Top 5 Disadvantages of Oral Communication You Must Be Aware of

disadvantages of oral communication, oral communication

Before we get to know the Disadvantages of Oral Communication, have you ever wondered the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Why do the great people are known for their wisdom and not knowledge?

Learning some new things or facts is called knowledge. It could be any subject, language, skill, or craft. Any person who acquires some information on any topic is known as a knowledgeable person.

Wisdom is applying the knowledge you learned at the right place and at the right time. One who knows where and where not to use the acquired knowledge is known as a wise person.

Knowing the disadvantages of particular skills makes you aware of circumstances where the acquired skill may not derive the expected results.

So this brings me to explain the “top five disadvantages of oral communication you must be aware of”.

What are the disadvantages of Oral Communication?

Below are the five disadvantages of oral communication that we will go through in detail.

1) Emotion

2) No Legal Validity and Absence of Permanent Record

3) Confused Speech

4) Greater Chance of Misunderstanding

5) Risking Leak of Secret Information


Have you ever noticed someone talking while crying? It may not be an adult, but I am sure you would have watched it happening with children.

When they ask for something which we missed to notice, they start crying and get our attention. Once we have all our ears, they say what they want.

Now, here I want you to pay some close attention. Have you ever understood the children’s words while crying? I am sure not. It is only after our condolence; once they stop crying, we know what they want.

In Oral communication, especially when speaking about sensitive topics, the speaker’s vocabulary is strongly backed up by emotions. If emotions overtake the speech, there is a very high possibility of missing out the clarity. 

The clarity need not always be about the words that could also be the context of the speech.

No Legal Validity and Absence of Permanent Record

Have you ever made any purchase merely based on the salesperson’s persuasion skills added with some exclusive promise? And after purchase, you realized that you got cheated or trapped by the false promise? You can’t even claim those false promises as you do not have the record of the conversation.

I am sure you thought of this in your mind “How stupid am I? I should have made him write all the promises on a signed paper before the sale. At least I should have recorded all our conversation on the phone recorder”.

One disadvantage of oral communication here is no legal validity on what one speaks. You could avoid this situation to some extent by recording the conversation. 

Confused Speech

Did you ever notice how a particular word is pronounced differently in different countries?

Do you know how Arabic pronounces the word “PARK”? 

They pronounce it as “BARK.” 

I am not trying to offend any country or community but, this is the fact. You might be interested in looking into this funny video on YouTube

On a serious note, they pronounce it this way because the letter “P” is not available in the Arabic language. Hence, they pronounce all the words with “P” as “B.”

In another example, do you know the Bengalis do not have the letter “V” in their language? They replace the letter “V” with “B” in their pronunciation. They pronounce the word “Vishnu” as “Bishnu.”

We usually call it slang in a casual conversation. It is also called accent in proper business communication. It happens due to mother tongue influence.

If a speaker does not use a neutral accent in his communication, he might confuse the listener with his speech or oral communication.

Greater Chance of Misunderstanding

Have you ever participated in a team-building activity? There is one activity to see how a message or action is transmitted amount the team members when passed from one person to another.

Here a team stands in a line. The last person standing in the line whispers a sentence to the one standing before him. The listener then passes the message to the one standing before him. When the message reaches the first person standing in line, he reads the whispered message out.

Finally, check whether the read message is what the first person communicated. In most cases, it is not. 

If not acknowledged or not paid attention, there is a high chance of miscommunication in oral communication.

Risking Leak of Secret Information

Have you ever heard the word “open secret”?

An interesting way in which a secret gets leaked. Have you ever been in a situation where a person shares a secret with you by asking you not to share it with anyone? And you share the same secret with your best friend by asking him not to share it with anyone?

Finally, the entire community or your friend’s circle knows the secret declaring it as an ” open secret.”

So when one does not have control of himself, there is a high risk of leak of secret information in oral communication.


Here comes the end of the article where we discussed the top five disadvantages of oral communication you must be aware of to use your Oral communication skill effectively.

To be successful with your oral communication, you must not opt for Oral communication when you need to speak on a topic that can disturb you emotionally.

If you participate in any conversation that includes any promises, you must get it documented to get legal validity. If needed the proof of communication for the future, then get your conversation recorded. Avoid relying solely on oral communication.

You must practice a neutral accent in your communication and ensure your listeners understand it by taking instant feedback. If you are not sure of Instant feedback, I recommend you to read my article describing the benefits of oral communication.

Choose an alternative channel to communicate if your accent is not clear to your audience.

If you cannot convey your message short and crisp with presentable clarity, then oral communication may not be the right source of communication.

PS: Are you working in a corporate organization? You will be glad to know that I have a separate section for corporate communication itself. If you wish to find out more about corporate communication, I would recommend reading this blog post to begin: “https://englishtalktutor.com/what-is-corporate-communication/

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