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Arkansas State University

3 Main Types of Communication


When communication occurs, it typically happens in one of three ways: verbal, nonverbal and visual. People very often take communication for granted. Communicators constantly exchange information, meaning people always seem to be either receiving or giving information. Understanding the different methods of exchanging information is important especially in business and professional settings. Many adults have chosen to go back to school and pursue a communication degree online to ensure they have strong communication skills for a competitive job market.

1. Verbal Communication

Verbal communication seems like the most obvious of the different types of communication. It utilizes the spoken word, either face-to-face or remotely. Verbal communication is essential to most interactions, but there are other nonverbal cues that help provide additional context to the words themselves. Pairing nonverbal communication with the spoken word provides a more nuanced message.

2. Nonverbal Cues Speak Volumes

Nonverbal communication provides some insight into a speaker’s word choice. Sarcasm, complacency, deception or genuineness occur within nonverbal communication. These things are often communicated through facial expressions, hand gestures, posture and even appearance, all of which can convey something about the speaker. For instance, a disheveled speaker with wrinkled clothes and poor posture would communicate a lack of confidence or expertise. A speaker with a nice suit, who stood up straight and spoke clearly, may appear more serious or knowledgeable.

3. Visual Communication

Visual types of communication include signs, maps or drawings as well as color or graphic design. These typically reinforce verbal communication, and they help to make a point. Visual aids can help a speaker remember important topics, give the audience something to look at, and generally help convey the message being presented.

Learn All 3 Types of Communication by Studying in a Communication Degree Program

By utilizing all three types of communication, a speaker ensures he or she has the necessary tools to avoid miscommunication and misconceptions. The different types of communication are all part of a communications degree program. Adults may choose to complete their communication degree online because of the convenience and flexibility offered by the online classroom. There is no commute to and from class and no inflexible schedule to work around, and students can attend school without disrupting family or social obligations.

The best way to ensure effective communication is with a good understanding of the types of communication, which you can study and fine-tune in a communications degree program.

Learn about the Arkansas State online Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies program.


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