Types of Communication

Communication is the act of transmitting information, ideas and attitudes from one person to another. Thus the communication takes place among individuals, belonging to various categories and backgrounds, they put into operation various types of communication.


7 Types of Communication

Communication takes place at different levels and accordingly we can speak of different types of communications:

  1. Verbal Communication
  2. Non-Verbal Communication
  3. Written Communication
  4. Visual Communication
  5. Feedback Communication
  6. Mass Communication
  7. Group Communication

Verbal Communication

In verbal communication words of a particular language are used for passing the message. For example, while teaching in a class teacher speaks, writes on the blackboard or some time,, he/she may use audio/visual aids, such as the power-point to explain/emphasise certain points. All these modes come under the category of verbal communication. Thus, verbal communication is of two types.

Intrapersonal Communication

When communication takes place within oneself, it is called intrapersonal communication. It includes individual reflection, meditation, and contemplation. Intrapersonal communication includes prayers addressed to the divine though some authors describe communication with the divine as Transpersonal Communication.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication takes place between two persons. This includes dialogue, conversation or exchange of views between two persons without using any technological devices like the telephone. It is direct, intimate and consists of verbal interaction or gestures.

Oral Communication

This is the communication that employs the spoken word, either direct or indirect as a communication channel. This verbal communication could be made on a channel that passes information in only one form i.e. sound.

Public Communication

In public communication, the sender-receiver (the speaker) sends a message (the speech) to an audience. The speaker usually delivers a highly structured message, using the same channels as in interpersonal and small-group communication.

Non-Verbal Communication

Communication without using words, such as gestures, body language, the facial expressions is called non-verbal communication. Often non-verbal expressions supplement verbal communication, but it may be the only one as mentioned earlier, while giving a speech in a rally, the leader often uses gestures, to emphasise certain points. But the teacher may allow a student to enter the class simply by gesture. Non-verbal communication is of the following types:

  • Body Language (Kinesics)
  • Facial Expressions
  • Posture
  • Gestures
  • Touch
  • Proxemics
  • Appearance and Artifacts
  • Paralanguage

Written Communication

This kind of communication involves any kind of exchange of information in written form. To put it simply, written language communication is communication by means of written symbols that is communicated by or to or between people or groups. Thus, written communication is the presentation of ideas or essays that make a clear point, supply details supporting that point and demonstrate unity and coherence of thought.

When the information is lengthy and comprises images, pictures, charts, graphs, statistical data and so forth, then it cannot be imparted orally to the individuals. In such cases, written communication is regarded as one of the indispensable ways of imparting information.

Visual Communication

Visual communication is also the type of communication that is common in the daily lives of individuals. The main areas through which visual communication takes place is televisions, radios, social networking and so forth. When the individuals are watching television or listening to radio programs, then also they are engaged in a form of communication.

In some cases, they are not only utilising these for leisure and recreational purposes, but they are also augmenting their knowledge and understanding in terms of various aspects. When the individuals are communicating with others, then in most cases, their objective is to enhance their knowledge and understanding.

Therefore, through some television shows and radio programs as well, the individuals are able to augment their knowledge and understanding. Facebook is visual with the use of memes, videos, images and so forth. Instagram is the only image platform, and the advertisers make use of this platform to market their products.

Feedback Communication

When the individuals, who are in leadership positions in educational institutions and in various forms of organizations, such as, instructors, supervisors, heads, directors, employers and so forth, put into operation various types of assessment methods to evaluate the performance of the individuals.

After evaluating the performance, they provide their feedback in terms of their performance. Hence, the communication that takes place is termed feedback communication. . Therefore, within educational institutions at all levels and various types of organizations, this type of communication is regarded as crucial and beneficial.

Mass Communication

Mass Communication is the process of delivering information, ideas and attitudes to a sizeable and diversified audience. This is done through the use of media developed for that purpose namely newspapers, magazines, radio, television, websites, social media networks. The act of mass communication is much more complex than that of face to face communication. It is addressed to the masses, to an extremely large audience.

Group Communication

Communication by many persons in a face to face situation is described as group communication. Here, as the group grows in size communication tends to become more and more of a monologue reducing participation. The degree of directness, therefore, depends on the size of the group, the place where it meets and also the relationship of the members of the group to one another. In a group, communication feedback is more difficult to measure and respond to.


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