You are on page 1of 9

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 face communication. Advantages: 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. Disadvantage: a) It is difficult to practice in large-sized organization. b) Ineffective if the listener is not attentive. c) Not effective in large gatherings.



Bartol and Martin defined non-verbal communication as ³communication by means of elements and behaviors that are not coded into words.´ Mary Munter defines non-verbal communication as ³any 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 ³body language´. Some of the expressions and actions that constitute body language are mentioned below: a) b) c) d) e) Twisting the lips. Staring in vacuum with blank. Biting the nails. Clattering the teeth. 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. We use gesture at all the time. Sometimes to point out something, sometimes to illustrate or emphasize what we are saying, sometimes we use gesture by themselves. The use of gestures is known as gesticulation. A few gestures that are commonly used are: a) b) c) d) e) Tracing a circle near the forehead with index finger ± madness. Moving the hand sideways ± refusal. Pointing the index finger ± accusing or showing direction. Wave of hand ± Greeting or good-bye. Waging index finger ± scolding.

There are countless mining gestures in which we move our hands and bodies to show sleeping, writing, eating, slapping etc. Gestures should be seen or perceived in the proper manner as it is a non-verbal form of communication. 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. Longer period of silence also could communicate a message. Silence could also convey lack of interest or concern, apathy or indifference. There are countless examples of communication by silence. The student keeps silent for a while before answering a question. It shows that he is thinking. A VIP enters and people become silent. It shows that they respect his presence. A joke at a party is greeted with silence. It indicates that people disapprove of the joke or the speaker. Joseph Devitoo mentions the following functions of silence. a) To allow a speaker, time to think. b) To isolate oneself. c) To say nothing.

d) To communicate emotional responses. e) To prevent communication. 2) Signs AND Signals The words µsign¶ and signals are both derived from the Latin word µsignum¶ 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 police. 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 he talks.

() which are put up by the traffic

5) Colours:

Business houses are said to be ³in the red´ when they incur losses and ³in the black´ when they do well. Colours are used to convey direct messages. At the signal post the traffic lights turn red and green and in the operation theatre a red bulb is used to show that some activity is taking place. A red flag is used to show that the workers are on strike. In business office or factory colour can be effectively used for purpose of identification. Coloured forms and memos are used for different purpose. Coopies for different departments are in different colours. Colours have a very significant psychological effect apart from attracting attention and conveying direct messages and helping to identify things. Lights colours have a soothing effect on people whereas bright colours excite. Henry Drefuss after a good amount of research concluded the following. Colour Positive Message Negative Message Red Warmth Danger Passion Devil Life Death Liberty War Patriotism Revolution Blue Justice Discouragement Truth Doubt Devotion Religious feeling Purple Nostalgia Registration Love of truth Penitence Royalty Regret Power Mourning Green Prosperity Envy Freshness Jealousy Hope Opposition Nature Disgrace Yellow Wisdom Impure love Intuition Malevolence Divinity Cowardice 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. 6) Posters: 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 convey messages.

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 properly. c) They attract immediate attention if bright colours and pictures are used. d) They can be frequently changed at a minimum cost.


Conventional modes 1) Mail. 2) Telex. 3) Telegraph. 1) Mail 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 areas. 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. 2) Telex: 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 reply later.

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. 3) Telegraph: 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 expensive. The main disadvantage of telegram is that sometimes messages may get changed or distorted in transmission. Electronic Communication: a) Telephone. b) Computers. c) Fax. d) Telex. e) Voice systems. f) Teleconferencing. g) Storage by optical technology. h) Desk top publishing. i) Electronic data processing. a) Telephone:

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. The telephone apparatus has become very sophisticated. A variety of functions can be performed through modern gadgets which have a combination of push-button, turn-button or level types keys installed. Hence a telephone may be connected to anyone of several lines and a call may be held on one line while conversation goes on another line. The introduction of cordless phones has improved the mobility within a room. Mobile or cellular phones have completely changed the communication environment. It is now possible for the businessmen to communicate from anywhere and everywhere. In order to communicate data via FAX computer based telephones are now used. b) Computers: Today computer technology has dramatically changed the landscape of business communication. It is now possible to communicate with people inhabitating the remotest places. It is the quickest means of communication. Space no longer is a barrier to communication. It is also a better means of keeping permanent record of valuable and bulky data. Information can now be stored digitally or CD-ROMS, optical discs, tapes and other storage media. 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. c) Fax: 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. Today fax is widely used by government, banks, newspaper offices and big business houses to send copies or reproduction of pictures, letters, or documents to near and distinct places. 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.

d) Telex:

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. Voice message and mail system is an advance form by which the caller can record a message, confirm it by listening and then send it to one or more persons. The receiver can open his mailbox, find out who the sender is, listen to the message, replay or fast forward it or save it for future record and reference. f) Teleconferencing: 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. Audio conferencing is one more voice conferencing among three or more individuals or groups discussing matters over a phone but without visuals. g) Storage by Optical Technology: Compact Disk-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) and Write Once Read Many (WORM) are the two types of optical storage instruments. The CD is a laser-read data storage device. We can store audio or textual material on it. The user can read as well as hear on a PC or a microcomputer system with a CD-ROM disk drive. In order to store information on a large scale as in the case of encyclopedia, optical technology instruments can be used. h) Desk Top Publishing A desk top system consists of one or more microcomputers, a laser printer and the required word processing software. With the help of a desk top a variety of office materials like printing letterheads graphics, sorting, summarizing, retrieving, reproduction etc.

The following are the basic principles of effective communication: 1) Communicate for a purpose. 2) Compose your message with care.

3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8)

Compose your message in order to attract attention. Remove all barriers to effective communication. Study the receiver of your message. Select your medium with care. Provide for feedback and Act promptly on receiving response.