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Understanding The Difference Between Verbal And NonVerbal Communication?

by shreyasi datta

You may have heard your parents or your teachers asking you to work on improving your communication skills. But what are communication skills? Communication is the process of exchanging information or messages between individuals or groups using a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.

Communication can be verbal or nonverbal, oral or written, formal or informal, and intentional or unintentional. In this article, we will talk about verbal and nonverbal communication in detail. So let’s dive in.

What Is Verbal Communication?   

The type of communication that uses written words and speech to send and receive information as well as feelings is known as verbal communication. This type of communication can take place within a large group as well as between two people. However, verbal communication does not only involve speaking or writing. It also includes listening clearly. This is because for effective communication, the receiver also needs to pay complete attention and understand the message.

There are four main types of verbal communication, depending on the structure, purpose, and style of the message:

Intra-personal communication: This is the communication that occurs within oneself, such as self-talk, inner dialogue, or mental imagery. It helps us to organize our thoughts, plan our actions, and regulate our emotions.

Interpersonal communication: This is the communication that occurs between two or more people, such as conversations, interviews, or negotiations. It helps us to establish and maintain relationships, exchange information, and influence others.

Small group communication: This is the communication that occurs among a small number of people who share a common goal, such as a team, a committee, or a family. It helps us to collaborate, solve problems, and make decisions.

Public communication: This is the communication that occurs between a speaker and a large audience, such as a presentation, a lecture, or a speech. It helps us to inform, persuade, or entertain others.

Verbal communication has many advantages, such as

  • It allows us to express our thoughts, feelings, and opinions clearly and directly.
  • It enables us to receive immediate feedback and clarification from the receiver.
  • It creates a personal and emotional connection with the receiver.
  • It enhances our credibility and confidence as a speaker.


Therefore, to improve our verbal communication skills, we should:

  • Choose our words carefully and avoid ambiguity, jargon, or slang.
  • Use appropriate tone, volume, and speed to match our message and audience.
  • Use nonverbal cues, such as eye contact, gestures, and facial expressions, to support our message and show interest.
  • Listen actively and attentively to the receiver and provide feedback and questions.
  • Adapt our message and style to the situation and purpose of the communication.

What Is Non-Verbal Communication?  

Non verbal communication skills are essential for effective interpersonal interactions. As they can convey your emotions, attitudes, and intentions more clearly and accurately than words. This type of communication skills are important because they can help you understand what others are saying. And communicate your own thoughts and feelings more effectively.

Nonverbal communication skills can be useful in both personal and professional situations, and they are especially useful in difficult or challenging situations.

To improve your nonverbal communication skills, you can follow these tips:

  • Pay attention to your facial expressions, gestures, body posture, eye contact, and tone of voice.
  • Make sure they match your verbal message and the context of the situation. For example, if you want to show interest and enthusiasm, you can smile, nod, lean forward, maintain eye contact, and use a lively tone of voice.
  • Observe how other people use nonverbal communication and try to interpret their signals correctly. Notice how their nonverbal cues affect your perception of them and their message. For example, if someone crosses their arms, avoids eye contact, and speaks in a low voice, you might infer that they are bored, defensive, or uninterested.

You should also consider asking for feedback from others on how your nonverbal communication is perceived. Ask them to tell you what they think you are feeling, thinking, or intending based on your nonverbal signals.

Compare their feedback with your own intentions and see if there are any gaps or misunderstandings. For example, if you tend to frown when you are concentrating, you might ask someone if they think you are angry or annoyed and explain that you are just focused.

Aside from asking for feedback, you should also practice using different types of nonverbal communication in various scenarios and contexts.

Experiment with different facial expressions, gestures, body postures, eye contact, and tone of voice, and see how they affect your communication and relationship with others. For example, you can try using more open and relaxed body language, such as uncrossing your arms, leaning back, and smiling, when you want to create a friendly and comfortable atmosphere.

How Can You Improve Your Communication Skills  

It is important for everyone to have good communication skills as it enables one to express their thoughts confidently and clearly and ideas to others. People who have good communication skills can also easily understand and empathize with people around them and build trust and rapport with them.One can improve one’s communication skills by attending media training. Also, by speaking clearly and in an active and assertive voice. They should also pay close attention to what the other person is saying and focus on nonverbal cues. Watching one’s tone while speaking, making eye contact, and knowing who your listeners are can also help in improving communication skills.

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