The communication process conducted through spoken words is referred to as oral communication. In the 'University of Virginia, Oral Communication Competency Report', oral communication is defined as the effective interpretation, composition, and presentation of information, ideas, and values to a specific audience. In today's world, the emergence of different forms of media has led to the communication process to take place through different channels like telephones, teleconferences, video conferences, etc.
Earlier, face-to-face meetings and speeches were the only forms of communication. Understanding and incorporating different workplace communication skills has become highly important to succeed in today's professional life. Effective listening in the workplace is as important as conveying your thoughts while speaking. So, let us find what are some skills you need to develop for the communication to be effective.
General Communication Skills
The list of communication skills presented below should be helpful in developing proper communication in business, for presentations and also in general.
- Pronouncing the words clearly is an important thing to be remembered. The need to repeat a particular word/sentence affects the flow of presentation.
- To emphasize the importance of a particular thought, words have to be pronounced by changing their tones.
- Avoiding fillers while speaking is necessary. The sound of fillers ('um', 'ah', etc.) could be irritating for listeners.
- While in a face-to-face communication process, interrupting the speaker is considered a sign of poor communication.
- Careful listening is as important as speaking clearly while in the process of oral communication. It helps respond in a proper manner.
- One should always make an eye contact with the listeners; this way, the attention of listeners is not lost and their interest is kept intact.
- Asking questions in order to obtain information is one of the important aspects. One should keep the questions precise in order to get a clear answer. Same is the case when a person has to answer a question. Answering the question with correct details and also in quick time is of great importance.
- It is not advisable to carry on the communication process without understanding a particular point.
- In a communication process, body language of a person is considered as important as the spoken words. Body language of the speaker has a great impact on the listener(s). This is because it gives them an idea or indication of the direction in which the communication process is heading. The listener either gets positively or negatively influenced by the body language of the speaker.
Oral Communication Skills in the Workplace
Workplace communication is that of a formal nature and requires a person to present his thoughts in a precise and concise manner. The quality of speaking in a precise manner proves to be helpful in a telephonic conversation. An interviewer should be capable of retrieving necessary information from the interviewee.
Skills Required for Oral Presentation
For a good oral presentation, the quality of text and the way it is presented are equally important. An organized text presentation allows the orator to proceed smoothly from point-to-point. Presenting relevant information through a presentation is an important point to be kept in mind.
Elaborating on this very core of the presentation is acceptable; however, you shouldn't wander away from the topic of importance. Your speech should be interactive in nature. The audience shouldn't feel that the presentation being made is just an activity of reading out a piece of dry, textual information. Understanding the nature of corporate communication should help the working professionals in communicating with their colleagues in a better manner.
Different Settings for Oral Communication
Interpersonal communication is one of the best ways to start with the process of developing your communication skills. You can speak freely and without getting tensed when you just have to speak to a single person at a time. Through interpersonal communication, a person learns how to phrase his/her ideas clearly and also listen to others carefully.
Group discussion exercises play an important role in developing the communication skills. People get to know each others' views and thoughts through such exercises. More importantly, discussing on a particular topic compels the participants to listen to each other carefully. Group discussion exercises can be used both at school/college level and professional level.
Speaking in front of a large audience for many of us, is quite difficult. It is okay to feel nervous in front of a large audience. However, you can overcome the fear of public speaking completely by making presentations on a regular basis. This form of oral communication is very different from interpersonal communication. Here, you must speak precisely and present the topic in a concise manner. Holding the attention of listeners is the key to become a proficient public speaker.
It is necessary to develop oral communication skills in order to survive in today's information-oriented world. Dissemination of information can be conducted in a proper manner only if you possess good communication skills. Individual and business relations can be developed and maintained with the use of these skills.