Casual and Formal Communications

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Casual and Formal Communications

Casual and Formal Communications

Another way to distinguish communication is between casual and formal communications. Casual communication generally takes place between friends, and formal communication takes place between employees and employers. However, this is not an absolute rule.


The relationship between the two individuals often determines the type of communication used. Formal communications are used:

  1. To show respect.
  2. In professional presentations.
  3. When people are not familiar with each other.

Casual communications, on the other hand, are used:

  1. When the parties have familiarity with one another.
  2. By people who interact with each other regularly.

Formal Communication

The situation also affects the type of communication used. Situations that use formal communications include:

  1. Business presentations.
  2. Sales presentations.
  3. Service and support functions.
  4. Intercultural events.
  5. Interviews and performance reviews.
  6. Events in which protocol is important.

The following are the benefits that are derived from the use of a formal communication style. Formal communications:

  1. Give a professional appearance.
  2. Avoid misunderstandings.
  3. Minimize the possibility of offending the other party.
  4. Are clear and comprehensive.

Casual Communication

Casual communications are used in settings that do not require the same level of protocol. The degree to which a situation is formal or casual determines the degree to which the method and style of communications are formal or casual. The following are examples of casual or semi-casual situations:

  1. Co-workers meeting for hors d'oeuvres after work.
  2. Gatherings of friends and/or family.
  3. Event ice breakers.
  4. Brainstorming events.
  5. Team-building events.
  6. Team meetings.

Casual communications provide benefits as well. While casual communications may not be as precise or clear as formal communications, casual communications:

  1. Relax a tense situation.
  2. Provide the opportunity for humor.
  3. Provide an open, accepting environment.
  4. Use more nonverbal communication.
  5. Tend to take less time than formal communications.


There are many aspects that differentiate between formal and casual communications. In formal communications, great attention is placed on the composition of the presentation.

  1. Words are spelled correctly and clearly expressed.
  2. Sounds are articulate and appropriate.
  3. Images are informative.
  4. Conventional grammatical rules are followed

In casual conversation, the relationship between the parties assumes both parties, to a certain degree, understand each other's intent. In casual communication:

  1. Sentences are shortened and contractions are used.
  2. Words may be substituted with letters, numbers, or symbols.
  3. Accuracy is not emphasized.
  4. Cultural expressions and colloquialisms may be used.

In virtual communications, the formality of the situation impacts the words and media chosen to communicate the message.