Why Oral Communication Fails

Failure of Oral CommunicationIn simpler term; oral communication means “communication by word of mouth”. Oral communication has numerous advantages.

However, in some cases, this method of communication cannot attain the desired advantages due to some causes or reasons.

It is the most natural skill of communication that man develops.

However, there are 13 Causes of Failure of Oral Communication.

  1. The absence of planning,
  2. Overconfidence,
  3. Over busyness,
  4. Quick transmission,
  5. Poor and defective presentation,
  6. Inattention,
  7. Presence of emotion,
  8. Status difference,
  9. Lack of evaluation,
  10. Linguistic barrier,
  11. Disregard to receiver,
  12. The difference in personality,
  13. Receiver’s interpretation.

Related: When Oral Communication is More Effective

Absence of planning

If the message of oral communication is not properly planned, it cannot draw the attention of the audiences. Therefore, before delivering the oral message, the speaker should prepare a necessary plan.


In the case of oral communication, the communicator should have self- confidence. Though self-confidence is essential in oral communication, overconfidence may collapse the communication.

Over busyness

In most cases, oral communication occurs in a busy situation.

This may cause distortion of the message. As a result, communication becomes ineffective.

Quick transmission

When the communicator transmits a message or information very quickly, the audience may not understand a part or whole of it.

In such a case, if the message is not repeated, communication will fail.

Related: 7 C’s of Business Communication

Poor and defective presentation

The presentation is an important prerequisite of oral communication. Sometimes communication becomes ineffective due to the poor and defective presentation of the speaker.


Inattention is greatly responsible for the failure of oral communication.

Both the parties must pay due to attention towards the communication message. If either of the party is inattentive, communication between them becomes ineffective.

Presence of emotion

Emotions of both parties may influence the effectiveness of communication. Sometimes in oral communication, parties may not control their emotions.

Their emotional behavior may lead the communication in vain.

Related: 4s of Communication

Status difference

The status difference between the speaker and listener greatly affect the success of oral communication. If either of the party boasts of his position and ignores the other party, then communication between them will be blocked.

Lack of evaluation

In oral communication, there is little opportunity for both speaker and listener to evaluate the message. This also causes failure in oral communication.

Linguistic barrier

Improper language is another cause of failure of oral communication.

Linguistic barrier arises from using unknown words, technical words, jargon’s, accent difference, etc.

Related: 15 Common Faults in our Listening Skill

Disregard to receiver

When superiors communicate orally with subordinates, sometimes they may show disrespect to the subordinates.

Due to such disrespect, subordinates may show less interest in the message.

Difference in personality

In the case of oral communication, the listener pays attention to the personality of the speaker. If the speaker holds less personality, the listener will not pay attention to the speaker’s message.

Receiver’s interpretation

Receiver’s interpretation of the message severely affects the effectiveness of oral communication. Generally, listeners try to understand the speech of the speaker from their own emotional behavior.

In such a situation, listeners may interpret the message wrongly.

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