Means of Communication: Letters, Telegrams, Telephones, Telex, Fax, E-Mail, Voice Mail, Teleconferencing, Audio-Conferencing, Video-Conferencing (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Means of Communication

For communicating with each other there are many ways. These may be called as the means of communication. In face-to-face contact we use different parts of our body or we directly talk to others while communicating our message. Where face-to-face communication is not possible, we take the help of some other means to convey our messages. The means to be used in our communication process depend upon the purpose of communication. Modern technology has given us a wide option to choose the means according to our requirement and liking.

Important Means of Communication


Letters are a written form of communication. These can be sent or received by individuals or organisations. Written messages in the form of letters can be delivered to the receivers through special messenger, post offices or private couriers. This method is mostly used where fact-to-face communication is difficult or other means are not easily available. It helps in keeping a record of the communication. The cost involved is low in this means of communication.


It is also a form of written communication by which messages can be sent quickly to distant places. It is generally used when there is an urgency of communicating any important message. It transmits message much faster than ordinary postal mail. This facility is available in all telegraph offices, where on payment of specific charge, we send our message. Charges are payable on the basis of number of words used in writing the message including the address of the receiver and sender՚s name. Hence, telegraphic messages are written in brief.


  • In oral communication channel telephone is a very popular form. It is widely used for internal and external business communications. Long distance communication is facilitated by STD (Subscriber Trunk dialling) while international communication can be made through ISD (International Subscriber Dialling) . Telephone is mostly preferred as it helps in establishing instant contact between the parties to communications. In business firms as well as government and private offices automatic switchboards known as private automatic branch exchange (PABX) are installed to facilitate internal as well as external communication.
  • Today mobile phones are very popular as they give an access to the receiver at anytime, anywhere. This is an improvement over the fixed line telephone. It possesses many modern features like Short Messaging Services (SMS) , Multi Media Messaging Services (MMS) etc. , by using these services written messages can be sent to the receivers.


Telex provides a means of printed communication using Teleprinter. Teleprinters consist of machines installed at different places which are connected to a central exchange through cable. In each machine a standard keyboard is fitted. Any message typed by using those keyboards at one end is automatically typed at the other end. With the use of telex instant transmission is possible.


Fax or facsimile is an electronic device that enables instant transmission of any matter, which may be handwritten or printed like letters, diagrams, graphs, sketches, etc. By using telephone lines this machine sends the exact copy of the document to another fax machine at the receiving end. Far sending any message, the documents on which message, diagram or drawing is typed or drawn has to be put in the fax machine and the fax number (a telephone number) of the other party has to be dialled. Then the fax machine at the receiving end will instantly produce the replica of the matter. This is the most commonly used means of written communication in business. The main advantages of Fax system are easy operation, instant transmission of handwritten or printed matters, over any distance Telephone machine also records each transaction of communication. The only limitation is that fax machine accepts document up to a standard size.


Electronic mail, popularly known as e-mail is a modern means of communication. The system makes use of electronic methods of transmitting and receiving information. In this case individuals, through the internet, open an e-mail account in their name from any ISP (Internet Service Provider) . Then letters, messages, pictures or sounds can be sent through their computer to the e-mail accounts of other individuals. Whenever the other person will access his email account he receives the message. The information is communicated audio visually and the process is extremely fast. This method is gaining popularity with increased use of internet among the users.

Voice Mail

Voice mail is a computer-based system for receiving and responding to incoming telephone calls. It records and stores telephone messages through computer memory. The call can get the required information by dialling the voice mail number and then following the instructions of the computer. The receivers at their own convenience can get the message from the machines and act accordingly.


Teleconferencing refers to meeting of people for consultation or discussion regarding any common issues. Teleconferencing is a system through which people interact with each other without physically sitting in front of others. People can hear the voice and see the picture of others and also respond to their queries even if sitting in different countries. It requires the use of modern electronic derives like telephone, computers, television etc. For every teleconferencing a central controlling unit is required that facilitates the entire process of communication. There are two different types of teleconferencing one, audio-conferencing and other, video-conferencing. Let us know more about them.


Audio Conferencing is a two-way audio communication system in which the participants listen to the voice and respond immediately sitting at different places. People may listen to the voice through radio or television and put their queries by using telephone.


Besides listening to the voice, the participants of the conference can also see the picture of each other while talking themselves. This is called video-conferencing. There are two different types of video conferencing process.

  • One-way video and two-way audio

It this system, the participants can listen to the voice and see the picture of the persons sitting in the studio. The audience maintains a contact with the studio through telephone and the persons in the studio listen to the voice of the participants.

  • Both way audio and video

Here participants at both the ends i.e.. , studio as well as audience end, are able to listen to the voice and see the picture of each other while talking amongst themselves.

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