Just talking to someone isn’t going to work anymore. You must understand the different types of communication.

I can strike up a conversation with anyone, to be honest. But this doesn’t mean I’m utilizing a healthy form of communication. Some types of communication do not work as well as others, and this is why we have to learn how to master the right words, phrases, and attitudes in order to be successful in life.

What Are the Communication Types?

Being able to communicate effectively is an art. We start with nothing and then move on to transfer knowledge and feelings to another.

First off, there are two basic forms of communication, or rather categories. One type is based on different channels and the other is based on purpose and style. But let’s break it down a bit further.

Here are the basic types of communication:

  • Verbal communication
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Visual communication
  • Written communication
    • Formal communication
    • Informal communication

Let’s talk about all these types in more detail and also discuss the ways we can master them.

1. Verbal communication

One of the most basic types of true communication is verbal form. Verbal communication is simple and straight forward, and most people prefer this method. Why? Because verbal communication allows you to get your point across quickly and with fewer misunderstandings.

Take, for instance, scheduling a business meeting can be done by email but would work more effectively in a face to face situation. This choice is professional and can even be done via skype or any other form of online verbal or visual communication tool.

So, I would say it’s one of the most common and popular forms of getting your message across.

How to master verbal communication?

There are a few ways you can master your words. Remember, there is great power behind what you say. So, let’s practice a few ways to control what comes out of your mouth:

  • Depending on who you’re talking to, you will want to adjust your vocabulary. This is because people want to feel comfortable around you. If you feel like you’re talking to a more intellectual group of people, you can use an expanded vocabulary. If you’re in a group of less educated individuals, you should use basic vocabulary. Of course, do not let this variance be known to the one you’re talking to. It’s insulting.
  • When speaking, try not to talk in monotone. Most people follow what you’re saying much better when you alter the pitch of your voice.
  • The speed at which you talk is also something to understand. Speaking fast means excitement while speaking slowly means you wish to convey an important message and you want them to understand you. This will depend greatly on the situation.

2. Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal forms of communication are also considered interpersonal. These are seen as body language, basically. It’s how you appear when you walk into the room or sit in your chair during a meeting.

Do you slouch or sit up straight? Do you walk with your head up and with confidence? These are different ways to communicate great meaning to others.

How to master non-verbal communication?

  • As mentioned above, the way you walk says lots about what you’re communicating. Walking upright and with your head up conveys confidence while walking with a slouch says you are unsure of yourself.
  • Fidgeting means you are nervous
  • Making eye contact conveys honesty and also lets the other person know that what they say is important.

3. Visual communication

If you understand how visual aids are used in presentations, then you will understand this message transference. The use of visual communication is seen in video representations of products and even brochures.

When a company wishes to get a quick message across about some product or service they sell, visual communication is best. It’s done without words or letters at some times and brings a striking message to customers.

Visual communications can also be seen in informal settings like between friends. If someone wants to tell a friend about a problem, taking a picture of broken objects or injuries can get more across than words. It’s a quick way to understand the urgency of the situation.

No words are needed when a serious visual communication is used.

How to master visual communication?

  • Basically, the best way to master visual communications is to create a clear and concise image of your idea. Whether you are trying to sell a product or a service, visualization is attractive to the eye and creates a desire to learn more.
  • Another way to master visual communication is to pair it successfully with non-verbal and verbal communication. Remember, how you speak and how you appear will increase interest in the image you wish to share.

4. Written communication

With written communication, there are two subtypes. One is formal and the other is informal.

Formal communication

With formal communication, you see the use of professional emails, memos, and reports. This form of communication must be taken seriously and acted upon immediately.

The workplace uses written communication to save time by sending an important message to multiple people. You can clearly see the advantages of such an exchange.

How to master formal communication?
  • Mastering formal written communication is all about structure, grammar, and tone. You are usually taken more seriously when your emails and reports are constructed properly.
  • When important communication must be sent in a timely manner, DO NOT BE LATE! I cannot stress this enough.
  • Understand the person you are speaking to and whether they appreciate a professional tone or a casual one. Some people respond better to totally professional words in emails while others prefer a friendly down-to-earth acquaintance. It’s best to do a background check, if possible, on who you’re contacting before you ever talk to them through email.

Informal communication

With informal communication, this means sending messages via social media platforms.

Although businesses may use this mode of communication as well, many others can send humorous statements and quick reminders with these tools. It’s like the old music lyric, “ I heard it through the grapevine”.

Yes, in some ways, this is a type of transference that isn’t always reputable but many times entertaining.

Mastering informal communication
  • When it comes to informal communication, like talking to friends or family, there aren’t any set in stone rules. However, being considerate is best anyway. Most friends and family wish to be treated with a certain amount of respect when being spoken to, even via social media.
  • When communicating informally, you must also understand who you’re talking to. If you know the other person, it may be okay to joke around and poke insults. However, if they are fairly new acquaintances, you might want to hold back on the hilarity.
  • Do not use slander, racism, sexism, or gender insults when posting comments on social media. This is hurtful and it’s bullying. It’s just plain wrong. Learn to be tolerant of differences and treat people the way you wish to be treated. Maybe your lifestyle isn’t their cup of tea either.

Keep lines of communication open

Understanding the types of communication is just the start. It’s also important to communicate in general instead of keeping things bottled up. It’s important to be open about what needs to be done, what needs to be said and just presenting a friendly greeting every now and then.

Without communication, we lose a great deal of credibility in our actions and appearance. So, first, let’s learn the different types of successful communication, and then let’s learn to master them as well. I know you can do it, so let’s give it a shot.


  1. https://open.lib.umn.edu
  2. https://writingcenter.unc.edu

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