Written Communication is another category of verbal communication apart from oral communication. It involves communication of a message through written words and symbols. While oral communication comes as a natural process to humans, written communication requires a lot of practice and effort.
Characteristics of Written Communication
- One of the striking characteristics of Written Communication is that it is short and one time in nature. Unlike oral communication which goes in rounds based on the reactions and responses of the people involved, written communication tends to get over in just one or maximum two rounds. This is mainly due to the professionalism involved in the same
- Written Communication is generally a time consuming activity. While it is the responsibility of the sender to encode the information in a crisp and clear manner, it becomes the responsibility of the receiver to decode the same in the intended manner. The task of collecting, sorting and encoding information makes written communication a time consuming activity
- Written communication requires enormous amount of planning and effort. Written communication is legally valid and so enough care needs to be taken while preparing the same. Written Communication, in case of branding materials act as the face of a brand or organization. Hence, effective written communication adds value to the marketing efforts and goodwill of an organization
Advantages of Written Communication
Written communication offers many advantages some of which are given below:
- Written communication acts as a permanent record making people responsible for what they said. No one can take back words they have written
- The permanent nature of Written Communication makes it a legally valid
- Written Communication facilitates decision making at all points of time since people in the decision making capacity can refer to the same back and forth at all points of time
- The legality applicable to written communication safeguards organizations from litigations and other possible issues in the eyes of Law
- Accuracy levels are high when people communicate the intended information in written form since the same cannot be changed if a mistake is done. For this reason, written communication is highly dependable
- Written Communication tends to increase the brand image of the organization in multiple ways
- Written Communication provides information to all concerned in an uniform and authentic manner
Limitations of Written Communication
Written Communication, like any other form, has its own limitations. Some of the limitations are mentioned below for clarity.
- Written Communication involves time delay since the same need to be read and understood by the receiver at the other end. He has to then respond back with his views which will take its time
- Written Communication acts as the root cause for heavy paper work and clutter due to the same. Creation as well as maintenance of the paper work adds cost to organizations
- Written Communication loses its efficacy if people at the receiving end are not equally or reasonably good in expression
- Written Communication involves costs not only in terms of creation and maintenance but also in terms of manpower deployed who are involved in the same
Written Versus Oral Communication
|#||Factor compared||Oral Communication||Written Communication|
|1||Applicability||For crisp short messages||For passing lengthy information|
|2||Basic nature||Casual. Has a personal touch||Formal. Lacks personal touch|
|3||Response||Fast and immediate||Slow and delayed|
|6||Flexibility||High since can be changed||Low since it is permanent|
|7||Body Language||Can be used in high degrees||Lacks possibility to use gestures|
Tips to write clearly and effectively
Writing clearly helps to communicate the intended message to the targeted audience in the appropriate manner. Some tips given below will provide ideas to write in a clear and concise manner, however one must have a clear understanding of the 7C or principles of communication in order to communicate effectively .
- Use simple words that are commonly used and easily understood
- Use words that address things directly instead of words that are indicative in nature
- Avoid using words that can create ambiguities due to the complexity in understanding the same
- Use words that are short in length since long words may be distracting the receiver from the crux of the communication
- Use words that kindle and retain the interest of the readers rather than making them feel bored
- Use only those technical words that can be easily understood even by non-technical audience
- Using active verbs helps more than twisting the grammar to make the sentence look lofty
- Camouflaging the verbs must be avoided since doing this cause the sentences to look abstract
- When idioms are to be used, use them in the simplest form instead of complicating the same
- Use niche only when they can be easily related with the context. Avoid using the same just for building up sentences if the same is irrelevant to the given situation
Written communication that is crisp and clear conveys the message to the intended audience in a straight forward manner. The impact that such a straight forward message creates is huge and will elicit a favorable response from the receiver at the other end.
Tips for effective sentence formation
Sentence formation is one of the crucial aspects which add a lot of value to the communication. The tips given below will help to form sentences in a simple and effective manner to convey all types of communication in an effective manner.
- Construct sentences that are simple in nature so they can be easily understood
- Avoid packing lots of information in a single sentence which will overload the reader
- Use minimum words to convey the intended message in a focused manner
- Avoid usage of unnecessary words which may add to the heaviness for the reader
- Avoid formation of phrases that are cluttered in nature overloaded with all the vocabulary one may know
- Direct construction of sentences helps in reaching the message in a complete manner than round about construction
- Avoid repeating words and points just for the sake of emphasizing a point again and again
- Emphasize only where it is required else the complete content may start looking like a piece of junk
- Keep the sentences to the point since crispness adds to the interest of the readers
- Right formation of sentences represents the ideas in the perfect manner adding value to the information that is being communicated
- Ensure grammatical mistakes are not avoided while forming sentences since this may act as a deterrent factor for effective communication.
Simplifying sentence formation goes a long way in conveying the exact meaning intended to be communicated to the person at the receiving end. Thrusting of high end vocabulary just to show out the knowledge one possesses and the richness of vocabulary will result in dilution of message. Avoid using unwanted jargon just to make the communication look high ended. Remember, reaching out the message to the concerned is more important than creating long sentences filled with unfamiliar rich words.