What Are the Functions of Speech Communication?

Speech serves many functions, including transmission of information, establishing interpersonal bonds and influencing emotional and mental states in both the speaker and the listener. Speech is one of the cornerstones of modern society.

Speech consists of many parts which are unconsciously combined and parsed according to learned methods of evaluation. Speech also includes many nonverbal aspects of communication such as vocalizations and body language. Each parcel of speech is influenced by setting, tone, the relationship between the parties involved, and countless other factors.

Speech possesses, among others, the following components:

  • Message form, such as poem, prose and conversation
  • Topic, broadly assessing what the speech is concerned with
  • Context or setting
  • Code, the signaling units of which speech is composed
  • Listener and speaker

Speech depends in part upon shared understandings, allowing for consensus over transmission and reception of coded signals. These codes are not meant to conceal information, but to make its delivery more efficient through the usage of layers, texturing flat speech with tone, context and intent. This allows for the transmission of a greater amount of information in a smaller space of time.

Speech is one of the tools by which human beings form connections to one another. Learning to speak is an early rite of passage in human life. Almost all humans use speech in their daily lives.