Essays Difference Between Verbal And Nonverbal Communication

Communication is a natural phenomenon, it is an act of interacting with people and sharing information with them. Do you know, whether you speak or not, it communicates the message to the other party. There are two types of communication Verbal and Non-verbal. Verbal communication is a form of communication in which you use words to interchange the information with other people either in the form of speech or writing.

On the contrary, Nonverbal communication does not use words for communicating anything, but some other modes are used, i.e. where communication takes place by way of unspoken or unwritten messages such as body language, facial expressions, sign language and so forth. In this article excerpt, we’ve broken down all the important differences between verbal and non-verbal communication in detail.

Content: Verbal Communication Vs Nonverbal Communication

  1. Comparison Chart
  2. Definition
  3. Key Differences
  4. Conclusion

Comparison Chart

Basis for ComparisonVerbal CommunicationNon-verbal Communication
MeaningThe communication in which the sender uses words to transmit the message to the receiver is known as verbal communication.The communication that takes place between sender and receiver with the use of signs is known as non-verbal communication.
TypesFormal and InformalChronemics, Vocalics, Haptics, Kinesics, Proxemics, Artifacts.
Time ConsumingNoYes
Chances of transmission of wrong messageRarely happens.Happens most of the time.
Documentary EvidenceYes, in case of written communication.No
AdvantageThe Message can be clearly understood and immediate feedback is possible.Helpful in understanding emotions, status, lifestyle and feelings of the sender.
PresenceThe message can be transmitted through letters, phone calls, etc. so the personal presence of the parties, doesn't make any change.The personal presence of both the parties to communication is a must.

Definition of Verbal Communication

The communication in which the sender uses words, whether spoken or written, to transmit the message to the receiver is known as Verbal  Communication. It is the most effective form of communication that leads to the rapid interchange of information and feedback. There are fewer chances of misunderstanding as the communication between parties is clear, i.e. the parties are using words for saying anything.

The communication can be done in two ways (i) Oral – like face to face communication, lectures, phone calls, seminars, etc. (ii) Written – Letters, E- mail, SMS, etc. There are two types of communication, they are:

  • Formal Communication: Also termed as official communication, it is a type of communication in which the sender follows a pre-defined channel to transmit the information to the receiver is known as formal communication.
  • Informal Communication: Most commonly known as grapevine, the type of communication in which the sender does not follow any pre-defined channels to transmit the information is known as informal communication.

Definition of Nonverbal Communication

Non-verbal communication is based on the understanding of the parties to communication, as the transmission of messages from the sender to receiver is wordless i.e. the communication uses signs. So, if the receiver understands the message completely and proper feedback is given afterwards, then the communication succeeds.

It complements the verbal communication many times, to understand the mindset and the status of the of the parties, which is not spoken by them, but it is an act of understanding. The types of Non-verbal communication are as under:

  • Chronemics: The use of time in communication is chronemics, which speaks about the personality of the sender / receiver like punctuality, the speed of speech, etc.
  • Vocalics: The volume, tone of voice and pitch used by the sender for communicating a message to the receiver is known as vocalics or paralanguage.
  • Haptics: The use of touch in communication is the expression of feelings and emotions.
  • Kinesics: It is the study of the body language of a person, i.e., gestures, postures, facial expressions, etc.
  • Proxemics: The distance maintained by a person while communicating with others, communicates about the relationship of the person with others like intimate, personal, social and public.
  • Artifacts: The appearance of a person speaks about his personality, i.e. by way of clothing, carrying jewellery, lifestyle, etc. This kind of communication is known as artifactual communication.

Key Differences Between Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

The following points explain the difference between verbal and non-verbal communication in detail:

  1. The use of words in communication is Verbal communication. The communication which is based on signs, not on words is Non-verbal communication.
  2. There are very fewer chances of confusion in verbal communication between the sender and receiver. Conversely, the chances of misunderstanding and confusion in non-verbal communication are very much as the use of language is not done.
  3. In verbal communication, the interchange of the message is very fast which leads to rapid feedback. In opposition to this, the non-verbal communication is based more on understanding which takes time and hence it is comparatively slow.
  4. In verbal communication, the presence of both the parties at the place of communication is not necessary, as it can also be done if the parties are at different locations. On the other hand, for an effective non-verbal communication, both the parties must be there, at the time of communication.
  5. In verbal communication, the documentary evidence is maintained if the communication is formal or written. But, there is no conclusive evidence  in case of non-verbal communication.
  6. Verbal communication fulfils the most natural desire of humans – talk. In the case of Non-verbal communication, feelings, status, emotions, personality, etc are very easily communicated, through the acts done by the parties to the communication.


Verbal and Non-verbal communication are not contradictory to each other, but they are complementary as somebody has rightly said, ” Actions are louder than words.” In short, both goes side by side and helps a human being, to interact and respond to other human beings.

Verbal communication is obviously an important part of life as we use words to communicate. But have you ever thought, that a small baby cannot use language or words to speak, but he chooses signs to show his anger, happiness, and sorrow. Similarly, deaf and dumb persons also use sign language for communicating with other people. So, this is the significance of Non-verbal communication in many lives.

Filed Under: Business

The above answers do a good job when it comes to verbal communication. So, I will focus on non-verbal communication. 

Non-verbal communication is communication between people through non-verbal or visual cues. This includes body language (kinesics), distance between people (proxemics), voice quality (paralanguage), and touch (haptics). 

Based on these considerations, non-verbal communication communicates just as much or at times more than verbal communication. 

For example, if a person has an angry facial expression, enters into an aggressive stance (kinesics), encroaches upon another person's personal space (proxemics), and touches another person in an inappropriate way (haptics), then it is clear that a confrontation is in view, even if the verb communication sounds neutral. The non-verbal cues override anything verbal. 

Another consideration is that even in written text, there is non-verbal communication such as handwriting style, space, and the like. 

In conclusion, communication is both verbal and non-verbal, which shows that human communication is more complex than it might first appear.

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