It would be extremely hard to imagine a world without some form of interpersonal interaction. This interaction or act of sharing information is known as communication.
Some of the basic ways by which we communicate with one another is through speech, sign language, body language, touch, and eye contact.
These means of communication are used for transferring information from one entity to the other, and always involve a sender and receiver. The cycle of communication is said to be complete only when the receiver has understood the sender's message and intent.
Communication of information, messages, opinions, and thoughts can be done with the aid of different communicative aids such as books, Internet, smartphones etc.
There are mainly four types of communication which are used in various ways to convey the final message to the receiver.
Verbal communication include sounds, words, language, and speech. Speaking is an effective way of communicating and helps in expressing our emotions in words. This form of communication is further classified into four types, which are:
1. Intrapersonal Communication
This form of communication is extremely private and restricted to ourselves. It includes the silent conversations we have with ourselves, wherein we juggle roles between the sender and receiver who are processing our thoughts and actions. This process of communication when analyzed can either be conveyed verbally to someone or stay confined as thoughts.
2. Interpersonal Communication
This form of communication takes place between two individuals and is thus a one-on-one conversation. Here, the two individuals involved will swap their roles of sender and receiver in order to communicate in a clearer manner.
3. Small Group Communication
This type of communication can take place only when there are more than two people involved. Here the number of people will be small enough to allow each participant to interact and converse with the rest. Press conferences, board meetings, and team meetings are examples of group communication. Unless a specific issue is being discussed, small group discussions can become chaotic and difficult to interpret by everybody. This lag in understanding information completely can result in miscommunication.
4. Public Communication
This type of communication takes place when one individual addresses a large gathering of people. Election campaigns and public speeches are example of this type of communication. In such cases, there is usually a single sender of information and several receivers who are being addressed.
Nonverbal communication manages to convey the sender's message without having to use words.
This form of communication supersedes all other forms because of its usage and effectiveness. Nonverbal communication involves the use of physical ways of communication, such as tone of the voice, touch, and expressions.
Symbols and sign language are also included in nonverbal communication. Body posture and language convey a lot of nonverbal messages when communicating verbally with someone.
Folded arms and crossed legs are some of the defensive nonverbal signals conveyed by people. Shaking hands, patting and touching, express feelings of intimacy. Facial expressions, gestures and eye contact are all different ways of communication. Creative and aesthetic nonverbal forms of communication include music, dancing and sculpturing.
Written communication is the medium through which the message of the sender is conveyed with the help of written words.
Letters, personal journals, e-mails, reports, articles, and memos are some forms of written communication.
Unlike other forms of communication, written messages can be edited and rectified before it is communicated to the receiver. Thereby, making written communication an indispensable part of informal and formal communication.
This form of communication encapsulates features of visual communication as well, especially when the messages are conveyed through electronic devices such as laptops, phones, and visual presentations that involve the use of text or words.
This form of communication involves the visual display of information, wherein the message is understood or expressed with the help of visual aids. For example, topography, photography, signs, symbols, maps, colors, posters, banners and designs help the viewer understand the message visually.
Movies and plays, television shows and video clips are all electronic form of visual communication.
Visual communication also involves the transfer of information in the form of text, which is received through an electronic medium such as a computer, phone, etc.
Icons and emoticons are a form of visual communication. When these icons are used in a public place, phone or computer, they instruct the user about their meaning and usage.
The greatest example of visual communication is the World Wide Web which communicates with the masses, using a combination of text, design, links, images, and color. All of these visual features require us to view the screen in order to understand the message being conveyed.
Media communication is developing at a meteoric rate in order to ensure clarity and to eliminate any ambiguity. The aforementioned four types of communication have played a vital role and continue to do so, in bridging the gap between people, commerce, education, health care, and entertainment.