thought carefully about the messages that you want (or need) to communicate in your presentation and it will also help boost your confidence.
There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when preparing a presentation. They include the aim of the presentation, the subject matter, the audience, the venue or place, the time of day, and the length of the talk. All these will affect what you say and how you say it, as well as the visual aids that you use to get your point across.
Whenever you are asked to give a presentation or speak to a group of people, you need to start by asking the purpose of the presentation.
The subject of your presentation or talk about comes from the objective. They are linked, but they are not necessarily exactly the same thing.
Before preparing material for a presentation, it is worth considering your prospective audience.
It is important to have as much advance information as possible about the place where you are going to speak.
There will often be no flexibility in the time of day that a presentation is made. However, it does affect what you can do, and how you might organize your presentation, because of the likely state of your audience.
Always find out how long you have to talk and check if this includes or excludes time for questions.
Find out if there are other speakers and, if so, where you are placed in the running order. Never elect to go last. Beware of over-running, as this could be disastrous if there are other speakers following you.
It is important to remember that people find it difficult to maintain concentration for long periods of time. This is a good reason for making a presentation succinct, well-structured and interesting. Aim for 45 minutes as a maximum single-session presentation, and preferably leave at least 10 or 15 minutes for questions. Nobody minds finishing a session early.
Organization of Delivery
Organize the content of your presentation in a logical sequence based on the outline you prepared. No matter how you decide to organize presentation, keep the audience engaged to better help them remember the content. You can do this by asking them questions or having them share experiences related to the topic.