“That’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.”
These words by the world’s greatest storyteller, Walt Disney, explain the art of storytelling in the most straightforward way possible. Be it Mickey Mouse, Snow White or Simba, his characters and stories made a deep emotional connection with the audience. Even today, most of us look back on our childhood fondly thanks to many, many Disney characters and movies. They’ve left an indelible mark on us. Why? It’s because they shared a story almost each of us could relate to. This is what storytelling is all about.
Storytelling is one of the most popular forms of communication.
Communication is an integral part of life. It is essential for building relationships, team management, sharing ideas, problem-solving, and decision-making.
But what are the different types of communication? And why are they important? You need to develop a certain skill set to be able to communicate with impact.
Read on to learn more about forms of communication and why they’re essential in today’s dynamic, digital world.
What Are The Types Of Communication
If you want to learn more about forms of communication, you don’t need to look too far. Different types of communication skills can be easily observed in the workplace itself. The way you interact with your colleagues will be different from the way you communicate with, say, the CEO of the organization. From the way you hold yourself when giving a presentation to how you write an email also constitutes different types of communication.
Let’s answer the question, “what are the types of communication skills?” to get a better understanding. Explore the forms of communication and different types of skills below:
1. VERBAL COMMUNICATION
Do you know that communication and productivity are interlinked? Every successful organization instills a culture of effective verbal communication. Verbal communication helps deliver messages quickly. It helps employees receive clear directions and rewards good performance with prompt appreciation. All this boosts the morale and, hence, the productivity of employees.
Remember the attendant at your bank branch who gives clear instructions, and is calm, patient, and supportive. That’s because she possesses excellent verbal communication skills. You can improve your verbal communication skills by developing active listening skills and confident body language. You can learn the ABC (affective, behavioral, and cognitive) of active listening by taking Harappa Education’s Listening Actively course.
2. NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION
Have you ever watched a Kathakali performance? This classical Indian dance form portrays mythological stories. The performance embodies three types of characters: the virtuous, those with grey shades and those who are evil. These characteristics are expressed through postures, gestures, and facial expressions.
Nonverbal communication delivers a message without the use of words. Nonverbal cues through body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice are given and interpreted in this form of communication. A shrug of the shoulders could indicate indifference while waving of hands could be enough to say goodbye and a simple nod may show acceptance.
3. WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
Written communication is one of the most trusted types of communication. Emails, business letters, project proposals, blogs, books, brochures, and websites are examples of written communication. This type of communication can be edited, revised, and changed to optimize quality. It can also be kept as a record or proof for further reference.
Enrolling in Harappa Education’s Writing Proficiently course that teaches the SCQR (Situation, Complication, Question, and Resolution) Storytelling Framework can help you master the art of storytelling in your written communication.
4. VISUAL COMMUNICATION
Visual communication is a graphic representation of ideas. Visuals are created with the help of art, drawings, sketches, charts, graphs, infographics, or videos.
Remember the superhit Amul advertising campaign? One of the longest-running creative campaigns, it is an excellent example of visual communication. The Amul Girl is much-loved and the tagline ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious’ is an all-time hit. Over the years, Amul ads have commented on social issues, politics, global affairs, films, sports, and other topics with ease.
5. FORMAL COMMUNICATION
A business meeting, a legal document, a real estate agreement, and an appointment letter are all examples of formal communication. Formal communication is done through defined channels backed by certain organizational procedures. Formal language and the use of jargon are hallmarks of this type of communication. The communication usually follows a predefined format or structure.
These are some advantages of formal communication:
- It streamlines processes saving you time and effort that would’ve been spent if you communicated over text
- It increases work efficiency because everyone’s on the same page about work that needs to be done
- It creates documented records because it’s essential to have a paper trail for important tasks
- It reaches the target audience in time without the message being filtered or something getting left out
These are the different types of communication skills you’ll need in the workplace. Active listening and storytelling are some other skills that can help you streamline and establish communication processes. Whatever the form of communication, what you need to keep in mind is the purpose of your communication, your audience and your message. An in-depth analysis into what you’ll be communicating and how will help you streamline your process.
These are some of the most essential communication skills you need to be successful and make progress in your career.
The Purpose, Audience And Message Of Your Communication
Whether it’s storytelling with data, formal communication or informal communication, there are certain things you need to keep in mind to make sure your message is conveyed effectively.
For instance, imagine if you’re hosting a meeting with a panel of speakers. This is a formal segment where cracking jokes or being informal may be considered rude. You have to note your audience and what they would prefer before you prepare.
Here are the three key elements of different types of communication:
If you’re wondering about “what are the types of communication?”, another thing you should note is what it means to have types of communication. What determines the difference is the purpose of your message. For instance, you may be conveying a simple update or rescheduling a meeting. You can deliver a client pitch or interact with a vendor. Each of these determine your purpose.
Your audience could be a member of your team, a business owner, vendor, client or your manager. The way you communicate will depend on the relationship you have with the other party. If it’s formal or a high-stakes relationship, you have to be to-the-point, concise and direct. Whereas, if you’re communicating with a peer, you can be slightly more informal.
The message itself needs to be tailored to the right audience and should pack your purpose with clarity. Don’t make it too complex so it’s easy for your audience to understand your message. Your content is the most important aspect of communication. If you can deliver it well, so much that the audience understands without too many follow-up questions, you’ve achieved your goal.
The purpose, audience and message falls under the PAM framework. Let’s explore different examples:
1. Say you have to prepare for a client pitch. You have to make sure the deck contains only the most relevant and important information. You can use visual storytelling with data to improve the quality of your presentation. Your audience is only as interested as your content, persuasiveness and confidence.
2. Say you have an informal catch-up with a peer you’re meeting for the first time. You don’t have to be too formal but still be mindful of this being a workplace conversation. Prepare some points in advance in case you want to speak about something in particular. You can steer the conversation to make sure the other person is heard, comfortable and open.
The PAM framework will help you build your communication skills. It centers you in a way that you can build an engaging response to questions, emails and more. Forms of communication will also help you understand how to use the PAM framework for effective communication.
In today’s fast-evolving world, whether you aspire to be a valued employee, a successful businessperson, a good orator or a revered influencer, it’s imperative to sharpen your communication skills.
Harappa Education’s Speaking Effectively course, complete with customized messages, concise speaking and powerful nonverbal cues, is designed to help you master the art of communication. Frameworks such as the PAM will help you communicate effectively. Deliver clear, concise and compelling messages to get your point across. Communication is important and critical for your personal and professional growth. Our rockstar faculty and curated modules will align you with your goals. With rich anecdotes and lived experiences, they’ll enrich your learning journey.
Better communication will help you grab better opportunities. So get going now!
Explore blogs on topics such as effective communication, 7 barriers of communication, types of nonverbal communication, what is verbal communication, and the difference between verbal and nonverbal communication in our Harappa Diaries section to make your world of work better.