Nonverbal Communication: 7 Types of Nonverbal Communications Cues

Nonverbal Communication,7 Types of Nonverbal Communication Cues. Definition, Example, and Components of nonverbal communications.

Table of contents

  • Definition of Nonverbal communications.
  • Types of Nonverbal Communications.

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communications indicate message components other than words that generate meaning. Effective group members rely on both verbal and nonverbal communications in both homogeneous and heterogeneous groups. Non-verbal communications are also similar to nonverbal cues that represent meaning during the interaction. Both verbal and nonverbal communication implies essential components of effective communication. As per scholar estimation, there are more than 0.70 million forms of non-verbal communication or nonverbal cues. The author is going to discuss the 7 types of nonverbal communication cues with examples.

Non Verbal Communication Cues
Figure 1: Seven Types of Nonverbal Communication Cues
Seven Types of Nonverbal Communications
  1. Personal / Physical Appearance.
  2. Vocalics Tone, Volume, Rate, also Pitch.
  3. Kinesics –Body Gesture, Eye Contact
  4. Proxemics- Space
  5. Haptics –Touch
  6. Chronemics How much time talk also elapse.
  7. Artifacts- Dress up
1. Nonverbal communication- Personal Appearance
  • A proverb says that “The first impression is the best information”
  • People draw conclusions about your education, success, moral character, social position, and also trustworthiness.
  • Clothes you wear send messages to other group members. For example, casual attire is more acceptable in informal groups because of the belief in trustworthiness. Additionally, a professional appearance is expected in a business setting and important group presentations.
  • However, research shows that good-looking people tend to make more money and get promoted more often than those with average looks.
2. Nonverbal Communication- Vocalics- Paralinguistic

Finally… somebody Facts

You have over 630 muscles in your body.


It takes the interaction of 72 different muscles to produce human speech.

The strongest muscle in your body is your tongue.

Use it effectively

Eye muscles are the busiest muscles in the body.

Scientists estimate they move more than 100,000 times a day.

You have over 30 muscles on your face to help you smile or frown.

17 muscles to smile

43 muscles frown

So… smile every time you see someone – it’s easier!


  • Vocalics show the way we use our voices while talking to someone.
  • Inflection (upward as in asking a question, downward as in making a statement)
  • Tone (monotone, excited)
  • Volume and Rate (fast, slow)
  • Pitch (deep, nasal)
  • Accent (southern, eastern seaboard)
  • Number of vocal interrupters (aaaahhhh, well, also uh)
  • Quality of voice indicators (clear, scared)
  • Subtle cues (irony and sarcasm).
3. Nonverbal communication- Kinesics
  • Kinesics represent physical expression, facial expression, body movement, and so on. Facial expressions and other body movements such as gestures, posture, and eye behavior

Smile constitutes the largest part of facial expression

Smiling is a powerful cue that transmits:

  1. Happiness
  2. Friendliness
  3. Warmth
  4. Liking
  5. Affiliation

Head nods, a form of gestures, communicate positive reinforcement to students and indicate that you are listening.

A lively and animated communication style captures peoples’ attention, makes the material more interesting, facilitates understanding, and provides a bit of entertainment.

If you fail to gesture while speaking, you may be perceived as boring, stiff, and unanimated.


You communicate numerous messages by the way you walk, talk, stand and sit.

Standing erect, but not rigid, and leaning slightly forward communicates to your audience that you are approachable, receptive, and friendly.

Speaking with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided; it communicates disinterest to your audience

  • Facial expressions demonstrate approval or disapproval of the topic being discussed or the person making the presentation.
  • For example, point to one’s watch to let the chairperson know that they will soon run out of time; a thumbs-up gesture
  • Research: lean forward, maintain eye contact, a gesture often, smile, and also assume a relaxed posture = group leaders and be viewed as attractive by other group members.
  • Eyes contact is one of the most important cues for ineffective communication.
Eye Contact
Action Result
Direct eye contact Confidence
Looking downwards Listening carefully, guilt/shame
Single eyebrow raised Doubt, skepticism
Both eyebrows raised Admiring, encouragement
Bent eyebrows Sudden focus, intensity
Tears Emotional – joy or pain
4. Nonverbal Communication-Haptics (Touch)

Any type of communication involving touch. Haptic communication occurred when people or animals interact with the sense of touch.

The most noteworthy instant of haptic nonverbal communication mentioned below:

  • Holding hands
  • Hugging
  • Tickling
  • Kissing.
5. Nonverbal communication- Proxemics
  • The use of space and seating arrangements affects the interaction.
  • Dominant group members position more centrally in the group’s space.
  • Hence, Task-oriented leaders VS socially-oriented leaders maintain space ratio or territoriality when the exhibit group meeting.
Interpersonal Space

1.Intimate distance ( 0-18 inches (-45.72 cm) = close friends, some family members, also lovers—private zone

2. Personal distance (18 in. – 4 ft (1.22 m), an arm’s length away) = friends and acquaintances

3. Social distance ( 4 – 8 ft (2.44 m) = new acquaintances and strangers

4. Public distance ( >8 ft (2.44 m) = making a presentation to a larger audience.

6. Nonverbal communication- Chronemics:
  • How much time talk and elapse when interacting with others.
  • How many members talk, how much time they let elapse before responding to other group members contributes to perceptions of leadership and influence.
  • Showing up at a meeting on time or being habitually late nonverbally communicates information to other group members.
  • For example, the Monochromic people Vs. Polychromic people.
7. Nonverbal communication- Artifacts
  • For example, the use of clothes, jewelry, and other accessories.

Communication Noise, 5 types of Noise- Physical, Physiological, Psychological, Semantic & Cultural

Communication Noise, 5 types of noise in communication are physical noise, physiological noise, psychological noise, Semantic noise & cultural noise. Additionally, Noises to effective communication in the organization. 

Communication Noise

What are communication noises?

Communication noise is any type of barrier to the effective communication process. The most basic 5 types of noises in communication are physical noise, physiological noise, psychological noise, Semantic noise & cultural noise. These noises distract the sender and receiver of the communication process, consequently bar to listen to the message effectively. Noise bars the effectiveness of the communication process therefore it is also known as the barrier to communication. Noise is one of the elements of the 9 elements of the communication process such as Context, Sender, Encoder,  Message, Channel, Decoder, Receiver,  Feedback, and Barriers or Noise

Actually, communication noises are present in all types of the communication process, for example, face-to-face communication, group or team communication, organizational communication, and mediated communication. The communication process will be more effective, productive, and interactive if there are no noises present. The researcher studies to find out the solution to overcome noises in communication.

Example of noise in the communication process

Ela is very sick and she is having rest at home. She calls her husband to bring some medicines and they are interacting on a mobile phone. At the same time, her daughter Elon is watching television with high volume. Therefore, Ela could not understand exactly what her husband says to her. So, she asks her husband again to be confirmed.

Television sounds are physical noise and her sickness is an example of physiological noise.

5 Types of Noise in Communication

What are the five types of noises in communication?

The most basic 5 types of noise in communication are physical noise, physiological noise, psychological noise, Semantic noise, and cultural noise. Although there are some additional noises in the communication process such as syntactical, emotional, etc. 

1. Physical Noise in Communication

What is Physical Noise?

Physical noise is the external and unnecessary sound that obstacle to effective communication. Physical noise is a communication disturbance created by the environment. Therefore, physical noise is also known as environmental noise in the communication process

Example of Physical Noise

The outside sound in communication created from the environment. For example, raining sounds, thunderstorms, horns, outside building’s sounds, sounds from fans, lights, and windows are the best example of physical or environmental noise. Apart from that, loud music, barking dogs, noisy conflict nearby, vehicle sounds are also examples of physical noise. 

2. Physiological Noise in Communication

What is physiological noise?

Physiological noise is a communication barrier created from the communicator’s physical condition. Usually, physical illness and weakness produce physical noise, and this noise obstacle to effective communication. 

Example of Physiological Noise

For example, Ela is having headaches therefore she can not concentrate in class. Here, headache is a physical illness that barriers to the listening process of communication.  Apart from that, deafness and blindness are the physical weakness or physiological noise that barriers to listening. Talking too fast or slow and the high or low temperature in the room also generate physiological noise. 

3. Psychological Noise in Communication

What is Psychological noise?

Psychological noise is a communication barrier created from the communicator’s psychological factors for example values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Psychological noise interrupts our minds to concentrate on listening. People don’t like to listen or talk about those topics that make them down or not interesting. 

Example of Psychological Noise

For example, Ela is a Muslim girl, and she does not like to listen to any criticism of Islam. Therefore, she became distracted when her lecturer was talking about anti-Islam issues. Any type of sensitive issues like religious, ethnic, and political are examples of Psychological Noise. Apart from that,  financial crisis, missing a beloved person, the exhausting schedule may originate the psychological noise. 

4.Semantic Noise in Communication

What is Semantic noise?

Semantic noise is a communication barrier created from the confusion over the meaning of words. Semantic noise occurred because of different meanings of the message between the sender and receiver. It also refers to the grammatical wrong sentence that makes the receiver unable to understand the meaning. It is called a syntactical barrier or noise.

Syntactical noise is a grammatically wrong sentence that the receiver unable to accomplish the proper meaning. Using difficult language during computer programming is an example of syntactical noise. It is also in contrast to syntactic sugar.

Example of Psychological Noise

Ela is an international student who studies at University Putra Malaysia. She is listening lecture from her Malaysian lecturer. In the meantime, her lecturer says ” I believe SEMUA understand this topic”. SEMUA is a Malaysian word that means everyone. Ela does not understand the meaning of SEMUA as she is not a Malaysian student. It is an example of semantic noise. Apart from that, jargon word, mispronunciation, special word, and the grammatical wrong sentence is the example of Semantic Noise.

5. Cultural Noise

What is Cultural noise?

Cultural noise is a communication barrier created from the wrong explanation of another person’s behaviors. Cultural noise produced due to the wrong meaning of messages, therefore, it is little similar to semantic noise. Especially, cultural noise is created from the nonverbal communication cues for example posture, gesture, eye contact, space, touch, and dress-up. The meaning of nonverbal cues is not the same in every culture and society. Conflicting messages are part of the cultural noises in communication. 

Apart from that, ethnocentrism, prejudices, stereotypes, and discrimination are also examples of cultural noises. These factors bar effective communication in a group or team. The four noises in group communication are ethnocentrism, prejudices, stereotypes, and discrimination.

Example of Cultural Noise

Jon is a Russian citizen who is studying at University Putra Malaysia. He offers his Malaysian woman friend to handshake, but she denied it. He felt very embarrassed. Later, he understood that in Malaysia women do not like to handshake men, and it is a cultural norm.

Apart from these basic noises in communication, there are many additional noises in different types of the communication process. For example, the most common two types of noises or barriers in organizational communication are encoding-decoding noises and transmitting noises. The encoding-decoding noises in organizational communication are lack of sensitivity to the receiver, lack of basic communication skills, not enough knowledge of the subject, information overload, emotional interference, and so on. Additionally, the transmitting noises in organizational communication are the bad connection of transmitting lines and channel barriers.