Verbal Communication: Definition, Forms, and Examples

Verbal Communication – The famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle, expressed his famous thought that human beings are zoon politicon . This means that humans are creatures that are predestined to live in social groups and depend on one another.

To meet their needs, humans as social beings must interact with each other. The interaction or process carried out in exchanging information or messages between individuals is called communication.

In the communication process, there is information or intent to be conveyed by the sender of the message to the recipient. The information contains a series of words or writing or is verbal. So, the process of conveying messages in the form of language products is called verbal communication.

Understanding Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is the process of transmitting messages using language from the sender of the message (communicator) to the recipient of the message (communicant). The words we speak are verbal cues used for communication purposes. Verbal communication is often considered as the main part of communication.

Verbal communication mostly occurs in face-to-face situations. However, verbal communication is now increasingly widespread by utilizing electronic instruments or devices such as telephones and electronic mail ( e-mail ). The most important factor in verbal communication is the existence of verbal symbols in the message conveyed, such as the use of language through the arrangement of words or sentences.

Types of Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is divided into two types, namely verbal communication reading and listening, then one more writing and speaking. To make it clearer, let’s first read the explanation below!

1. Speaking and writing

Talking is a type of vocal verbal communication that we use most often every day, where we communicate directly with other people. While writing is verbal non-vocal communication, because to convey this information we use other media in the form of writing without speaking anything.

2. Listening and reading

By listening, we can get a new information. Likewise with reading, reading is also a way to get information, and therefore both reading and listening are part of verbal communication.

Forms of Verbal Communication

1. Written Communication

Written communication is a form of verbal communication that is carried out through writing. Written communication is usually done because of the limited distance between the communicator and the communicant. In addition, written communication is also carried out if notes or documentation are needed to be used as evidence.

In conducting written communication, both communicators and communicants must have good skills in writing and reading. This is because written communication is the process of converting oral communication into symbols of the alphabet, words or sentences. Both of these abilities are needed so that the message to be conveyed can be understood properly.

Referring to India National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management , there are several advantages and disadvantages of written communication. The advantages of written communication are:

  • The product of written communication can serve as evidence of what happened or what was said.
  • Written communications can become permanent records for future use or study
  • The possibility of misinterpretation that has the potential to occur during the communication process is reduced because written communication products are in the form of writing so that the intent and purpose of the message is clearly recorded. That way, the results of written communication have strong validity.
  • This form of verbal communication can be relied upon when the communicator wants to send long information, for example about finance, production or other important data.
  • Many companies are now implementing anonymous communication methods (whistle blowing system) when employees want to submit complaints or reports that are sensitive. Verbal communication is clearly needed as the medium and written communication is the most appropriate choice.

Even so, written communication also has some disadvantages:

  • Written communication is generally an expensive and time consuming process. This is because sending messages can experience distortion so that it takes several processes to ensure whether the message is understood properly. In addition, if the written communication product is in the form of a document or a long series of data, it requires a short delivery and costs a lot.
  • Even though written communication has been transmitted in written form, it is not certain whether the recipient has understood the message properly.
  • Written communication sometimes seems old-fashioned even though it is still very relevant and needed in this era. However, another weakness that often occurs is that written documents leak prematurely. This happened to the script for The Avengers film which was leaked to the public in 2011. The film The Avengers itself was released in 2012. Not only was it leaked prematurely, even some confidential written information was leaked to the public. For example, Hillary Clinton’s email containing the 2016 US Presidential election scandal was leaked by WikiLeaks.
  • Written communication sometimes also causes excessive formality and rigidity between individuals which impacts on personal relationships.

2. Oral Communication

Oral communication or also often called oral communication is a form of verbal communication through direct or face-to-face interaction between the communicator and the communicant. Conversations in oral communication can involve more than two individuals.

Oral communication is often referred to as content-rich communication. This is because oral communication involves intense interaction between the communicator and the communicant so as to produce quality communication products.

This type of verbal communication has advantages and disadvantages according to the Indian National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management. Some of the advantages of oral communication include:

  • Oral communication is a form of verbal communication that does not take up time because it has a low probability of distortion. Because it is conveyed directly, any confusion or ambiguity that may occur during the communication process can be confirmed by the communicant right away.
  • Oral communication is also included in the simplest form of verbal communication because it does not require media, instruments or other means of communication.
  • Oral communication does not cost much or is called the cheapest type of communication. This is due to the characteristics of oral communication that do not take time or require an intermediary.
  • If you want to apply effective communication, then verbal communication through word of mouth is the right choice. Direct face-to-face communication can avoid complicated bureaucratic affairs, delays and formalities.
  • One category of communication success is seen from the feedback conveyed by the communicant. Through oral communication, the communicator will receive immediate feedback. This direct feedback is very beneficial because the communicant can get a response from the communicator immediately after the question is asked.
  • Oral communication can convey complete information, because much information cannot be translated in writing and can only be conveyed through direct instructions.

However, verbal communication also has some drawbacks. These drawbacks are:

  • Information that is important but long, broad, and many cannot be conveyed effectively by verbal communication. Direct speech that is too long will make the listener bored. This will disrupt the focus of the communicant so that the information conveyed may not be understood properly.
  • Oral communication is often distorted when the communicator and communicant lose motivation or interest in the ongoing communication. It’s not easy to pay full attention to a face-to-face conversation, especially if it lasts for a long time.
  • Words spoken in spoken communication are more easily misunderstood than in writing. This is because oral communication does not only rely on word order but also intonation, tone of voice, pronunciation which is often misinterpreted. Oral communication is very dependent on skills in speaking.
  • The information resulting from oral communication is potentially inadequate because the communicant often requires information that is permanent and in a fixed format for review.
  • Sometimes, spoken communication creates communication gaps. This results from various factors such as differences in status, physical limitations, or other personal barriers. For example, an entrepreneur will find it difficult to explain business concepts in front of an audience who are in elementary school. This situation causes the communication to be incomplete.
  • Oral communication creates a superior feature that is immediate feedback. However, this can also be a gap for communicants to throw out spontaneous responses which sometimes interfere with the communication process.
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Examples of Verbal Communication

The following is an example of verbal communication based on its form.

Example of Written Communication

  • Letter

Letters are one of the oldest written verbal communication media. Letters contain information in the form of writing affixed to a piece of paper. Nowadays letters are rarely written manually, but are typed via software on a computer device.

In order to reach the recipient, letters need to be sent via courier or postal services so that it takes longer to receive compared to electronic messages. Even so, correspondence activities still exist today

  • Postcard

Postcards are a mini or shorter version of a letter. This verbal communication also includes writing on a piece of paper called a postcard which is usually sold or provided by the post office.

Postcards have a standard size of 3R so that the information contained is very limited. In a postcard there is a template of the message body, address, and area for stamps, while the letter has a freer format.

  • E-mail

Email is one of the modern era verbal communication tools. Email is an advanced or updated version of manual mail. E-mail has the same concept as a letter, contains a structure of sentences that contains information, but is sent via the internet network. At first, email could only be sent between two people. Now, an email can be addressed to many recipients at once.

In addition, e-mail is an inexpensive verbal communication because it only requires an internet network and a computer device. Email can cover long distances in a short amount of time.

Email also does not only contain information in the form of writing. Users can insert various forms of soft files such as images, videos, documents, or audio. However, there is a limit to the size of the file that can be uploaded in one email.

  • Short message

Short messages are also a form of written verbal communication. Short messages have the same features as email, which can insert soft files such as audio, images, documents and videos. We can also send short messages or talk with several people at once.

The difference between short messages and e-mail lies in the service provider. Short messages are more popular via chat applications or social media, while e-mail must be made through an account created at an e-mail service provider. Short messages are more informal and personal, while emails are used for more professional matters.

Examples of Oral Communication

  • Public speech

Public speech is one of the verbal communication that is often carried out by communicators who have important positions. Public speeches are usually one-way. An example is a state address delivered by a president in front of a public audience.

In a public speech, the message conveyed is thematic, sometimes adjusted to the audience and the context of the ongoing event, but can also carry a specific topic. The contents of a public speech can be prepared by the communicator himself, often involving a special drafting team.

  • Face-to-face or electronic talk

This verbal communication is simple communication, often involving only two individuals. Conversations can be carried out in a planned or spontaneous manner. The topics discussed also vary, can be personal or professional or have been scheduled.

Since the pandemic hit, face-to-face conversations have greatly reduced their intensity. Now many people are conducting conversations through electronic media such as application-based voice or video calls. Did Sinaumed’s also experience something similar?

  • Meeting

Meetings are verbal communication carried out by people who are bound in an institution or organization. Meetings are usually carried out by planning or prior notification of meeting participants. Some institutions even implement a regular schedule of meetings.

In holding a meeting, the topics discussed are related to the institution that oversees them. To adapt to the new normal era, meetings are more often held online. Online meetings are also a solution to distance barriers.

  • Conference

According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI) a conference is a meeting or meeting to negotiate or exchange opinions on a problem that is faced together. One of these oral verbal communications is also referred to as deliberation efforts to find solutions.

  • Counseling

KBBI defines counseling as providing guidance by an expert to someone using psychological methods and so on. An expert who provides assistance is called a counselor while a person who receives counseling is called a counselee.

Counseling is usually personal and occurs between two people, namely a counselor and a counselee. However, marriage counseling can be done simultaneously between the couple and the counselor.

There is a fee that must be paid by the counselee to the counselor at each counseling session conducted. This fee does not apply to social or humanitarian counseling such as counseling for victims of natural disasters.

Principles in Verbal Communication

Basically, this type has three main principles in its use, namely:

1. Interpretation influences meaning

Everything in our life, such as the environment, culture, habits, and personality, in fact, not only influences our mindset, but also affects us in interpreting every sentence. To avoid ambiguity and misunderstanding, we are advised to use sentences that are concise and easy to understand. Apart from that, we also need grammar, so that everyone has the same meaning for every word they say.

2. The practice is guided by rules

Everything has its own rules, including when we do verbal communication. All the words we say must be chosen and adapted to the interlocutors we are dealing with at this time. For example, the way we communicate with a teacher will certainly not be the same as when we talk with peers. Likewise when we talk to strangers, it is impossible to compare it to when we talk to friends we have known for years.

3. The stress of each word changes the meaning

In addition to grammar, emphasis is also one of the things that greatly affects our verbal communication. Emphasis on a word is usually done in two ways. The first is to repeat a word to show important points in the conversation. The second way is to use punctuation. You know, every punctuation mark has its own meaning. Placing punctuation marks in a sentence not only makes the way of reading a sentence different, but also changes the meaning of the sentence.

Characteristics of Verbal Communication

In addition to being divided into main types and principles, verbal communication also has certain characteristics. Here are the features!

1. Delivered orally or in writing

The main feature of verbal communication is the delivery of information, either verbally by speaking directly in front of other people or by telephone, or conveying it in writing. For example by sending a letter to the person concerned, sending a message via a chat application, or you can also send an email to that person.

2. Using words from one or several languages

Unlike non-verbal communication which is conveyed by movement without sound, verbal communication sometimes requires us to speak and make sounds. Most people communicate in one language, but it’s not uncommon for them to mix up two languages ​​in a sentence. People who live in the area, for example, they will speak two languages ​​at once, namely Indonesian and regional languages.

3. Communication is two-way

Verbal communication is two-way. It is called two-way because, both speakers and listeners respond to one another. When one person speaks, the other person in front of him will listen, and respond back afterwards. The response itself varies, can be a question, statement, objection, or approval.

Influencing Factors

Do you realize that everyone has their own way of speaking. Usually the way a person speaks is greatly influenced by many factors in his life, and here are some factors that affect verbal communication!

1. Cultural and language factors

Indonesia is diverse, not only in terms of tourist options, but also in language and culture. This country has 718 regional languages, and one unifying language, namely Indonesian. In addition, each region has a culture that is very different from one another.

With all these diverse languages ​​and cultures, it is clear that it will greatly influence Indonesians when communicating verbally with other people. Not infrequently, people are so influenced by their own regional culture and language that even when speaking Indonesian we can still hear their regional accent.

2. Knowledge factor

Believe it or not, a person’s knowledge also greatly influences his communication. Those who have extensive experience will usually be cool friends to talk to. How not, they never run out of things to talk about, and can connect to any topic of conversation.

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As a bonus, knowledgeable people also always have a ton of things to share, and you don’t feel like you’re wasting time with them. Plus, they are also usually fluent when speaking and make other people feel at home when listening to them.

3. Experience factor

Not everyone can be a good speaker. Never mind giving speeches in front of hundreds of people, presenting in front of classmates, sometimes we still tremble. But that will not apply to those who are experienced.

People who are used to talking to many people will always have much better verbal communication skills than those around them. They were not only able to make people sit quietly listening to him, but also influence people to follow what he said.

4. Personality factors

A person’s personality can easily be seen when they talk. People with extroverted personalities tend to have good verbal communication. They can easily mingle, find topics and speak comfortably in front of many strangers they just met minutes ago. This is inversely proportional to introverts.

People with this personality are usually a little shy. They talk less, and think more for themselves. While many extroverts like to be on stage and talk to many people, introverts are the type of person who is more comfortable talking to certain people they have known for a long time.

5. Biological factors

Biological factors are the last thing that affects a person’s verbal communication. Certain people who have disabilities sometimes find it difficult to communicate verbally, plus it’s also sometimes difficult for people who hear it to understand it.

Even so, things like this really just take some getting used to. When you get used to hearing someone talk, gradually you will definitely begin to understand what he is saying, no matter how complicated it is.

Benefits of Doing Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is an activity that we do every day. But did you know that this type of communication has a myriad of benefits? What are the benefits? Here’s the full list!

1. Naming or labeling

In a way, naming or labeling is the most basic benefit in verbal communication. By using verbal communication, we can easily identify an object, be it an object, animal or human. For example, if you meet someone you don’t know, you can identify them by asking their name.

2. Media for interaction

Humans cannot live alone, and are almost always in need of other people around them. With verbal communication, you can build interaction with the people around you. The interaction itself can be in the form of just greetings, small talk, or even exchanging ideas. It is this interaction that ultimately makes us never alone, and it is clear that this will be difficult to do using non-verbal communication.

3. As a means of sharing information

In addition to creating interaction with people around us, verbal communication is also a means for us to share information with others. By doing verbal communication such as speaking, writing, listening, or reading, you can convey or get important information from other people. The opposite is also true for other people. They can get the information they need from you by talking, listening, writing or reading.

4. Media to develop language

A language will become extinct if it is never used. But by carrying out verbal communication, we not only keep a language alive, but also make the language continue to develop according to the changing times. One simple example is the development of the Indonesian language. You must have realized that Indonesian in the past was very different from Indonesian today.

Yes, without realizing it, the Indonesian language has experienced many developments. If the Indonesian language in the past decades tended to be formal and stilted, today’s Indonesian is even more simple and far from formal. Especially with the many new slang that have sprung up, making our country’s language grow and change far from its roots, namely Malay.

5. Maintain a relationship

In addition to mutual trust, verbal communication is also the main key to the running of a relationship. Whether it’s a relationship with your partner, family, friends, or people around you. With good verbal communication, no misunderstandings will arise. Everything will go well, even making your relationship with people tighter.

6. As a means of learning

Reading as one of the most beneficial types of verbal communication for us. By diligently reading books, you will not only know many things, but also learn from other people’s experiences. In addition, the habit of reading for years will hone our memory.

Even more amazing, not a few people who like to read have photographic memory , where they can remember an event, information, pictures, as well as numbers in great detail. Then whenever they need it, they can easily recall the information as if they just got it yesterday.

7. Demonstrate self-existence

Writing is a form of non-verbal verbal communication. Interestingly, writing can also be a way to show your existence. For those of you who like to write, you can show your existence through various works. Whether it’s short articles, poetry, short stories, or it could be a book. Through this writing, people from various places will recognize you, it is not even impossible for your work to go viral and make you even more famous.

8. Add vocabulary

Do you realize, by writing, reading, and speaking, you are unknowingly increasing your vocabulary? The activities above make you acquainted with many new words and their meanings.

What’s more, we live in Indonesia, where the majority of the population is young, every month there are bound to be new terms that go viral and reach our ears. Now the words you get from these activities, you can reuse when talking to other people, or when you write a new work. Very interesting isn’t it?

9. Media to express feelings

We must have unek-unek or something that we really want to convey to others.

Well, verbal communication is the only way to convey those feelings. You can express it verbally by speaking directly to the person concerned, via a message in the application, or you can also write a handwritten letter.

10. Media to share knowledge

When you have more knowledge in a field, it’s better if you don’t keep that knowledge to yourself. You can share it with others through verbal communication. The methods themselves vary, you can write down your knowledge and publish it in a book, or even simpler by teaching people around you who are new to that field.

At first glance verbal communication sounds so trivial because we do it every day. But sometimes, what we take for granted is not always as simple as we think. Who would have thought that what we do every day in the form of talking, reading, listening or writing actually has a myriad of benefits that we never realized before.

How to Improve Verbal Communication Skills

Sinaumed’s can implement some of the tips below to improve verbal communication skills.

1. Read and write more

Verbal communication is an activity centered on word play. Through writing in a reading, readers can examine how a word is chosen from the many choices of words with the same meaning.

By reading, Sinaumed’s will be trained in arranging words into a series of ideas. Reading is also an activity to update the vocabulary bank which will be very influential when conveying messages.

After reading, we also have to train ourselves to write. Writing is an exercise to get the ideas out of our heads into a structured plan. Through writing we can arrange messages that we want to convey later in a more organized manner.

2. Prepare the message to be conveyed

Every time you want to start a conversation, Sinaumed’s needs to keep in mind that every word you want to say must be thought of beforehand. This means that the communication we do is right on target and does not have the potential to cause misunderstandings.

Sinaumed’s also needs to pay attention to every situation and condition when communication takes place. If the person we are talking to is grieving, then we must carefully choose words of consolation that will not offend him.

3. Practice speaking

Without good self-confidence, we often falter when speaking in public. Even anxiety or nervousness is often felt by many people when making presentations. So, how do you overcome this one verbal communication barrier?

Sinaumed’s can increase self-confidence by continuing to practice speaking. We can try reading aloud in front of a mirror. Next, the practice pattern was changed by speaking without text. Do this exercise regularly to hone Sinaumed’s’ verbal communication skills.


The writing above explains that verbal communication has a big role in the whole communication process that we do. For this reason, verbal communication is important to understand and learn in order to support our social life.

In practice, written verbal communication and written verbal communication cannot be separated. These two patterns of verbal communication are often used in combination. This is done to answer increasingly complex human needs.

Is Sinaumed’s interested in applying verbal communication skills in everyday life? Sinaumed’s can learn more about communication through the recommended books below. Sinaumed’s can get all of these books by accessing . Let’s read!