There are many ways to communicate, the majority of which do not involve words. According to Mele Koneya and Alton Barbour, authors of Louder than Words: Nonverbal Communication (Interpersonal Communication series. Columbus, OH: Merrill), oral communication is:
Because written language does not include intonation or body language, it becomes all the more important to express one's self carefully.
The following are various forms of communication and how they present themselves.
Verbal communication is the choice of words being used, whether written or oral. Verbal communication is affected by:
Voice intonation is a form of nonverbal communication that affects how we present our words. It includes:
The inflection is the pitch of the voice. Inflection tells a listener whether the person is making a statement or posing a question. It also communicates urgency. Notice how the inflection in the following sentences is distinctly different:
Emphasis is used to communicate the most important part of the sentence. Read the following sentences, placing the emphasis on a different word each time, and notice how the message changes:
Facial expressions are the strongest form of physical nonverbal communication because listeners are usually looking at the speaker's face. Facial expressions include, but are not limited to:
Physical stance is the position a person is in when they are talking to another person. It often communicates emotional status."
For example, when a person desires distance from the other person, he or she will:
When a person is feeling threatened or angry, he or she is likely to:
A person who wants more intimacy with another will:
Cultural norms will confuse nonverbal communications. For example:
To the best of one's ability, one should always consider the other person's cultural background before making assumptions about their communication.