Effective Written & Oral Communication

by Nicole Papa; Updated September 26, 2017
Woman sitting at table in bar, looking at mobile phone, smiling

People communicate using different methods such as sending an email, talking on the phone and placing print advertisements in specific places. Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages between two people, a person and a group or a group to a group. Written and oral communication is used daily in meetings, lecture halls and exams. Written and oral communication are unique in that each word used must have specific purpose, otherwise it can lead to misunderstandings.

Definition

Written communication is the sending and receiving of messages through the written word, such as in emails, letters and text messages.

Oral communication is the sending and receiving of messages using spoken, verbal words, such as in interpersonal interactions or speeches.

Attention

Special attention needs to be given to written and oral communication because what is said or not said can be used against the sender if the message is unclear. Before speaking or writing anything, a person should consider the words used, their meaning and possible perception of others.

Development

Developing written and oral communication begins with determining the audience. If a person is writing a formal letter to the local government, she will want to avoid using slang, an informal writing style and generalities. The structure of oral and written communication should be clear, concise and easy to understand by the audience. If a person is talking with fifth-graders, she should avoid using complex words or thoughts in his communication. Consider the delivery of the communication. If the message that is being sent is a difficult one, communicate it in person as opposed to over the phone or email.

Improvement

Improving written and oral communication begins with assessment. A person can give their written communication to a friend or co-worker to proofread and provide feedback. This will determine the strong and weak aspects of the communication and allow the sender to tighten up the communication so it is more understandable. If a person is giving a speech, she should practice in front of a mirror and practice in front of someone who can critique the communication.

Barriers

Communication barriers can prevent written and oral communication from being accurately received. Vague terms, stereotyping, jargon, improper use of communication channels, poor listening skills, lack of feedback, interruptions and physical and verbal distractions are all various barriers that should be considered in written and verbal communication. Identifying possible barriers before communicating can help avoid misunderstandings.

About the Author

Nicole Papa has been a freelance writer since 2004 with a focus on SEO and Internet marketing. She has written for instinctmarketing.com and JOLT! Marketing. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in mass media communications, and from the University of Texas with an associate degree in theater performance.

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