Welcome to this video on formal and informal communication. Imagine this situation, you've been invited to an official company event where your senior management will be present and perhaps some local government officials. Which outfit would you choose? The one on the left, right? What about in a job interview situation? The one on the right is possibly the most suitable for that situation. That's the focus of our video today, is choosing the appropriate form of communication for the appropriate situation. By the end of this video, we want you to be able to understand the importance of using formality appropriately. Recognize the differences between formal and informal communication and understand how different levels of formality are used. What is formality? I think the best way is to show some illustrations. In spoken situations, the most formal would be perhaps, a Presidential address to Congress. The most informal would be a chat over lunch with a friend. What about in writing situations? Again, the most formal would be an official company letter, as you see on the right. Most informal would be a handwritten note to a colleague, perhaps. Why is using formality so important? Remember the last lecture on tone and style with all communication, whatever we say or how we say it is very important cuz it has a reaction with the audience, whether it's a positive or negative way. Let's look at what formal communication is. Basically, it's communication that follows an established set of guidelines or standards and generally avoids using informal tone and style because it's inappropriate for the situation. Let me elaborate, you've got to be more careful in formal communication. You'll probably be more selective in your choice of information or content because there's more barriers to free communication and you have to choose the appropriate channel, medium of communication, along with appropriate tone and style. In high level meetings, formal communication is expected. What about informal communication? There are no predefined procedures or guidelines, and it's generally more ad-hoc and personal. Information is more free-flowing, there are less barriers to communication, and it's generally more personal in tone and style. In informal situations, people are generally more relaxed, and they're not as careful about what they say. Just to recap, formal communication is more official and more impersonal, and informal communication is more casual and personal. What are other differences in formal and informal communication? Then, we have to look at language aspects. In formal communication, the formal language features are using more passive or imperative voice. There's more noun phrases, academic or business style vocabulary and formal greetings. In informal communication, the informal language features are, tend to use more personal pronouns like I, or we, or you and more slang or phrasal verbs, abbreviations, adjectives or more emotive language. But we will cover these more later on throughout the course. Choosing the level of formality is very much determined by the relationship you have with the audience. As a general rule, the closer and more personal with the relationship, the more informal style you're able to use. To illustrate this, we have to look at three important channels of communication. The first is one to one communication. In spoken and written situations, as a general rule, you can use all levels of formality from formal to informal. It's safer on a one-on-one basis to use an informal style. However, in writing situations, there are certain medium of communication that it's better to be more formal such as writing official documents. The next is one to many communication. Here again, all levels of formality can be used, depends on the message that you want to convey to the audience. You could use a more personal style to develop a closer relationship with the audience but in written situations, as a general rule, again, if you're communicating to a wide audience, they might have a diverse set of expectations or standards. You don't really want to offend anyone, so it's better to use formal communication. But at the same time, again, if you want to develop a closer relationship, such as a manager wanting to congratulate a sales team on their performance, you might use informal style in an email, perhaps. What about many-to-many communication? Here, you have to be careful. As a communicator, you're probably trying to represent numerous parties, again, communicating to the audience which also has numerous parties as well, so you have to be careful again with your communication. As a general rule, it's probably safer to use semi-formal or formal communication. In written situations, I think formal communication is perhaps more widely used. Press releases, corporate communication or official documents, where, again, whatever you're writing could reach a very large audience and you have to be very careful not to offend or upset anyone there. Let's recap what we've covered in this video. We hope now you are able to understand the importance of using formality appropriately, that you are able to recognize the differences between formal and informal communication, and also understand how different levels of formality can be used depending on your audience. But be careful, if your relationship isn't that close to the audience, it's probably safer to use a more formal approach to avoid or minimize the risk of offending any part of your audience. Here's the end of our video, I hope you find it useful. Thank you very much.