Nonverbal Communication: 12 Types of Nonverbal Communication Examples

Example of Nonverbal Communication. Types of Nonverbal Communication: The 12 Types of Nonverbal Communication are Physical Appearance, Paralinguistics, Body Movement, Gestures, Posture, Facial Expression, Eye Contact, Proxemics, Haptics, Chronemics, Artifacts, and Environment. Also, Types of Non-verbal Communication.

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication means transmitting messages through nonverbal elements, such as physical appearance, eye contact, facial expression, body movement, gesture, and posture. Therefore, it is also known as non-verbal cues. The four types of communication are verbal, nonverbal, visual, and written. Nonverbal communication generates and transmits messages without spoken words. On the other hand, verbal communication means conveying the message through written and spoken words. The combination of both verbal and nonverbal cues generates effective interaction between the sender and receiver. Effective communication relies on using both verbal and nonverbal communication cues. 

The use of verbal and nonverbal communication cues during interaction can make communication more effective and efficient. There are several types of noise in communication: physical, physiological, psychological, and environmental noise. The combination of verbal and nonverbal communication reduces the noise of communication and makes the interaction more effective. The researchers have mentioned nonverbal communication cues as the components of the communication process.

Example of Nonverbal Communication

For example, Ela types on a laptop while interacting with her senior Boss. Simultaneously, the Boss asks her about when she wants to submit the company’s new business report. Ela raises two-finger focusing his eyes on the laptop. The Boss leaves the place saying all right. Ela intends to complete the business report at 2 PM, and the Boss completely understands the message. In this context, raising two-finger is the nonverbal communication example that conveys the message.

Similarly, the Boss shows a thumbs-up gesture when Ela says she has emailed the report before 2 PM. Here, thumbs-up conveys a good job message from Boss to Ela. There are thousands of nonverbal communication examples: eye contact, gesture, posture, silence, angry face, anxious mood, smiles, talking fast, and many more. The nonverbal communication cues are presented in all three types of communication models, including linear, interactive, and transactional models of communication.

Types of Nonverbal Communication

The 12 Types of Nonverbal Communication are:

1. Physical Appearance
2. Paralinguistics (Vocalics)
3. Body Movement
4. Gestures
5. Posture
6. Facial Expression
7. Eye Contact
8. Proxemics (Space)
9. Haptics (Touch)
10. Chronemics (Time)
11. Artifacts
12. Environment (Context)

Many scholars term the types as an example of nonverbal communication.

Nonverbal Communication Types & Examples

Types of Nonverbal Communication
Different Types of Nonverbal Communication

1. Physical Appearance Nonverbal Communication

Physical appearance is one of the significant types of nonverbal communication that convey a strong message about who you are. A proverb says that “The first impression is the best information.” People assume others’ education, success, moral character, social position, and trustworthiness by physical appearance.

According to a statistical report, people take less than ten seconds of the first meeting to determine other people. Clothes are the significant elements to convey messages to other group members. The casual attires are more acceptable in informal meetings because of the belief in trustworthiness. On the other hand, a professional appearance is well-accepted in business meetings and formal group presentations. However, research shows that good-looking people tend to make more money and get promoted more often than average looks.

Physical Appearance Nonverbal Communication Examples

For example, two people are walking on the road wearing different dresses. First-person wears a formal dress and the second person wears a jersey and shorts. Most people will be able to guess their profession with the dress. Usually, employees follow official dress, including shoes and hairstyle.

On the other hand, football players wear jerseys, shorts, boots, and socks. The dress conveys a message about their profession without spoken words. So, physical appearance is a significant type of nonverbal communication that transmits a strong message regarding the communicator.

2. Paralinguistics Nonverbal Communication

Paralinguistics refers to the meta-communication elements of nonverbal communication that modify the meaning of the message. It is also known as vocalics, paralanguage, or voice in nonverbal communication. Paralinguistics explains how we use our voices while speaking to someone.

In addition to physical appearance, paralinguistics is another crucial type of nonverbal communication that plays a significant role in changing the meaning of the speaker’s speech. Examples of paralinguistics are inflection, tone, pitch, filler words, indicators, volume, rate, and articulation. People have more than 630 muscles in their bodies, but they use around 72 different muscles conjointly to deliver the speech. The tongue is the most significant and robust muscle among them. People use this tongue to generate these paralinguistic elements during nonverbal communication.

Paralinguistics Nonverbal Communication Examples
Paralinguistics Nonverbal Communication Example
Paralinguistics Nonverbal Communication

3. Body Movement Nonverbal Communication

Body movement refers to the communication process through the head, hand, and hand movement that is known as nonverbal communication using body angles. The body angles between two people express the relationship between them. People tend to lean on the speaker when they feel interested in the discussion topic. On the other hand, people tend to orientate away from the speaker when they do not like the discussion topic. The same things happen when the audience likes and dislikes the speaker personally.  People use their bodies mostly in interaction; therefore, it is a crucial type of nonverbal communication.

Body Movement Nonverbal Communication Examples

For example, males tend to lean towards females in confined conditions, and females face away.

Body movement is also part of body language or Kinesics nonverbal communication. Kinesics nonverbal communication includes body movement, facial expression, gesture, and posture. According to the statistic report, people use 7% of words, 38 percent voice, and 55 percent body language in communication.

Elements of Kinesics in Nonverbal Communication

The four elements of Kinesics are body movement, facial expression, gesture, and posture.

Kinesics is the symbolic meaning of body movements. Ekman and Friesen (1969) developed five types of components of Kinesics, also known as body movements.

What are the 5 types of kinesics communication?

The five types of Kinesics Communication are Emblems, Illustrator, Affect Display, Regulators, and Adaptors.

1. Emblems

Emblems are body movements that can carry information without using verbal communication. For example, Thumb up means OK, waving a hand means goodbye and Logo represents something.

2. Illustrator

Illustrators are the body movements that transmit a complete message with or without verbal communication. Communicators link illustrators with oral action to make the interaction more effective. For example, a person is showing directions on how to reach Bank and explaining verbally.

3. Affect Display

Affect displays are body movements that relate to your emotions. For example, slumping body, relaxed body, and confident body.

4. Regulators

Regulators are body movements that emphasize further action. It also determines turn-taking in conversations—for example, control communication, a nod of the head.

5. Adaptors

Adaptors are body movements to adapt to a situation and the current environment. For example, reveal from nervousness, fixing clothes, nose scratches, stress, and anxiety.

4. Gestures Nonverbal Communication

Gestures are a form of nonverbal communication that includes waving hands, nodding heads, and pointing fingers. The gesture makes communication more lively and effective. The speakers may be perceived as boring, stiff, and unanimated if they cannot show gestures while speaking. Head nods and raking fingers inside through hairs are the form of gesture.

Gestures Nonverbal Communication Examples

For example, the Deaf community develops and uses various sign languages worldwide.

5. Posture Nonverbal Communication

Posture is one of the crucial types of nonverbal communication that is related to body position. It represents numerous messages by the way people walk, talk, stand and sit. Posture denotes the body position in nonverbal communication.

Posture Nonverbal Communication Examples

For example, standing erect but not rigid and leaning slightly forward communicates to your audience that you are approachable, receptive, and friendly. Additionally, speaking with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided; it communicates disinterest to your audience.

6. Facial Expression Nonverbal Communication

Facial expression is one of the most common types of nonverbal communication that influences interaction. It certainly plays a crucial role in regulating the interaction and conveys the message. Facial expression includes the mouth, eyebrow, and facial muscle. Facial expressions demonstrate approval or disapproval of the topic being discussed. The facial expression of the audience shows whether the speech is exciting or not. The five universal facial expressions are Happiness, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Surprise.

People have over 30 muscles on the face to help smile or frown; for example, 17 muscles to smile and 43 muscles to frown.

Facial Expression Nonverbal Communication Examples

For example, people open their mouths and extend their eyebrows when they are surprised.

7. Eye Contact Nonverbal Communication

Eye Contact is a significant type of nonverbal communication that regulates and controls communication. It is also known as oculesics, meaning the study of eye behavior. Eye muscles are the busiest muscles in the body. Scientists estimate that eyes move more than 100,000 times a day.

Eye Contact Nonverbal Communication Examples
Eye Contact Nonverbal Communication
Eye Contact Nonverbal Communication

8. Haptics in Nonverbal Communication

Haptic communication occurs when people interact with the sense of touch. It plays a significant role in the communication process. It refers to the touch that conveys the crucial message. Therefore, haptics is another type and example of nonverbal communication that conveys information involving touch.

Haptics Nonverbal Communication Examples

The most noteworthy examples of haptic are holding hands, hugging, tickling, also kissing.

9.  Proxemics in Nonverbal Communication

Proxemics refers to the interpersonal space during communication that affects the interaction. It is a familiar type of nonverbal communication that represents the seating arrangements. Proxemics are very significant factors in the workplace. It also plays an influential role in describing your position and attitude.

For example, dominant group members position more centrally in the group’s space. However, task-oriented leaders VS socially-oriented leaders maintain space ratio or territoriality when the exhibit group meeting.

Proxemics Nonverbal Communication Examples
Interpersonal Spaces

In 1969, Hall introduces the Four Types of Interpersonal Spaces are Intimate, Personal, Social, and Public Distance.

1. Intimate distance ( 0-18 inches (45.72 cm): For example, close friends, some family members, and lovers maintain close distance; therefore, it is also a private zone.

2. Personal distance (18 in. – 4 ft (1.22 m), an arm’s length away): For example, friends and acquaintances follow personal maintain this distance when interacting with each other.

3. Social distance ( 4 – 8 ft (2.44 m): For example, strangers maintain social distance as they do not have intimate relationships.

4. Public distance ( >8 ft (2.44 m): For example, a speaker is making a presentation to a larger audience.

10. Chronemics in Nonverbal Communication

Chronemics refers to the role of time during nonverbal interaction. It is not spoken speech; instead represents the gap between communication. Therefore, it is another example of nonverbal communication that denotes how much time to talk and elapse when interacting with others. For example, how many members speak and how much time they let elapse before responding to other group members.

In 1976, Edward T. Hall introduced the monochronic versus polychronic times to distinguish one culture from another. Monochronic shows the representative who is punctual and active. On the other hand, polychronic represents lazy people.

Chronemics Nonverbal Communication Examples

For example, in most countries, bosses come to the meeting after employees. The employees think that they must present at the meeting before the Boss arrives. The employees are active who join the discussion early. In contrast, the person will be termed as lazy if they enter the meeting late. Bosses can defer or cancel the appointment.

The lower-status person is willing to wait for the higher-status person. The higher-status person talks more than a lower-status person, and they dominate the communication. Lower-status people are reluctant to interrupt communication.

11. Artifacts Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal artifacts in communication refer to the physical objects of the person, including the brand of clothes and shoes, car brands, Tattoos, Piercing, and Jewelry. It is also known as the belongings owned by the communicator. However, artifacts assist the audiences strongly in forming a perception about the speakers. The audience can identify the speaker’s personality through artifacts.

Artifacts nonverbal communication examples

For example, a person uses a BMW car, representing that the person is wealthy. Similarly, if the person uses a good brand of clothes and diamond jewelry, these artifacts also notify that the person is wealthy. Likewise, sportspeople, singers use tattoos more than ordinary people. Tattoos denounce the social groups they are in. People with expensive jewelry represent their personality and socio-economic conditions.

12. Environment Nonverbal Communication

The environment of nonverbal communication refers to the surrounding context of communication. The context in communication denotes the environment of the discussion.

It mentions the physical environment of the discussion. Aneurin Bevan, a British political leader, recognized that the color of the conference room affected the political campaigns. He noticed that party conferences get more successful if they organize them in a bright color room instead of a depressing room. The environment conveys the message to motivate others.

Environment Nonverbal Communication Examples

The customers build negative concepts about the company and products. For example, the potential clients would not be interested in buying the products if the management set a meeting in a dirty room. In contrast, the customers feel interested in buying the products when the meeting is held in the office room. The environment conveys both positive and negative messages based on the situation.


The types of nonverbal communication are Physical Appearance, Paralinguistics, Body Movement, Gestures, Posture, Facial Expression, Eye Contact, Proxemics, Haptics, Chronemics, Artifacts, and also Environment. However, there are many more types of nonverbal communication in the world, such as Silence and Olfactics.

Citation For This Article(APA-7th & MLA-9th Edition)
APA Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021f, November 24). Nonverbal Communication: 12 Types of Nonverbal Communication Examples. Newsmoor- Best Online Learning Platform.
MLA Kobiruzzaman, M M. “Nonverbal Communication Types: 12 Types of Nonverbal Communication.” Newsmoor- Best Online Learning Platform, 24 Nov. 2021,

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