Nonverbal Communication Types: 12 Types of Nonverbal Communication

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

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 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 the components and examples of nonverbal communication.

Nonverbal Communication Types

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 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

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

Five Types of Kinesics in 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 through 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 conveying the message. Facial expression includes the mouth, eyebrow, and facial muscles. Facial expressions demonstrate approval or disapproval of the topic being discussed. The audience’s facial expression 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 the 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 and socially-oriented leaders maintain space ratio or territoriality during 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 and 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 artefacts 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, artefacts assist the audiences strongly in forming a perception about the speakers. The audience can identify the speaker’s personality through artefacts.

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 jewellery, 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. (2022, January 28). 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, 28 Jan. 2022,

Communication Noise- 5 Types of Noise Barriers in Communication

Communication Noise: 5 Types of Noise in Communication are Physical Noise, Physiological Noise, Psychological Noise, Semantic Noise & Cultural Noise. Definition and Examples of Different Types of Noises in Communication

Communication Noise

Communication noise means any barrier to the effective communication process. Noises bar the effective communication process between senders and receivers. The different types of noise in communication are physical, physiological, psychological, semantic, and cultural noise. These noises distract the sender and receiver of the communication process from listening 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 communication followed by Context, Sender, Encoder,  Message, Channel, Decoder, Receiver, and Feedback.

Actually, communication noises are presented in all communication contexts, such as face-to-face communication, group communication, organizational communication, and mediated communication. The researchers have mentioned the noise in the three models of communication, for example, linear, interactive, and transactional models of communication.

The communication process will be more effective, productive, and interactive if there are no noises present. Many scholars are researching to find out the solution to overcome noises in communication. Researchers have identified that in the U.S.A, business organizations are losing billions of dollars due to noises in communication.

Example of noises in communication

Ela is very sick, and she is taking a rest at home. She calls her husband to bring some medicines, and they interact on a mobile phone. At the same time, her daughter Elon is watching television at a high volume. Therefore, Ela could not understand what her husband said to her precisely. 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

The five types of noise in communication are physical, physiological, psychological, semantic, and cultural noises. However, some additional noises in the communication process include syntactic, emotional, medium, encoding, decoding noises, etc. 


Types of Noise in Communication

Five Types of noises in communication are:
  1. Physical Noise
  2. Physiological Noise
  3. Psychological Noise
  4. Syntactical Noise
  5. Cultural Noise

1. Physical Noise in Communication

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

Example of Physical Noise

For example, raining sounds, thunderstorms, horns, outside building sounds, sounds from fans, lights, and windows are the best example of physical or environmental noise. Besides loud music, barking dogs, noisy conflict nearby, vehicle sounds are also examples of physical noise. 

2. Physiological Noise in Communication

Physiological noise is a barrier created by 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 barrier to the listening process of communication.  Apart from that, deafness and blindness are 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

Psychological noise is a communication barrier created from the communicator’s psychological factors, for example, values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours. This type of 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 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

Semantic noise is a communication barrier created from confusion over the meaning of words. It comes from complex, technical, autochthonous, or grammatical errors in communication. Semantic noise occurred because of different meanings of the message between the sender and receiver. It also refers to the wrong grammatical sentence that makes the receiver unable to understand the meaning. Scholars term it as a syntactical barrier or noise.

Syntactical noise is a grammatically wrong sentence in 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 Semantic Noise

Ela is an international student who studies at University Putra Malaysia. She is listening to lectures 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.

Similarly, a lecturer says natural causes of climate change and global warming are distinguished. However, a few students are confused about the lecturer’s statement. The confusion has come from semantic noise. These students believe that climate change and global warming is same phenomenon. Finally, the lecturer describes that global warming refers to only raising the temperature of the environment. On the other hand, climate change denotes the both increasing and decrising the global temperature. It is also an example of semantic noise.

Additionally, jargon words, mispronunciations, unique words, and grammatically wrong sentences are Semantic Noise examples.

5. Cultural Noise in Communication

Cultural noise is a communication barrier created from the wrong explanation of another person’s behaviours. Actually, cultural noise is produced due to the wrong meaning of messages; therefore, it is a little similar to semantic noise. Especially, cultural noise is created from the nonverbal communication of people from different cultural backgrounds. The basic kinds of nonverbal communication cues are posture, gesture, eye contact, space, touch, and dress-up. The meaning of nonverbal cues is not the same in every culture and society. The conflicting message in communication is one of the cultural noises. 

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 denies it. It makes Jon feel very embarrassed. Later, he understood that women do not like to handshake men in Malaysia, which is a cultural norm.

Additional Noises in Communication Process

Apart from these basic five types of noises, the additional noises in the communication process, electrical noise, organizational noise, and noise in the group conversation. 

 Organizational Noise

Organizational communication noise refers to the encoding-decoding noises and transmitting noises. The encoding-decoding noises in corporate communication lack sensitivity to the receiver, basic communication skills, insufficient knowledge of the subject, information overload, emotional interference, etc. Additionally, the transmitting noises in organizational communication are the faulty connection of transmitting lines and channel barriers. 

Noise in Group Communication

Barriers in Group Communication are disturbances that are obstacles to interactive communication among group members. The barrier in group communication usually hiders to understand other members in the group or team. The four types of barriers in group communication are Ethnocentrism, Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination. The group discussion has many stages, tensions, conflicts, and so more. According to Tuckman’s Theory, the five stages of group discussion are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Members must need to overcome all these stages to achieve the independent and interdependent goal.

Difference Between Noise and Barrier

Noise and Barrier in conversation denote the same meaning, although people use them in different interaction contexts. For example, people use the word noise when they encounter obstacles in face-to-face or group communications. On the other hand, people use the word barrier when facing corporate communication or mediated communication obstacles. Noise refers to the hindrance during the interaction between sender and receiver. However, many people, including scholars, described them as noise barriers. People also term them a distraction, distortion, disturbance, and so on.

In conclusion, communicators need to reduce noises as much as possible to make communication more effective, productive, and efficient. These noises in communication are prevalent in every context of the communication process, such as barriers in face-to-face communication, barriers in mediated communication, barriers in corporate communication, and barriers in group communication. Noises are the unwanted element of the communication process. The transactional model of communication is more preferable to reduce noise in communication rather than a linear process.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)
Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021, November 20). Communication Noise- 5 Types of Noises Barriers in Communication. Newsmoor- Best Online Learning Platform.