Most people intuitively understand that there are differences between oral and written communication. Speech is definitely different from written prose. Writing and speaking are used to deliver information or generally to communicate with other people. Writing is the static form to deliver one’s message, while speaking is a dynamic transfer of information. There are two sides, one believes that communication in writing is more functional because it is organised and more detailed. The other side believes that oral communication is more effective as it is more spontaneous and flexible. In fact, oral communication is more active, dynamic, and effective as it entails vital elements, which cannot be used in written prose, such as; pitch and non-verbal devices.
Pitch is the auditory attribute of sound ordered on a scale from low to high. It is one of the most substantial aspects of or communication, it is very effective especially in presentation. Generally, pitch can be used for emphasis, conveying different meanings, expressing surprise or irony, or raising a question. Because of the pitch, there is a higher level and a lower level in oral communication. Therefore, a presenter could deliver different meanings by using the exact same word through the different patterns of pitch. Also, a presenter could use a high pitch in a certain word to highlight and emphasize it. In this regard, the meaning delivered to the audience highly depends on the pitch. Thus, delivering a certain meaning in oral communication is fluid and easy.
Furthermore, the use of non-verbal devices is another important element in oral communication, which facilitates the process of revealing a deliberate message. Non-verbal devices include eye contact, gestures, facial expressions, postures,… etc. Eye contact in a presentation, for example, can increase trust and clarity between the presenter and the audience. Similarly, gestures mostly convey enthusiasm and energy. Gestures can be used also as persuasive tools to persuade the audience of a certain idea. Moreover, gestures can create flow and spontaneity in any speech as a presenter can use gestures to unfreeze his body and his mind as well. This way, gestures help the presenter to choose the right words so the audience would feel more certain and convinced. “The gestural theory of language and evolution” says that gestures were the precursor to language. So, gestures are essential and functional in any language. Oral communication is mostly based on eye contact and gestures, so it is considered more functional.
Oral communication also allows a presenter to create a mutual conversation. Ina presentation, for example, the presenter can use pronouns such as “I” and “you” in order to engage the audience in the conversation. Also, the presenter can ask the audience a question and give them the chance to answer it, which creates some kind of a mutual conversation between the presenter and the audience. Mutual conversation definitely help the presenter to read the audience’s mind. Consequently, the presenter would be able to convince the audience more and more. Also, that interaction between the presenter and the audience makes the conversation unforgettable. The audience would remember most of what they discussed because actuallu they were part of the discussion.
In conclusion, oral communication is significantly more effective in expressing meaning. A presenter can use the different elements of oral communication, such as: pitch and non-verbal devices, in order to grab the attention of the hearer and express the meaning easily. In oral communication, the hearer can be engaged in the conversation which makes it more interesting and persuasive. Since, written communication lacks the elements of pitch and non-verbal devices, oral communication is considered more effective.