what is oral communication?

Oral communication is the spontaneous1 expression of thoughts and ideas to an audience live and orally; where you have direct face to face contact and no intermediary.2 3

Oral communication is about sound and sound has no life beyond sound itself.4

          Sound is immediate and transient.
          Sound is evanescent.5 
          Sound ceases to exist the moment it is heard.

In oral communication, the thoughts and ideas communicated and the way in which they are communicated will be particular to a sound based form; they will be very different from thoughts and ideas you communicate in any other form.

Understanding sound will inform the thoughts and ideas you communicate and the way in which you communicate them orally.

The expression of fear live and orally is a scream. As soon as the scream is expressed it ceases to exist; it vanishes. Indeed Ong would argue, that as it is being expressed, it is vanishing. What remains, as the audience to the scream, is not the scream itself but your interpretation of the sound; what you have heard; the oral expression of the thought and idea of fear expressed orally as a scream.

If you record the thought or idea of fear, it will have a very different expression.
If you record a scream, it will have a very different meaning.

Fear expressed as a scream live and orally has a powerful impact on the audience; fear communicated in any other form is a very different fear.

In oral communication there is no play back. It’s whatever you’ve heard at the point of expression.

@2016 Pamela Neil all rights reserved. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela Neil with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
  1. spontaneous – growing or produced naturally without cultivation or labour.
  2. intermediary – something acting between person or things; a medium, a means. M19.
  3. Where the thoughts and ideas are not recorded in any form (written, video or audio).
  4. Walter J Ong, Orality and Literacy, Routledge, 1988.
  5. evanescent – adjective. E18. having no permanence

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