Difference Between Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

Verbal communication uses sounds, words, and languages to convey your message, while nonverbal communication uses non-vocal tools like eye movement, body language, and tone.

Communication is passing or exchanging ideas, emotions, information, and thoughts between two or more people. When a meaningful interaction happens among people, then effective communication takes place.

In simple words, the way people perceive and understand the meaning of words, sentences, or physical actions, and then a communication process happens. Communication is essential at all levels of human life, without which one can’t survive in this social environment encompassing personal as well as professional.

The primary purpose of communication is to pass the information to the receiver correctly correctly correctly correctly, thus creating clarity of thoughts and removing misunderstanding, or else the whole idea of the communication could be defeated. But communication has discrete forms or types; the main ones are Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication, which is unclear to many.

Key Takeaways

  1. Verbal communication involves using spoken or written words to convey a message.
  2. Non-verbal communication involves using body language, gestures, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues to convey a message.
  3. Verbal communication is more direct and explicit, while non-verbal communication is more implicit and subtle.

Verbal vs Non-Verbal Communication

Verbal communication involves using spoken or written words to convey a message. It includes elements such as tone of voice, inflection, etc. Nonverbal communication involves the use of body language, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, posture, and other nonverbal cues to convey a message.

Verbal vs Non Verbal Communication

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Any interaction where a person uses words to converse is recognized as verbal communication. Nonverbal communication is also considered an indirect method through which people communicate with others without using words or language.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonVerbal CommunicationNon Verbal Communication
DefinitionVerbal communication involves using words, speech, or auditory language to express emotions or thoughts or exchange information.Non-verbal communication involves visual or non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, eye or body movements, gestures, and many more without speaking.
Communication TypeFormal as well as InformalInformal
Impact of the MessageVery impactful as it is documented.Very comprehensive as it shows the actual emotions of the person.
CommunicatesPrecise information.Required and, at times, more information.
Conveyed ThroughEmails, letters, notes, reports, i.e. Anything in a written and oral format where words are used.Through Body posture, gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, i.e. any form of expression.
Transparency StatusClear and Concise.Complex and sometimes confusing.


What is Verbal Communication?

In Verbal communication, a person uses words or speech to exchange information or messages. It takes place in the form of oral as well as written format between two or more persons.

Examples of verbal communication are meetings, letters, reports, emails, notes, memos, group discussions, interviews, counselling, face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, radio, etc.

Verbal communication plays an integral role in maintaining successful and positive relationships.

Doing effective and constructive communication always results in contented people, increased productivity, smoother operations, and decreased errors. Effective Verbal communication is needed to foster a positive relationship among people, irrespective of whether it is done on a professional or a personal front.

We work and live with people from different geographies and diverse backgrounds of cultures & languages. Thus, all must work hard on their verbal communication skills to pass the correct information to the right person at the right time.

Superior verbal communication skills also increase the ability of individuals to appropriately share thoughts, concerns, and ideas without hurting anyone.

Verbal communication is considered the fastest mechanism of expression. Verbal communication can also be done formally and informally, whereas formal verbal communication is done in a structured format using defined rules & guidelines. In contrast, informal communication does not precisely follow the structured format of rules & guidelines.

Verbal Communication

What is Non-Verbal Communication?

Non-verbal communication is a widely used method of communication where a person doesn’t use a single word or language to pass his/her message or information to other people. When a person doesn’t use words to converse with others but instead uses visual cues such as facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, body language, and tone of voice to express their feelings or convey a message, it is called Non-verbal communication.

When a person attending any meeting, appears for an interview, gets into a group discussion or in any activity, then how people carry themselves through physical means explains their non-verbal responses. For example, poor posture in the interview represents unprofessional and casual behaviour, avoiding eye contact or downward gaze reflects that a person is not confident enough, the person standing or sitting with crossed arms means he might be defensive, etc.

Non-verbal communication skills can’t be learned; they are peculiar to individuals as they reflect the personal attitude of the person towards life and other people.

This particular skill can make or break the relationships of the person personally as well as professionally front. It is not a structured method that is guided by specific rules & regulations rather non-verbal communication is a reflection of the person who is involved in the communication process.

One has to understand how their expressions can impact the other person and thus need to be very careful.

Non-verbal communication works very well with verbal communication at times. It’s sometimes difficult to assess whether the recipient understands the meaning or whether the correct message is passed to the recipient.

Artefacts, Chronemics, Haptics, Vocalists, Proxemics, and Kinesics are forms of non-verbal communication.

Non-Verbal Communication

Main Differences Between Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

Communication is crucial for humans as it is a fundamental building block or tool to support survival. Different people communicate differently, either verbally or non-verbally.

But it’s necessary to recognize the difference between Verbal and Non-verbal communication so that one never misses the message or vital signs.

  1. Verbal communication involves properly using words and language, whereas, in Non-verbal communication, no words or language is used to communicate; instead, expressions convey the message.
  2. In Verbal communication, the physical presence of the sender and receiver is not necessary, whereas in Non-verbal communication physical presence of the person is essential.
  3. In Verbal communication, the message is easily conveyed and understood by the recipient, whereas in Non-verbal communication recipient can easily miss either some part or the whole message.
Difference Between Verbal and Non Verbal Communication
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3 thoughts on “Difference Between Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication”

  1. In my opinion, we should know how to communicate both verbally and non-verbally. The verbal arguments are easy to make but the real talent is in people who can communicate their words without speaking words.

    1. it is important because you can communicate what you want in an effective manner with words. For example, when speaking over the phone, it is so easy to convey your message.

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