COM12: Week 2

This week we looked at communication, namely verbal, non-verbal and graphic. Our ILT was to define these and give an example of each.

DB Post

Verbal communication uses both the spoken and written word to express ideas and can be as simple as the spoken word “Yes” or a 140 character tweet. Non-verbal communication, or spontaneous communication as explained by Buck & VanLear (2002, p. 525), is a non-linguistic expression that may include gestures, micro-movements and pheromones. Graphic communication utilises signs, symbols and diagrams to express an idea; road signs are a good example of how we communicate without traditional forms of language.



BUCK, R. & VANLEAR, C. A. 2002. Verbal and nonverbal communication: Distinguishing symbolic, spontaneous, and pseudo‐spontaneous nonverbal behavior. Journal of Communication, 52, 522-541.

DWYER, J. 2012-10-15. Communication for Business and the Professions: Strategies and Skills. 5th ed.: Pearson Education. VitalBook file.


DB Response

Nicholas Hall wrote:
Verbal, Nonverbal and Graphic Communication

Verbal communication includes spoken, sung or written words e.g. conversations, emails and songs. Pace, volume and tone enhance the message. Nonverbal includes body language, posture, gestures and facial expression. Empirical studies have shown non verbal body language is an extremely powerful form of enhancing meaning to the receiver (Gabbott and Hogg, 2000). Graphic communication contains verbal and nonverbal components, and is increasingly digitised. It is important to reach the digital generation through digital graphics such as YouTube and web searches (Metros and Woolsey, 2006) however tradition graphics like PowerPoint presentations, signage and diagrams enhance the message and require visual literacy skills (Beatty, 2013).

BEATTY, N. A. 2013. Cognitive Visual Literacy. Art Documentation, 32, 33-42.

GABBOTT, M. & HOGG, G. 2000. An empirical investigation of the impact of non-verbal communication on service evaluation. European Journal of Marketing, 34, 384-398.

METROS, S. E. & WOOLSEY, K. 2006. Visual Literacy: An Institutional Imperative. EDUCAUSE Review, 41, 80.

Nick Hall


Hi Nick,
I liked how you included the phrase “visual literacy skills” and wonder if it is possible to live in a society without having an inate ability to read these visual cues. In our own society, I cannot imagine a person of average intelligence, who grew up within this society, not being able to understand a road sign or other visual stimuli. However, put that person in a foreign country (hence a different society) and I’m confident they’d flounder. I think as children, we absorb visual literacy skills (although I certainly haven’t researched it to be able to speak definitively), then gain non-verbal skills, and eventually gain oral skills. I’m thinking of infants who recognise the shape and size of a bottle and associate it with milk/food. Later, that infant is able to make non-verbal requests for the bottle. Eventually, the child is able to speak the words “Feed me”.

What do you think?


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