5.1.1: Definition of Verbal Communication
Simply put, verbal communication consists of messages that are sent using words, both written and spoken. Nonverbal communication refers to communication that occurs through means other than words, such as body language, gestures, tone of voice, and silence. Because both verbal and nonverbal communication can be spoken and written, the two can often be confused. For example, let’s say we tell a friend a joke and they laugh in response. Is the laughter verbal or nonverbal communication? Since laughter is not a word, we would consider this vocal act as a form of nonverbal communication. Box 1 highlights the types of communication that fall into the various categories.
Verbal versus Nonverbal Communication