While the term "verbal communication" seems almost self-explanatory, verbal communication is far more complex than simply talking. By definition, verbal communication includes not only oral discussions, but also written messages and even mediated communication.
The most apparent type of verbal communication is oral, and a number of examples of oral communication are readily available. Speeches, presentations and announcements are all forms of verbal communication, as well as casual conversations between friends. In addition to standard verbal communication, most communication models also include verbal feedback from the receiver, which may be in the form of questions or comments, but could be as short as a simple "Yes" or even a nondescript "Uh-huh." While specific examples of oral verbal communication are virtually unlimited, any conversation involving at least one receiver and at least one sender using spoken words can be considered an example of verbal communication.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, written communication is considered a form of verbal communication under most commonly accepted definitions of the term. For this reason, a plethora of seemingly nonverbal communication forms can be used as examples of verbal communication, including written letters, memos, newsletters, newspapers, journals and even personal notes. Textbooks, novels and other literature also serve as examples of verbal communication, because they use words as the medium through which a message is conveyed.
Even though the field of mediated communication is a separate branch of communication study, it contains examples of both verbal and nonverbal communications. Most World Wide Web content consists of either typed text or videos, both of which rely heavily on verbal communication to convey their messages. Likewise, webcasts and other online interactive media use verbal communication, as do emails, telnet sessions and newsgroup postings. Mediated communication does not stop with the Internet, of course; television broadcasts use a combination of verbal and nonverbal communication, and radio broadcasts rely on verbal communication. Likewise, telephone conversations are effective because of the flow of words from a sender to a receiver, augmented only by variances in tone, inflection, speed and pitch (all of which are also subtle forms of verbal communication).
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images