Types of Nonverbal Communication:

What Are They?

What types of nonverbal communication have you used today? Did you know that in addition to the words we use, we communicate in nonverbal ways? What nonverbal communication did you use today?

Some experts feel a considerable portion of communication is nonverbal. The various kinds of nonverbal communication speak volumes about our thoughts, feelings, longings, resolves and desires. This communication reveals details of who we are and is a part of how we relate to others.

Research found that we often use nonverbal communication unconsciously. While many expressions we make are overt and very visible, some are covert. These movements are so subtle that unless trained to observe them, we will not recognize them. These subtle movements are called micro expressions. Here are the types of nonverbal communications and a brief description.

Facial Expression

Facial expressions comprise much of our nonverbal communication. We have 80 facial muscles with which we can create over 7,000 facial expressions.

Occulesics Eye Behavior

Our eyes communicate in ways other than facial expressions.

Appearance - Artifacts

A police uniform, a soldier uniform, a suit all provide nonverbal communication. The same is true of the wardrobe of someone who is homeless and unkempt.

Color and appearance also play a part in this form of communication.

Physical Attractiveness

Body type, although disproved as predicting personality, is a basis for many stereotypes.

Kinesics -Body Movements

Kinesics is the study of the relationship between nonlinguistic body motions (as blushes, shrugs, or eye movement) and communication.

Body Language and Posture

Body language and posture can convey information about us.


Paralinguistics is the study of vocal communication, separate from actual language. These are the vocal cues that make up the second pillar of great public speaking, the manner in which we say words.


Has anyone ever been in your space that you did not want? Did you communicate your feelings without words?

Vertical Distance

Vertical distance can communicate dominance and subordination.


Haptics, the study of nonverbal communication through touch is well known in health care.

Olfactics -

Even smells communicate.

Chronomics -

Chronomics is the study of nonverbal communication of the perception of time.

It is important to be aware of the various types of nonverbal communication. Effective public speaking and especially productive persuasive public speaking is impacted by the various types of the nonverbal communications we use.

Speechmastery.com: The Types of Nonverbal Communication Resource

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