Types of communication

Types of communication

Are you looking to know how you can speak to someone? You are in the right place. Types of communication will show you the different ways you can do this and when each is most appropriate.


 How we communicate


There are many ways you can pass across a message to someone. Your rapport or the situation may warrant different categories of communication to be employed to convey your message. Your audience is also a key determinant of how you say what needs to be said. For instance, sending a message in sign language to the blind is not communication. The receiver will not get the information, and the communication process will not be complete. Communication may come in one form of the categories discussed below or as a blend of two or more types. Effective communication requires effective use of the different ways of communicating.


Types of communication


       1. Verbal communication –

Verbal communication involves face-to-face communication, using telephone, radio, television, Zoom, and other media that involves talking and listening. It occurs when you engage in speaking with others. This interaction may be formal or informal. Some formal occasions include meetings with your boss, colleagues at work, or a training session. Examples of informal settings for verbal communication include a social call, chatting with your friends over coffee or at the mall. Regardless of place or who it is with, verbal communication is all about words. Since verbal communication is about words, it is about how you string the words, your tone, pitch, cadence, and all other factors that help get your message out to your audience. Verbal communication is common. However, it cannot be separated from non-verbal communication – both go hand-in-hand.

Verbal communication


     2. Written communication –

Letters, e-mails, social media, books, magazines, Facebook posts, etc, are all forms of written communication. The goal is to disseminate information in a clear, organized, and concise manner. Different written pieces are tailored for different types of audiences. This explains why books are labeled children, teens, and adults. Each set of people will understand the information and respond appropriately. Written communication may be formal or informal. The aim of written communication may be defeated if –

(a) it is given to the wrong audience, or

(b) if the information is poorly written.


Written communication


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        3. Visual communication –

Visual communication involves using imagery to pass on information. The information may be presented as diagrams, graphs, charts, maps, logos, videos, pictures, memes, etc. The images convey meaning, draw and hold attention. Visual communication is great for advertising. It is also useful when conveying information to stimulate thinking, emotions, and creativity.

Visual communication


         4. Non-verbal communication –

Non-verbal communication involves body language, gestures, dress, act, tone, scent. It is the totality of what we do with our bodies, voice tone, and pitch when we speak. Sometimes, these say more as they help convey the message. A calm voice may suggest friendliness, patience, care, etc. A high pitch or tone may speak of urgency, impatience, disapproval, etc. Another example is your friends saying they would love to play soccer with you while rolling their eyes.

Non-verbal communication


Think about how you communicate


How do you communicate? Can you think about other aspects of communication that can help you communicate better? Do you focus on just one type of communication or use more than one? Think about how you employ the categories of communication and make the best use of them. Always remember – words have power.


by Chinyere Nwosu

July 11, 2021


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