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Communicating with Purpose: Functions of Communication for Effective Oral Discourse in Contexts

Communicating with Purpose: Functions of Communication for Effective Oral Discourse in Contexts

Today, effective communication is more critical than ever before. Whether it’s a business presentation, a political speech, or a casual conversation, understanding the specific functions of oral communication can help convey clear messages and achieve communication goals. 

From informing, persuading, expressing, and socializing, each function has a unique purpose and is vital for successful oral communication. You rely on communication to navigate life, even for sharing ideas, expressing emotions, or building connections.

So, let’s discover the different communication functions for oral communication in context.

What is Oral Communication?

Oral communication transmits ideas from your brain to a single person or a group. Communication means sharing ideas, viewpoints, and perspectives and exchanging information. Thus, knowing the use of functions can make all the difference. 

5 Functions of Oral Communication

In oral communication, communication functions can be categorized into five main types: control, social interaction, motivation, emotional expression, and information dissemination.

1. Control

One of the primary functions of communication involves controlling and regulating people’s behavior through language. In oral communication, you can use control to influence or direct others to take a particular action or adhere to certain rules and regulations. 

Control or regulation shows gestures and sentiments to handle groups of individuals or activities. Such as, parents guide their children to respect elders, or the police instruct pedestrians to cross the pedestrian lane.

For instance:

“Can you please leave the room? I can’t bear you anymore.”

“Clean the room, then go for a hangout.”

2. Social Interaction 

It is an essential part of oral communication that uses language to initiate, maintain and develop social interaction with the community, creating strong bonds, relations, intimacy, and connections. 

Social interaction is crucial in building and strengthening relationships, whether it’s small communication or expressing empathy. It builds confidence, allows you to interact with people around you, and enlarges your social circle. 

Thus, it involves communicating with various people in a real-life context, for example, business owner-employee, human-computer, and doctor-patient communication.

For instance:

“I feel glad to meet you. How are you doing?”

“Let’s go shopping.”

Functions of Communication for Effective Oral Discourse

3. Motivation

In oral communication, motivation aims to inspire and encourage others to take a particular action, from motivating students to inspiring groups of individuals to support a specific cause. It could be asking them to participate in the communication and share their thoughts.

Effective communication involving motivation delivers positive outcomes, such as boosting productivity, conveying positive vibes, and enhancing performance to achieve desired goals.

In addition, it’s the power of choice, interests, needs, resolutions, objectives, and strengths. It’s achieved through persuasive language, emotional appeals, and storytelling. It connects the audience with the speaker deeper, touching their emotions and inspiring them to act.

For instance: 

“I need to lose weight to look smarter.”

“We need to force ourselves to work with determination and quit procrastination.”

4. Emotional Expression

As the name indicates, the function of communication, emotional expression, and the use of English is to express feelings and emotions. Through oral communication, some expressions could be joy, sadness, frustration, anger, or other emotions.

Furthermore, it helps you make others understand your point effectively. How you communicate with others, including your family, friends, and colleagues, expresses your message more clearly. 

For instance:

“I feel frustrated at the lack of progress in this subject.”

“Thank you for being there for me. Your support means a lot. I don’t know how I would have achieved it without you.”

5. Information Dissemination

Information dissemination is a fundamental communication function for transferring information, ideas, and knowledge from one person to another. In oral communication, information dissemination educates, informs, or updates society on a specific topic or issue. 

Using this method of communication, you can guide or take guidance from others either when traveling to a new place or seeking information about something else. You can also educate someone new to a town or provide information on any topic. 

For instance: 

“Where is the route to the new shopping mall?”

“You can find Mcdonald’s right next to the historical monument.”


In short, understanding the function of communication in the context of oral communication is essential to communicate effectively. You can master these functions to improve your communication skills, build stronger relationships and achieve your goals.

From controlling behavior and social interaction to motivation, emotional expression, and information dissemination, each function is essential for the success of your interactions. 

So, let’s continue to hone communication skills through its functions and unlock the power of effective communication in every aspect of life.

Catch you soon,