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II.7.2 Verbal and non-verbal communication

Types of Communication  Communication types

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is the sharing of information between two individuals using words. It is the use of auditory language to exchange information with other people. It includes sounds, words, or speaking. The tone, volume, and pitch of one’s voice can all contribute to effective verbal communication.


  1. Formal versus Informal: We use spoken communication informally while we use written communication formally.
  2. Synchronous versus Asynchronous: Synchronous communication is communication that takes place in real time, such as a conversation with a friend. In contrast, asynchronous communication is communication that is not immediate and occurs over longer periods of time, such as letters, email, or even text messages.
  3. Recorded versus Unrecorded: Written communication is generally archived and recorded for later retrieval while spoken communication is generally not recorded.

Nonverbal communication

Non-verbal communication is communication between people through non-verbal or visual cues. This includes gestures, facial expressions, body movement, timing, touch, and anything else that communicates without speaking. This includes body language (kinesics), distance between people (proxemics), voice quality (paralanguage), and touch (haptics).

Types of nonverbal communication

Facial expressions. The human face is extremely expressive, able to convey countless emotions without saying a word. Facial expressions are universal. The facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust are the same across cultures.

Body movement and posture. This type of nonverbal communication includes your posture, bearing, stance, and the subtle movements you make.

Gestures. Gestures are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. Like wave, point, beckon, or use of hands. The meaning of some gestures can be very different across cultures. While the OK sign made with the hand, for example, conveys a positive message in English-speaking countries, it’s consider offensive in countries such as Germany, Russia, and Brazil.

Eye contact. Since the visual sense is dominant for most people, eye contact is an especially important type of nonverbal communication. It communicates interest, affection, hostility, or attraction. Eye contact is also important in maintaining the flow of conversation and for gauging the other person’s interest and response.

Touch. We communicate a great deal through touch. For example- weak handshake, a warm bear hug, a patronizing pat on the head, or a controlling grip on the arm,

Space. Physical space is used to communicate many different nonverbal messages, including signals of intimacy and affection, aggression or dominance. Need for physical space differs depending on the culture, the situation, and the closeness of the relationship.

Proximity: closeness  to  audience sends a nonverbal message. a very small distance may mean threatening communication. On the other hand, too much space is an awkward nonverbal communication that might confuse listener.

Voice. It include timing and pace,  loudness , tone and inflection, and sounds such as “ahh” and “uh-huh.” Tone of voice can indicate sarcasm, anger, affection, or confidence.

Appearance:  Clothing, hair, and jewelry are also a part of nonverbal communication. The quality and condition of  clothing, hair, and jewelry —all of these things speak nonverbally.

Characteristics of non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication is any information that is communicated without using words. The important characteristics of non-verbal communication are as follows:

  • No use of words: Non-verbal communication is a communication without words or language like oral or written communication. It uses gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, physical proximity, touching, etc. for communicating with others.
  • Culturally determined: Non-verbal communication is learned in childhood, passed on to you by your parents and others with whom you associate. Through this process of growing up in a particular society, you adopt the taints and mannerisms of your cultural group.
  • Different meaning: Non-verbal symbols can many meanings. Cross-culture aspects give various meanings to same expression in respect of non-verbal communication.
  • Vague and imprecise: Non-verbal communication is quite vague and imprecise. Since in this communication, there is no use of words or language which expresses clear meaning to the receiver.
  • May conflict with verbal message: Non-verbal communication is so deeply rooted, so unconscious, that you can express a verbal message and then directly contradict it with a nonverbal message.
  • Largely unconscious: Non-verbal communication is unconscious in the sense that it is usually not planned nor rehearsed. It comes almost instantaneously.
  • Shows feelings and attitudes: Facial expressions, gestures, body movements, the way you use your eyes – all communicate your feelings and emotions to others.
  • Informality: Nonverbal communication does not follow any rules, formality or structure like other communication. Most of cases people unconsciously and habitually engaged in non-verbal communication by moving the various parts of the body.

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