When we think of communication we often think of speech. Communication involves conveying thoughts or ideas from one person to another. It is made up of both verbal and nonverbal components like tone changes and body language and even timing. But research shows that our verbal communication -meaning the actual words we say - makes up only a portion of our communication. However, even if our words are only a small part of the way the get our messages across, our verbal components are vital. Without them, people would not be able to express the full range of human emotions.
Sound and Volume in Communication
Sound is a basic component of verbal communication. Babies use sound to communicate as soon as they are born. One cry may send a message such as "I'm hungry" and another cry may say "I hurt." Communication progresses with babbling or urgent noises until a child is finally able to use words. The use of sound in communication continues into adulthood. Some noises are a confirmation of a statement as if to say, "I agree." Others are warning sounds. These types of "paraverbal" communications are sometimes classified as nonverbal but they do use the component of sound.
Verbal Components in Communication
Speech is a more progressive component of verbal communication. It is the combination of many unique sounds in a specific order to convey meaning. The first steps toward speech may simply be "Mama" or "Dada." This small beginning can elicit a strong emotional reaction. For speech to be effective in a relationship or in a public setting, it must be given in a manner that does not offend. A person's culture and background contribute to what is acceptable in speech. If acceptable etiquette is not followed, then communication may be misunderstood and unsuccessful.
The Use of Language
Communication as Conversation
Conversation can be viewed as an art form. It is an important verbal component of communication. This component can be difficult for some to master as it involves complex patterns of language and interaction. These interactions include interjections, interruptions, trailing sentences, questions, topic changes and incomplete thoughts. All these verbal exchanges come together in a unique way to convey ideas.
- baby image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com