Types of Communication

Communication is a two-way model that involves sending a message through talking and body language and receiving a message through listening.

Essentially there are three parts:

  • verbal (What I say.)

  • non-verbal (What I do/body language/gestures.)

  • listening (How well I listen.)

Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication:

When learning about communication, it is important for students to understand the difference between verbal and non-verbal communication and the important role that non-verbal communication plays in our communication.

When discussing the different types of communication, it’s good to discuss written text as a communication form. 


Some possible discussion points or journal entries relating to written communication could include:

    • Do you think written communication should be considered a type of communication? Why or why not?

    • What are some examples of written communication that are popular today?

    • When do you think it’s a good idea to use written communication?

    • What is missing from a message delivered only in writing?

    • How can messages (i.e., texts, emails,…) be misinterpreted? Give an example.

This video breaks non-verbal communication into 4 categories; aesthetic, physical, signs,and symbols.

Non-Verbal Communication:

It is believed that non-verbal communication is the most significant aspect of communication.

Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication and found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements (tone, pitch, etc.), and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc).

While it depends on the person or the situation, it is believed that 60 to 90% of communication is non-verbal.

Some possible discussion points or journal entries relating to non-verbal communication could include:

    • Is non-verbal communication an important form of communication? Why or why not?

    • What are some examples of non-verbal communication?

    • How can non-verbal communication enhance or change a verbal message?

    • Can you communicate only with non-verbal communication?

Examples of Non-Verbal Communication:

(Eddie Murphy  and Mr Bean – examples of non-verbal communication)