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Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Written and Spoken Communication

In my last post, "The Five Types of Communication in an Organization", i mentioned about the different methods of communication within an organization, be it structured or spontaneous.

No matter what category either structured or spontaneous, communication is either written or spoken.

Let us look at the various advantages and the disadvantages of written and spoken communication.

Written Communication

Some of the main advantages and disadvantages of written communication are:


- Written communication is good for complicated and vital instructions, which can be given in a precise and uniform manner.

- There is a lesser chance for the message to be misunderstood.

- Written instructions can be checked at a latter date. It serves as a useful reference.

- Authority is transmitted more effectively with a written order than with an oral one


- It is impersonal.

- People may not always read them.

- It does not answer questions and there is no immediate feedback.

Spoken Communication

Examples of spoken communication that is used in the workplace include conversations, interviews, counseling/helping colleagues, meetings, conferences


- Oral communication allows for immediate feedback such as the opportunity to ask questions when the meaning is not entirely clear.

- The sender is able to check and see whether if the instruction is clear or has created confusion.

- Spoken instructions are flexible and easily adaptable to many diverse situations.


- Poor presentation of the message or the instruction can result in misunderstanding and wrong responses.

- Spoken communication is influenced by both both verbal and non-verbal communication such as tone or body language which may skew the meaning of your message in the mind of the receiver.

If you have found this post useful, you might be interested in the following articles
1) The Three Different Levels of Listening
2) The Causes of Miscommunication in Daily Life
3) Conversation Tips
4) The Five Types of Communication in an Organisation
5) Understanding the Communication Process

You might also be interested in The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course in Business Writing and Communication: Manage Your Writing (36 Hour)


WebbieGurl said...

Very good points presented here... These two are inevitable anyway and whether we like them or not, we have to deal with both written and spoken communication...

Patricia said...

Very nice summary of some important concepts. An interesting question I always presented to my students when covering this information was, "Given the speed of communication media, and the Internet, (which has written and spoken elements) what do you think communication will look like in the next 100 years? Will it be more written or more spoken?

MyUSICA said...

interesting reading

hi from Italy

mayur4life-- said...

please any one give more explanation about these points.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is as good as it seems beforehand.

Business Communication said...

Dear friend its so good and informative communication site. Thanks for sharing this site.

Anonymous said...

its helps a lot in my studies. . .keep up the good work