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What is Communication?
Communication of information, messages, opinions, speech and thoughts can be done via
different forms of modern communication media, like, e-mail, telephone and mobile.
Some of the basic ways of communication are by speaking, singing, sign language, body
language, touch and eye contact. These basic ways of communication are used to transfer
information from one entity to other. There are many different types of communication
but they can be classified into four basic types of communication. These four types of
communication are as follows:
Verbal Communication
Verbal communication includes sounds, words, language and speaking. Language is said
to have originated from sounds and gestures. There are many languages spoken in the
world. The bases of language formation are: gender, class, profession, geographical area,
age group and other social elements. Speaking is an effective way of communicating and
is again classified into two types viz. interpersonal communication and public speaking.
Good verbal communication is an inseparable part of business communication. In a
business, you come across people from various ages, cultures and races. Fluent verbal
communication is essential to deal with people in business meetings. Also, in business
communication self-confidence plays a vital role which when clubbed with fluent
communication skills can lead to success.
Public speaking is another verbal communication in which you have to address a group of
people. Preparing for an effective speech before you start is important. In public
speaking, the speech must be prepared according to the type of audience you are going to
face. The content of your speech should be authentic and you must have enough
information on the topic you have chosen for public speaking. All the main points in your
speech must be highlighted and these points should be delivered in the correct order.
There are many public speaking techniques and these techniques must be practiced for an
effective speech.
Non-Verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication involves physical ways of communication, like, tone of the
voice, touch, smell and body motion. Creative and aesthetic non-verbal communication
includes singing, music, dancing and sculpturing. Symbols and sign language are also
included in non-verbal communication. Body language is a non-verbal way of
communication. Body posture and physical contact convey a lot of information. Body
posture matters a lot when you are communicating verbally to someone. Folded arms and
crossed legs are some of the signals conveyed by a body posture. Physical contact, like,
shaking hands, pushing, patting and touching expresses the feeling of intimacy. Facial
expressions, gestures and eye contact are all different ways of communication. Reading
facial expressions can help you know a person better.
Written Communication
Written communication is writing the words which you want to communicate. Good
written communication is essential for business purposes. Written communication is
practiced in many different languages. E-mails, reports, articles and memos are some of
the ways of using written communication in business. The written communication can be
edited and amended many times before it is communicated to the second party to whom
the communication is intended. This is one of the main advantages of using writing as the
major means of communication in business activity. Written communication is used not
only in business but also for informal communication purposes. Mobile SMS (Short
Message Service) is an example of informal written communication.
Visual communication
The last type of communication out of the four types of communication, is the visual
communication. Visual communication is visual display of information, like, topography,
photography, signs, symbols and designs. Television and video clips are the electronic
form of visual communication.
These are the four types of communication. The different types of communication media
are increasing day by day to ensure clarity and eliminate the ambiguity in communication
What is Communication?
Communication is a process that involves exchange of information, thoughts, ideas and
emotions. Communication is a process that involves a sender who encodes and sends the
message, which is then carried via the communication channel to the receiver where the
receiver decodes the message, processes the information and sends an appropriate reply
via the same communication channel.
Four Types of Communication
Communication is exchanging information in the form of messages, symbols, thoughts,
signs and opinions. There are many different types of communication, depending on the
medium used for communication or the way in which information is exchanged. Let us
discuss the basic four types of communication.
Types of Communication
Communication can occur via various processes and methods and depending on the
channel used and the style of communication there can be various types of
Types of Communication Based on Communication Channels
Based on the channels used for communicating, the process of communication can be
broadly classified as verbal communication and non-verbal communication. Verbal
communication includes written and oral communication whereas the non-verbal
communication includes body language, facial expressions and visuals diagrams or
pictures used for communication.
Verbal Communication
Verbal communication is further divided into written and oral communication.
The oral communication refers to the spoken words in the communication
process. Oral communication can either be face-to-face communication or a
conversation over the phone or on the voice chat over the Internet. Spoken
conversations or dialogs are influenced by voice modulation, pitch, volume and
even the speed and clarity of speaking. The other type of verbal communication is
written communication. Written communication can be either via snail mail, or
email. The effectiveness of written communication depends on the style of
writing, vocabulary used, grammar, clarity and precision of language.
Nonverbal Communication
Non-verbal communication includes the overall body language of the person who
is speaking, which will include the body posture, the hand gestures, and overall
body movements. The facial expressions also play a major role while
communication since the expressions on a person’s face say a lot about his/her
mood. On the other hand gestures like a handshake, a smile or a hug can
independently convey emotions. Non verbal communication can also be in the
form of pictorial representations, signboards, or even photographs, sketches and
Types of Communication Based on Style and Purpose
Based on the style of communication, there can be two broad categories of
communication, which are formal and informal communication that have their own set of
characteristic features.
Formal Communication
Formal communication includes all the instances where communication has to
occur in a set formal format. Typically this can include all sorts of business
communication or corporate communication. The style of communication in this
form is very formal and official. Official conferences, meetings and written
memos and corporate letters are used for communication. Formal communication
can also occur between two strangers when they meet for the first time. Hence
formal communication is straightforward, official and always precise and has a
stringent and rigid tone to it.
Informal Communication
Informal communication includes instances of free unrestrained communication
between people who share a casual rapport with each other. Informal
communication requires two people to have a similar wavelength and hence
occurs between friends and family. Informal communication does not have any
rigid rules and guidelines. Informal conversations need not necessarily have
boundaries of time, place or even subjects for that matter since we all know that
friendly chats with our loved ones can simply go on and on.
Why is Communication Important
Communication is a very important aspect of the human life, since it is the
communication that helps human beings to connect with each other as individuals and as
independent groups. Communication is the very basis, which drives the process of
development in all the fields. Here are some of the reasons, which explain why
communication is important…
Information Dissemination:
It is owing to the process of communication that we are able to send and receive
information. Various mass media are an important communication tool for
information dissemination.
Expressing Emotions/Ideas:
Imagine a life without expressing yourself through words (spoken and written),
expressions and even arts and craft or painting, music or dance. Communication
helps people express their ideas and emotions.
Communication plays an important role in the process of imparting knowledge as
well. Communication is instrumental in the process of education since it helps the
educator and the students to interact with each other.
Building Relationships:
Communication facilitated dialogue, exchange of ideas as well as expression of
human emotions between people. Thus, it helps to build and maintain
relationships - be it business communication or interpersonal communication.
Movies, music, television shows, theater, or even anecdotes narrated by people
are types of communication, which are a source of entertainment for us.
Communication helps in the process of decision making, be it an individual
decision or even group decision making.
Body Language: A friendly handshake, a gracious smile or even a warm hug. Body
language is communication through simple body gestures. The time of emergence of
body language cannot be precisely or accurately calculated or calculated. However the
use of body language as means of communication has always been compared to
communication modes used by animals.
Speech: The available fossil evidence hints that modern adaptations for speech appeared
somewhere between 1.5 million and 500,000 years ago. The dynamics of evolution of
speech acquisition is complex since it is influenced by factors like culturally transmitted
sounds and genetic evolution.
Writing: The history of writing dates back to the various writing systems that evolved in
the Early Bronze Age (late 4th millennium BC) out of Neolithic proto-writing. The
evolution of writing is said to have evolved from proto-writing which means pictorial
messages /symbols/scribbles that cannot be called "actual –writing". For convenience we
will classify the evolution of writing into the following sub-categories:
Cave Paintings
Petroglyphs/ Rock Carvings
Symbols:Symbols developed as a communication tool that not only ensures better
understanding but also increased longevity of the message.
Cave Paintings: The Upper Paleolithic cave paintings, which are a type of rock art are the
oldest known symbols. Homo sapiens' first crack at communicating information was
painting. The oldest known cave painting is that of the Chauvet Cave dating back to
30,000 BC.
Petroglyphs: Petroglyphs are nothing but rock carvings. These Petroglyphs date back to
10,000 BC, when the Homo-sapiens have been known to have acquired the art of carving
by making incisions or carvings on the rock surface. There have been instances of
woodcarvings and even tattoos.
Pictograms: Pictographs were the next step in the evolution of writing. One prominent
feature that separates petroglyphs from the pictograms is that petroglyphs simply depict a
single event, but pictograms narrate a story about the event and hence can be used to
convey chronology of several events. Pictograms have been sighted in the history of
various ancient cultures since around 9000 BC. The pictograms gave way to the evolution
of Cuneiform script, which is considered as the earliest known form of written
Ideogram: An ideogram is an advanced version of the pictogram. It is a visual or graphic
symbol that represents an idea. Several communities across the world came up with
varied ideograms to represent numerous ideas however, since ideas like expression of
emotions are universal in nature, so are many ideograms. Ideograms are the source of
inception for most of the logographic writing systems like the Chinese script.
The invention of the first writing systems is supposed to be synonymous with the
beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic of the late 4th millennium BC. The first
writing system was supposedly invented in the Sumerian regime during the 20th or 21st
century BC, by the late 3rd millennium developing into the archaic cuneiform script.
The development of Egyptian hieroglyphs is also analogous to that of the Mesopotamian
scripts. The Egyptian proto-hieroglyphic symbol system developed into archaic
hieroglyphs by 3200 BC and more widespread literacy by the mid third millennium,
which was the time of the Pyramid Texts. The Indus script developed over the third
millennium, either as a form of proto-writing, or an archaic mode of writing. The Chinese
script is said to have originated independently around the 16th century BC.
The Alphabets: The Egyptians were the first to come up with an alphabetical system
around 2700 BC which consisted of 22 heiroglyphs. Each heiroglyph began with a single
consonant of their language, plus a vowel (or no vowel) to be supplied by the speaker.
Initially, these glyphs were used as a guide for pronunciation of the logograms, to mark
grammatical intonation and to record foreign names. This script passed on to many other
civilizations and inspired different alphabetical systems like the Phoenician alphabets,
Arabic scripts, Hebrew, Latin alphabets, Italic alphabets, Glagolithic alphabets or the
Cyrillic alphabets.
Tele-communication:The Semaphore or the optical telegraph system was an apparatus
for conveying information by means of visual signals. The system used towers with
pivoting blades or paddles, in a matrix. Information was encoded by the position of the
mechanical elements and the message can be interpreted by the position of the blade.
Although the mention of the idea of a semaphore has been recorded in the name of an
English scientist Robert Hooke, the idea was put to practice in France during the 1700s,
when an engineer called Claude Chappe covered France with a network of 556 stations
over a distance of 4,800 kilometers.
Other Benchmarks in the History of Communication:
Invention of the Radio: Although the construction of the radio is based o Michael
Faraday’s laws of electromagnetic induction, which Faraday proposed in 1831, it was
William Henry Ward, who implemented the principles and successfully got himself a
patent for radio development in 1872.
Invention of the Telephone: Although there were several disputes surrounding the claim
to the invention of the telephone. Although the Italian scientist Antonio Meucci , was
acknowledged by US Congress on 11th June 2002 for his contributions to the invention
of the telephone, it is Alexander Graham Bell who patented the telephone as apparatus
for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically.
Invention of the Television: The answer is highly debated, although it is known that a
Scottish inventor, John Logie Baird, was the first one to publicly demonstrate television
on 26 January 1926, in his laboratory at Soho district of London. However it was an
American engineer Philo Farnsworth who researched the television picture transmission
and developed the dissector tube, which is the basic element of all current electronic
televisions. In 1927, Philo Farnsworth became the first inventor to transmit a television
Invention of the first Computer: The first computer was called ENIAC, which is an
abbreviation for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer and was completely
developed in 1945 at the Iowa State University.
Invention of the Internet: The design of the Internet was formulated in 1973 and
published in 1974. It took as many as ten years to bring the idea into reality and the
Internet was set up in 1983. Not many people know that the concept of Internet was
developed by an American computer scientist Vinton Cerf, as part of a project sponsored
by the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Effective Communication Skills
The list of communication skills presented below, should be helpful in interacting with
people in an effective way.
1. Staying focused while communicating is very important. Concentrating hard,
should help in catching the speakers views and responding to them with ease. It
can be very irritating for a speaker to repeat his words again and again.
Proceeding further without listening correctly is even more dangerous. It is
therefore, necessary to maintain high concentration levels while communicating.
2. Developing effective listening skills is as important as speaking during a
communication process. Good listeners don't have to spend much time in
understanding what the other person has to say. He can also respond in a much
more precise manner, if the whole thing is understood quickly. Feedback given by
good listeners reduces the effort of speakers to elaborate on things to be
3. Making an eye contact while speaking/and listening is a way to assure the other
person that you are following the communication process with interest. Looking
away from the speaker or just not concentrating, can exhibit your poor
communication skills.
4. The aspect of body language should be given as much importance as verbal
communication while interacting with people. It is one of the main components in
the list of interpersonal skills. An open stance indicates that a person is interested
in communication. The arms if crossed and shoulders placed in a hunched
position suggests that one is reluctant to start a communication process. One can
learn more about interpersonal communication through this article.
5. Attitude of the speaker holds great importance while communicating. Listening to
the speaker patiently and then keeping forth our views should be the right thing to
do. The attempt should not be that of winning over an argument.
6. Speaking clearly is again an important thing to keep in mind. Merely pronouncing
the words clearly is not enough. The other person should be able to understand
our views/thoughts clearly. Any kind of ambiguity leads to confusion.
7. One should not use a harsh language even if he/she finds the opponent's views to
be conflicting with his/her opinion. Disagreeing or keeping forth our disapproval
about a particular thing in a polite way is possible. Once again, patience is the key
to handle such situations.
Seven C’s of Communication means to
write or compose correct or effective messages by applying some certain rules or
principles. These principles are known as seven C’s of communication which are as
1- Correctness
2- Completeness
3- Conciseness
4- Clarity
5- Creativeness
6- Courtesy
7- Consideration
1- Correctness:
Correctness means that there is no mistake of grammar, punctuation and
spellings. It should be grammatically correct. All information should be accurate and
timely. In our messages we should include fact words and figures, writing should be
perfect and clean, language should be of correct level and there should be proper
grammar punctuation, spelling and paragraphing.
If our message or documents is not of good level of correctness then it
has no effect on reader so it may cause lot of difficulties. So the objective of
communication will be failed. Double check your spellings and grammar. So proof read it
before you send it.
2- Completeness:
It means that our message should include all necessary facts and
background information. It should include everything the reader needs for the reaction we
desire. We must include all information which our reader wants. We should be answered
all questions, gave examples if necessary.
If our message will not be completed to bring desirable results then
the reader will not be convinced by us. So we should keep it in mind that partial
information would not work if we have to survive.
3- Conciseness:
Conciseness means to convey information in fewest possible words. We
should keep in mind the reader’s knowledge of the subject and their time constraints. So
our message should complete without being wordy.
The writer is a looser if he was unable to convey information in fewest
possible words because none have enough time to read wordy messages. So our message
should be comprehensible.
4- Clarity:
It means that we have a definite purpose of writing and make sure it is clearly
communicated up front. Clarity demands us that each and every points and aspects of our
message should be clear to the reader.
We should use right level of language, proper punctuation, right spellings and
accurate facts and figure.
5- Creativeness:
Creativeness means to use different formats (vs. Straight narrative) to
communicate our message. It should include Q/A format, graphics, ideal list etc. Our
message should include different formats so that the reader may understand our ideas
without getting trouble.
6- Courtesy:
Courtesy means that to show our expressions and respect to the reader.
Courteous message strengthen present relations and make new friends. We should answer
our mail promptly. Courteous message always makes it place in heart because it shows
lot of respect and sincerity.
Courtesy is more important and advantageous in business writing than it is
in face to face communication and conversation.
7- Consideration:
Consideration means the message with the receiver in mind. Keep
your reader's needs in mind as you write. Ask yourself, 'Why should my reader spend
time reading this?' We should focus on us despite on others. And try to show reader
benefit and interest in reader.
We should try to visualize our readers their desires problems
emotions circumstances and possible reaction to our request.
The 7 C's of effective communication are: Completeness, correctness, conciseness,
clarity, concreteness, consideration, courtesy.
1. Completeness: “Message is complete when it contains all the facts the reader or the
listener need for the reaction you desired.”
2. “Correctness is proper check on grammar, punctuation and spelling.”
3. The main purpose of conciseness is to pass message in fewest possible words in order
to save time without scarifying the other C qualities.
4. Writing needs to be clear. Readers are not interested in a philosophical dialogue in
which the meaning of each idea needs to be pondered. The writing needs to tell us what
goes where and what we need to do.
5. Writing should be specific, definite, unambiguous and vivid rather than vague and
6. Consideration refers to your attitude, sympathy, the human touch and understanding of
human nature.
7. Courtesy is more important and advantageous in technical writing than it is in face to
face communication or conversation.