Oral communication is very important for any professional because during one’s career, every professional has to talk to a number of people of varying backgrounds and technical knowledge. We have to talk to the customer (to whom we are developing the software) in English. The customer may not be a technical person, many times the customer has no knowledge of computers even. We also have to interact with team members to discuss the technical details during project execution. We have to talk to managers in ‘management jargon’. Ability to talk to a variety of people requires good oral communication skills. B.C. Forbes said, “Speaking is essential to success in business and the whole of human activities”. Conservative Party of Britain feels that the patients are put to lot of risk because of the poor English spoken by foreign doctors, especially Indians, who constitute 25% of the total medical practitioners of Britain.
This does not mean that you have to use high sounding words. In fact usage of high sounding words and GRE/TOEFL type of language will irritate the interviewer. Answer should be simple and easily understandable by one and all. For example, if somebody’s answer for a question is ‘Cogitative endeavors to promote celerity of ambulation not infrequently produce retardation of the desired propinquity to the goal’, he may be thrown out of the interview room, even if the interview is for the post of a Professor of English!
It needs to be mentioned that nobody is born with good communication skills- we need practice to improve our communication abilities. Many times, inability to express oneself clearly arises mainly because of lack of preparation. Even for a small five-minute meeting, one has to prepare, depending on the agenda of the meeting. Good preparation keeping in view the type of audience would solve most of the problems that arise out of ‘lack of communication skills’. Realize that often you will have to deal with a non-technical customer in English. Again, the client himself may be poor at English. In marketing the product itself speaks, catalogues speak, customers speak and advertisements speak. Even if the marketing man speaks, it will be very much routine type, same jokes, same riddles, same style and same concept. In R&D type of jobs it is not like that. Here, you’ve. got an excellent idea or an interesting concept. How can you convince your boss or organization about the greatness and usefulness of it unless you are good at communication? How can you prepare a report on it and be successful? Especially in I. T., English is very essential. For example, Japan could excel in all fields of construction, automobile engineering and telecommunications but not in Information Technology, as they refused to accept English.