over a phone, radio communication, tape recording etc. There are also occasions when persons
can be face to face and yet they cannot communicate due to a language barrier.
In many situations and occasions oral and face to face communications are same and
hence the merits and limitations of oral communication will also operate in the case of face to
face communication. There are a few distinct additional advantages and disadvantages of face to
a) Facial expressions and gestures help to communicate better.
b) It is particularly suitable for discussion.
c) Feedback can be obtained not only by ears but also by eyes.
a) It is difficult to practice in large-sized organization.
b) Ineffective if the listener is not attentive.
c) Not effective in large gatherings.
(C) NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION
Bartol and Martin defined non-verbal communication as “communication by means of
elements and behaviors that are not coded into words.”
Mary Munter defines non-verbal communication as “any message you give than literal
interpretation of your words – the way you move, speak, appear.”
Non-verbal communication is very important because it is believed that the manner in
which you say something is more important than what you say.
FORMS OF NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION
1) Facial Expressions and Gestures:
Oral communication involves verbal as well as non-verbal elements. The non-verbal
elements include facial expressions and gestures as well as the pitch and tone of the voice.
These are described by George Terry as “body language”. Some of the expressions and
actions that constitute body language are mentioned below:
a) Twisting the lips.
b) Staring in vacuum with blank.
c) Biting the nails.
d) Clattering the teeth.
e) Fumbling the pockets.
Anger, fear, determination, sympathy, horror, pity, nervousness, lack of
understanding and resentment can be better expressed through body language than
through words. Face to face communication becomes more effective if accompanied with
appropriate body language.
A gesture is a movement of the hand, head or body to indicate an idea or a
feeling. Gestures are used to show emotions and convey definite message or information.
The use of gestures is known as gesticulation. A few gestures that are commonly
a) Tracing a circle near the forehead with index finger – madness.
b) Moving the hand sideways – refusal.
c) Pointing the index finger – accusing or showing direction.
d) Wave of hand – Greeting or good-bye.
e) Waging index finger – scolding.
Sometimes we are so overcome by emotions that we cannot speak or a utter a
word. Our silence tells the other person of our strong feelings. Pause is a short period of
silence between words and sentences. The pause before a word, phrase or sentence
generates a feeling of expectation. The best way to highlight or emphasize a word is to
pause slightly before it and even after it.
2) Signs AND Signals
The words „sign‟ and signals are both derived from the Latin word „signum‟
which means a mark. When the communicants do not have a common language, signs
and signals become very important. Even though when the communicants know the same
language the use of signs, signals and symbols has found to be a speedy way of
communication. There are various types of signs or symbols used by different people.
Mathematicians have their symbols (+, , ×, ÷, <, >, =).
Proof readers who correct printed copy in the printing press have their own signs
(= / / ≠) and motorist are expected to read road signs which are put up by the traffic
Signals are dynamic and require some movement and therefore they are different
from signs and symbols. A traffic signal flashes green light telling the motorist and
pedestrians to move on the blowing of whistle by a policeman or referee are examples of
signals. Pilots and military men have their own sets of signals e.g. the V sign, thumbs up,
thumbs down, etc.
3) Graph, Maps and Charts:
A graph is a diagram consisting of curved lines to show the variations of two
quantities. They are used to show profits in different years of companies, a price index,
production rise and fall, and variations in temperature.
A map is a drawing on the paper that displays the position and size of countries,
towns, rivers, mountains, etc. They are useful for giving at glance information about
crops, rainfall, production, position of troops during war etc.
Graph or maps are mounted on charts for better visual effects. Charts are very
often pasted on cardboard or drawn directly on thick chart paper. In business houses
charts are usually used to communicate with workers and at the managerial level.
4) Dress and grooming:
People wish to make a good impression and be remembered at their best. They judge you
by the way you dress, the colour of your cloths etc. A salesman who is dressed in
crumpled clothes appearing for a job interview will never get the post however cleverly
Business houses are said to be “in the red” when they incur losses and “in the
black” when they do well.
Henry Drefuss after a good amount of research concluded the following.
Colour Positive Message Negative Message
Red Warmth Danger
Blue Justice Discouragement
Purple Nostalgia Registration
Love of truth Penitence
Green Prosperity Envy
Yellow Wisdom Impure love
In India, religious is still an all powerful force. Colour has an added significance. For an
example green is associated with Islam and saffron colour is associated with Hinduism.
Pictures speak louder than words. Poster is a type of visuals communication.
Businessmen have started using filmstrips, slides, photographic displays, cartoons,
graphs, diagrams, maps and colour posters for internal and external communication. Most
of the companies which do not have literate or educated staff make use of posters to
The posters are displayed at important places and show how to operate machines
with safety, demonstrate working procedures and can also be used to educate the workers
on the evils of drugs, smoking, etc.
Posters are generally used for advertising films and products and also for political
propaganda. They can be used in business houses for internal communication.
Posters are advantageous because:
a) They are cheap.
b) Messages can reach illiterate and semi-illiterate workers if presented
c) They attract immediate attention if bright colours and pictures are used.
d) They can be frequently changed at a minimum cost.
(D) MEDIA AND MODES
Mail is also known as postal services. In the modern time most countries in the
world have a highly advanced postal system which covers the urban as well as the rural
A postal system consists of three parts:
a. Collecting letters.
b. Sorting them according to their destinations.
c. Delivery of letters or parcels.
The postal system has become efficient with advancement in transportation and
communication. Telecommunications a work have still resulted in faster and more
efficient mail services.
We can send messages across oceans and continents in a matter of moments with
the help of computers and satellites.
Telex is the name given to the teleprinter device managed by postal department.
The subscriber is provided with a teleprinter and a direct line to one of the many
automatic telex exchange in the country for an annual fee.
The following are the advantages of telex services:
a) Through direct dialing written communication can be sent by one
subscriber to another.
b) It is a quicker means of communication than telegram and cheaper than
trunk calls services.
c) The teleprinter can be used both for letter writing and telephoning.
d) It can be used for booking inland and overseas telegrams by contacting the
central telegraph office.
e) In case at the time of transmission if the receiver of the message is not
present then the message will be left on the teleprinter machine and he can
The following are the disadvantages of telex services:
a) Connections are not easily available when required.
b) The message may get distorted.
c) Lines are frequently out of order.
Telegraphs are system of electric signaling. Signals are sent by making and
breaking the current in an electrical circuit so that the signals are heard in short and long
clicks which can be easily heard. In 1874, Thomas Alva Edison invented a method of
sending four messages over the same wire at the same time.
Messages sent over the telegraph are known as telegrams. The main advantage of
communicating by telegram is that a message can be sent quickly to any part of the
country and even overseas. Telegrams should be carefully worded as they are very
The main disadvantage of telegram is that sometimes messages may get changed
or distorted in transmission.
e) Voice systems.
g) Storage by optical technology.
h) Desk top publishing.
i) Electronic data processing.
Telephone is a means of communication. It is now used to send messages in
writing, pictures, graphs and copies of document. We can send telephone messages over
long distances and even across oceans with the help of submarine cables. Originally radio
was used for telegraphy but now it is used for telephone transmissions.
Today computer technology has dramatically changed the landscape of business
communication. It is now possible to communicate with people inhabitating the remotest
The world-wide web is widely used for publishing a variety of information on all
subjects. By pressing just a few key strokes it lets you access information which could be
residing in computers anywhere in the world.
The Fax or Facsimile Transmission Machine enables us to send pictures,
reproduction of documents and handwriting or any other printed matter by wire or radio,
with rapid speed.
The main advantage of fax transmission is that exact reproduction of printed
material and picture is possible and that the message is transmitted within moments. A
skilled operator is also not required and can be used by anyone just like a telephone.
It is similar to e-mail but slower and it is prone to transmission of errors. It is
connected from one subscriber to any other on telex terminals. It uses the television
system for receiving and sending information. For an example, information on air-time
tables, stock prices and railway times are conveyed with the help of telex.
e) Voice Systems:
The answering machine is the simplest form of a voice message system. It
receives as well as retains messages which can be played back at a later time.
Teleconferencing uses television technology in which the participants are able to
see each other on the screen and as they talk. It can be held within a complex by using
closed circuit T.V.
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION:
The following are the basic principles of effective communication:
1) Communicate for a purpose.
2) Compose your message with care.
3) Compose your message in order to attract attention.
4) Remove all barriers to effective communication.
5) Study the receiver of your message.
6) Select your medium with care.
7) Provide for feedback and
8) Act promptly on receiving response.