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Verbal communication refers to communication which is done with the help of words. What am I doing at this moment? I am reaching out to you with the help of words. Hence, I am engaging in a verbal form of communication. Believe it or not, it is not the most used form of communication. In fact, it is the least effective.

In general communication, (as seen over the past eon) words are only 7% effective. Yes, conveying things non-verbally is used much more than using words to convey. There is a complete psychology behind it, that one needs to understand. But we shall discuss it later.

Types of Verbal Communication

There is a major misconception on the World Wide Web about its basic meaning. I am going to correct that. Many people believe that verbal refers to oral communication; that is spoken language. However, in reality, oral communication is one type of verbal communication. Written communication, which is considered to be separate, is actually the other type.

As such the definition can be written as, "Verbal communication is that medium of expression that makes use of words. It is governed by the rules of the language that the used words are in."
  • Written Communication: As the name suggests, it refers to the written word. It is used when interacting with someone who is far away. E.g. Letters, emails, text messages, chatting, articles, etc. It is not very expressive due to absence of voice and intonations.
  • Oral Communication: It refers to speech. It was basically used to communicate with people within earshot. However, with the advent of telephones and voice chat, it can be used to talk to people who are far away as well. It is a little bit more expressive than written communication.
Both of these techniques use words as the basic medium. As such, they are the integral methods of communicating verbally.

Styles of Verbal Communication

All activities that an individual engages in while trying to put across his thoughts, would fall into one of the two styles. They are; formal and informal. Let us understand these styles better.
  • Formal Verbal Communication: This style is very formal and makes use of correct linguistics. At the workplace, as a principle, this style should be followed. It does not involve slang language. It mostly requires an individual to stick to a certain language; hopping between languages is not appropriate. Errors are seldom tolerated in formal style.
  • Informal Verbal Communication: In classrooms, the communication of students is mostly informal in nature. A chat between good friends will probably be the best example for this style. Slang language and language hopping is permitted. In the workplace, the grapevine ordinarily makes use of this style. It has been seen through surveys and studies, that this style is better at bonding and connecting people.
In case of oral communication, body language plays a very major role. Body language and other non-verbal methods help make it more effective. For example, if someone were to say, "I care about you", with absolutely no facial or physical expression, you would think that a robot is talking to you, right?

Well, that is why, communication methods via speaking are said to be one of the most complex, yet essential activities that a human being engages in. Communication in inevitable. Even while we try not to communicate, we communicate. It is omnipresent and is the reason why all the elements on earth are tied together.