Modes of Communication

Modes of Communication

Watching the news on TV, conversing with your friends, sending emails, chirping of birds, or even establishing communication with satellites, everything in this world is communication-centric. However, in order to share ideas, opinions, messages, facts, thoughts, or emotions with another person or a group of individuals, it’s essential to have good communication skills. This can be achieved by having a thorough understanding of various models and modes of communication!

Multimodal Communication

Multimodal Communication can be simply referred to as communication through varied modes such as verbal, written, gestures, etc. There are different modes under multimodal communication and it is popularly used in higher education to accentuate the learning experience for students. Here are the major 5 modes of communication:

  • Linguistical or Alphabetic: Either written communication or spoken communication
  • Gestural: Using Gestures
  • Visual: Pictures, Videos, Infographics
  • Aural: Audio, Music, Sounds
  • Spatial: Physical coordination, positions, proximity

Linguistical or Alphabetic Communication
As one of the popular modes of communication, Linguistical or Alphabetic Communication mainly refers to written or spoken communication where the sender conveys their message through writing on a paper or through speaking.
Examples: Text messages, audio messages, emails, speech, notes and lists, etc.

Gestural Communication
Gestural Communication has its quintessential emphasis on body language and physical movements to communicate messages. Sign Language is the best example for the gestural mode of communication as those who can’t talk or hear are able to communicate best through their gestures and have their own set of unique language to converse in. While this mode of communication is mainly combined with spatial, aural or linguistic ones, it can also be used individually given that both the sender and receiver have common points of references and meanings to have an understandable communication.

Aural Communication
As the name suggests, aural communication uses audio mode to convey messages whether it is through sounds or spoken audios. The speaker’s voice and pronunciation need to be clear and precise with no background noise.
Example: Radio, audio messages, music, recordings, songs, audiobooks

Visual Communication
Visual Communication can be simply termed as non-verbal communication as it comprises visual messages from the sender to the receiver. It is one of the oldest modes of communication when the ancient people didn’t know a language to communicate with, it is through pictures, drawings and symbols that they were able to talk and converse with each other.
Examples: Pictures, Videos, Charts, Graphs, Symbols

Spatial Communication
Spatial Communication elaborates upon the use of physical space in text as well as its overall structure to convey certain meanings and messages. The physical layout of any written text is deliberately designed to make it look a certain way and adhere to a particular theme. Websites also use this unique mode of communication in choosing a certain font, style, design and layout to make any website user-friendly and more interactive.

3 Modes of Communication

Communication is the process of sharing information between individuals using a set of common rules, behaviour, symbols, and signs. This process of disseminating information can be done through 3 major modes namely,

  • Interpretative Communication
  • Presentational Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication

Before we delve deep into the topic, let us first understand the importance of different modes of communication.

  • Maintains the flow of conveying information
  • Helps in devising plans and strategies for reaching a goal
  • Builds cordial relations and soft skills
  • Decision making becomes more effective and less time-consuming
  • Problem-solving and conflict management becomes easier

Interpretive Communication

Also referred to as the “one-way communication”, in this mode, the information conveyed by the sender is interpreted by the receiver in its original form. The target has to understand the message in both written and spoken form keeping various aspects in mind. For example, in a class, the learners may not understand every word said by the teacher but are expected to understand the main crux of the topic. Some of the main highlights of Interpretative Communication are:

  • Learners understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.
  • This mode of communication involves interpreting the author or producer’s intent.
  • There is no alternative to the active negotiation of meaning with the writer, speaker, or the producer.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information through verbal and nonverbal messages. It is an unmediated mode of communication that occurs when we interact and attempt to mutually influence each other, simultaneously, in order to manage relationships. Although interpersonal communication can encompass oral, written, and non-verbal forms of communication, the term is usually applied to spoken communication that takes place between two or more individuals on a  personal or face to face level. Examples of Interpersonal Communication include:

  • Personal Interview
  • Telephonic Conversations
  • Interactive Sessions 
  • Debates
  • E-mails
  • Text Messages

Presentational Communication

Presentational Communication is another type of one-way communication, which facilitates interpretation by members of another group where no direct opportunity for the active negotiation of meaning between members of the two groups exists. With this mode of communication, a person is speaking to an audience that can be rehearsed, pre-prepared, or scripted. Some of the main highlights of Presentational Communication have been given a rundown below.

  • To ensure the intended audience is successful in its interpretation, the “presenter” needs knowledge of the audience’s language and culture.
  • No direct opportunity for engaging with larger audience exists in this form of communication.

Modes of Communication: Key Differences 

ComponentsInterpersonal Interpretive Presentational
TypeTwo-way mode of communicationOne-way communicationOne-way communication
NegotiationActive negotiation ofmeaning between individualsNo active negotiation of meaning with the writer,producer or speaker No plausible means of engaging the masses
Mode of CommunicationSpeaking, ListeningReading, and Writing are the main modes of conveying and interpreting messagesReading, Viewing, and Listening texts Writing and Speaking are the 2 major modes of communication
ExamplesSocial Media, text messages, telephone, etc. Stories, literature, articles, speeches, songs, radio news, videos, movies,presentations, etc.Articles, flyers,short stories,reports, presentations, skits, debates, speeches, etc

Hope this blog helped you in understanding the fundamental concepts related to the different modes of communication. Be it in an organisation or for competitive exams like IELTS and TOEFL, your communication skills are evaluated on various parameters, and to create a lasting impression, one needs to overcome the barriers of communication. Enroll in Leverage Edu’s LIVE Online classes for IELTS where the British Council certified experts, through one-on-one sessions, mock tests, and updated study materials will assist you in improving your communication skills in an effective way!

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  1. Good day!

    First of all, I want to thank you for making this blog. It is truly informative and the topics are discussed briefly. This is really helpful. I also liked how you chose words that are common to everyone because it helped the readers (including me) to understand the discussion very well.

    Thank you very much!

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