Elements of Communication

Communication consists of three important elements, when we communicate with people we do it with much more than our words. In face-to-face communication words are only the part of the message. The balance of the message is made up of nonverbal and visual communication.

Verbal communication

Verbal communication is a type of communication where the information flows through verbal medium like words, speeches, presentations etc. In verbal communication the sender shares his/her thoughts in the form of words. In organizations, individuals communicate verbally among each other in the form of dialogues, speech, presentations, discussions to name a few. The tone of the speaker, the pitch and the quality of words play a crucial role in verbal communication. The speaker has to be loud and clear and the content has to be properly defined. Haphazard and unorganized thoughts only lead to confusions and misunderstandings among individuals. In verbal communication, an individual must understand the importance of words and how to put them across.

While speaking the pitch ought to be high and clear for everyone to understand and the content must be designed keeping the target audience in mind. In verbal communication it is the responsibility of the sender to cross check with the receiver whether he has downloaded the correct information or not and the sender must give the required response.

This is the least impactful element in face-to-face communication. The old adage – it is not what you say, it is how you say that counts.

Nonverbal communication

Imagine yourself in a situation, where you can’t speak but have to communicate urgent information to the other person or for that matter, you are sitting in an important meeting and you want to express your displeasure or pleasure to your colleague without uttering even a word. Here nonverbal mode of communication comes into picture. Facial expressions, gestures, hand and hair movements, body postures all constitute nonverbal communication. Any communication made between two people without words and simply through facial movements, gestures or hand movements is called as nonverbal communication. In other words, it is a speechless communication where content is not put into words but simply expressed through expressions If one has a headache, one would put his hand on his forehead to communicate his discomfort – a form of nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communications are vital in offices, meetings and even in romantic chats.

Examples of nonverbal communication

–      Facial Expression

–      The way of standing or sitting

–      Any swing or any other movement

–      Gestures with arms or hands

–      Eye contact (or lack of it)

–      Breathing rate

–      Swallowing or coughing

–      Blushing

–      Fidgeting

Body language includes anything what the speaker is doing with his body besides speaking. One recognizes this communication instinctively without someone telling us what it means.

Visual Communication

Before planning any outing or tour, Sandra always refers to the map of that place. Through the map, she tries to find out more about the place, the route to reach that place, hotels, shopping joints etc. The map is actually passing information about the place to Sandra or communicating with Sandra. This mode of communication is called visual communication. In visual communication, the recipient receives information from signboards, displays, hoardings, banners, maps etc. The sign board of Mc Donald’s or KFC indicates eating joints – a form of visual communication. The sign board of “No Parking Zone” communicates to the individuals that any vehicle must not be parked in the vicinity – again a mode of visual communication. Vision plays a very important role in visual communication and it depends on the recipient how to interpret the message.

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