What are Modes of Communication? | Modes & Types of Communication with Examples,

10 Modes of Communication: Communication is the action of sharing and transferring data and information between two or more individuals or a group of some people. Furthermore, all the communication processes require a medium, a message, a sender, and a receiver. Message transmission also involves some emotions and various cultural significances associated with it. And due to some differences in the perception and understanding, the receiver involved in the communication might also not be able to interpret the message according to the original sender’s intentions.

Now moving on to the importance of communication, starting from the business report preparations to answering any phone call or just nodding the head in approval, communication is essential in one form or the other. Furthermore, some modes of communication are also in higher demand in sales or services, and they are also the essential eligibility criteria for applying for such jobs. Thus, for better accomplishment of many duties, modes of communication play a vital role. They are also helpful in bettering relationships in the workplace and enhancing the success chances for careers.

Gossips with friends, conversations on Television, email, and WhatsApp chatting, Chirping of birds, dogs’ barks, receiving details and facts from satellites, and others; all make the entire World a communication-centric one. Sharing all the emotions, feelings, discussing any thoughts, ideas, and opinions, and sharing facts with any individual or group of people is essential in daily life. For all these to seamlessly occur, we must have good communication skills.

Multimodal Communication

Multimodal communication is the communication mechanic that involves various ways like gestures, verbal, written, and others. There are different communication modes involved under the wider criteria of multimodal communication, and it is used widely in higher education for accentuating the students’ learning approach and experiences. There are 5 modes of communication under Multimodal Communication.

  1. Alphabetical or Linguistical Communication
  2. Gestural Communication
  3. Aural Communication
  4. Visual Communication
  5. Spatial Communication

Here is a brief on five modes of communication involved in multimodal communication.

Differences of Communication

Alphabetical or Linguistical Communication

This is among the most popular communication modes. Linguistic or alphabetical communication is referred to the spoken or written communication ways where the sender conveys the message using any written mode or by speaking. For example, audio messages, notes, lists, text messages, etc.

Gestural Communication

The major emphasis of gestural communication is on the body language and physical movements for communicating the messages. The best example of gestural communication mode is Sign Language, as the ones who cannot hear or talk can communicate effectively and easily using the gestures and have a unique set of language for conversation. This communication mode mainly involves the aural, spatial, or linguistic modes. It can be utilized individually if both receiver and sender have common meanings and references to ensure understandable communication.

Aural Communication

As suggested by its name, this communication mode uses audio mode for conveying the messages and communicating. It can use either sounds or spoken audios for communication. The speaker’s voice and pronunciation must be precise and clearer, and there must be zero background noise. For example, music, radio, audiobooks, etc.

Visual Communication

Visual communication refers to the non-verbal communication mode as it involves the visual messages from the sender to the receiver. This was among the oldest communication modes when the ancient people were unaware of any language to communicate with; they used pictures, drawings, and symbols to share their views and communicate. For example, symbols, graphs, pictures, drawings, charts, etc.

Spatial Communication

Spatial communication emphasizes the usage of physical space in texts and the entire written structures to convey different messages and meanings. The physical layout of any written text is designed precisely for making it look in a certain way and associate with any particular theme. Websites also use this unique communication mode to choose some font, design, style, and layout for making the websites user-friendly, attractive, and interactive.

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Three Modes of Communication

Communication is the primary process of sharing messages and information between any set of individuals using certain defined rules, symbols, behavior, and signs. There are three major modes for this process of exchanging messages and information, as briefed below.

  1. Interpretive Communication
  2. Interpersonal Communication
  3. Presentational Communication

Interpretive Communication

This communication mode is also referred to as “one-way communication”. In interpretive communication mode, the details and information that the sender conveys are interpreted by the receiver in its original form without any alterations. The target’s role is to understand the message in both spoken and written forms while keeping various aspects in mind. For example, in any class, the learners might not completely understand every word that the teacher says but are always expected to understand the topics’ main coverage. Some major highlights of interpretative communication are:

  1. Learners start with understanding, interpreting, and analyzing the details that they hear, read, or view on various topics.
  2. This communication model involves interpreting the intents of the author or the producer.
  3. There is currently no alternative available to active negotiations of the meanings with the speakers, writers, or the producers.

Interpersonal Communication

This communication mode is the process in which people exchange data and information via verbal and non-verbal messages. This is not a mediated communication mode, occurring when anyone interacts or attempts to influence one another mutually to manage the relationships. Even though the interpersonal communication mode can involve written, oral, and non-verbal communication forms, this term is applied only and mainly to the spoken communication taking place between two or more individuals on a personal or face to face level. Here is a list of examples that interpersonal communication involves:

  1. Text messages
  2. Emails
  3. Debates
  4. Interactive sessions
  5. Telephonic conversations
  6. Personal Interviews

Presentational Communication

This is the other one-way communication mode that facilitates the interpretation by members of any other group where there is no direct opportunity for active negotiations of the said and understood meanings between members of any two groups. With this communication mode, a person speaks to the audience after being rehearsed, scripted, or pre-prepared. Some major highlights of presentational communication are given below:

  1. For ensuring that the intended audience successfully interprets the presenters’ needs and the presenter is well-versed with the language and culture of the audience.
  2. There is no direct opportunity for engagement with a larger audience base in this communication mode.

Types of Communication

Key Differences between Communication Modes

Based on Type

  • Interpersonal: This is a two-way communication model.
  • Interpretive: This is a one-way communication mode.
  • Presentational: This is also a one-way communication mode

Based on Negotiation

  • Interpersonal: There is a possibility of active negotiations of meanings between the individuals.
  • Interpretive: There is no possibility of active negotiations with any producer, speaker, writer, or author.
  • Presentational: There is no availability of any reasonable means for engaging the mass.

Based on Communication Mode

  • Interpersonal: The main modes of messages’ convey and interpretation are speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
  • Interpretive: The main modes of messages’ convey and interpretation are listening to texts, viewing, and reading.
  • Presentational: The main modes of messages’ convey and interpretation are speaking and writing.

Based on Examples

  • Interpersonal: Text messages, social media, etc.
  • Interpretive: radio news, literature, speeches, articles, etc.
  • Presentational: Reports, flyers, short stories, etc.

Importance of Three Modes of Communication

Here are the importances of Interpretive, Interpersonal, and presentation communication modes:

  1. Help in the maintenance of a smoother flow for conveying information.
  2. Help in devising any plan or strategy for reaching a pre-defined goal.
  3. Help in building soft skills and cordial relationships.
  4. They help in making the entire decision-making process more effective and lesser time-consuming.
  5. With the help of these, conflict management and problem-solving get easier.

10 Modes of Communication

Across the globe, people use various communication modes and methods for delivering their messages. Here is a brief on ten communication modes. Unlike the previous three major communication modes, presentational, interpretive, and interpersonal, the below-mentioned modes are not based entirely on human interaction during the communication. However, they are based more on the sources used for communication.

  • Only Typewriting: In this communication method, only typing serves for making communication possible. For example, messages and emails.
  • Only Handwriting: In this method, the communication from the sender and receiver ends is based solely on the handwriting. For example, teachers correcting the students’ notebooks and writing comments or remarks on them.
  • Only Voice: In this method, the communication is only done using voice. For example, a phone call or any normal verbal communication.
  • Only Video: here, all the parties involved in the communication make use of videos for communicating. For example, a video call.
  • Handwriting and typing: In this communication method, any of the communicators use handwriting for sharing their message with the other one who uses typing to relay the response.
  • Typewriting and Video: Here, any communicator uses typewriting for sharing messages, and the other uses video for the responses.
  • Handwriting and Video: Here, any communicator uses handwriting to share messages, and the other uses video for the responses.
  • Voice and Typewriting: Here, any communicator uses voice for sharing messages, and the other uses typewriting for the responses.
  • Voice and Handwriting: Here, any one of the communicators use voice for sharing messages, and the other uses handwriting for the responses.
  • Voice and Video: Here, any one of the communicators use voice for sharing messages, and the other uses video for the responses.

Cultural and Intercultural Communication Modes

Several cultural communication modes are specific to certain areas and cultures only. They can be any symbolic usage, any action, some specific body language, etc. Any person’s culture is not only about their eating habits and their outfits, but it also varies in the manner of their communication and how they convey their messages.

Cultural Difference in the Communication Ways

While making use of verbal communication, there are different cultures with different languages, dialects, and accents. Furthermore, the volume and tone of communication also differ from one place to another. For example, the tone of any native German speaker might be angrier than that of a British one, even if both of them communicate in the same language, say English.

In non-verbal communication, many differences might lead to miscommunication in intercultural discussions. Some major non-verbal communication modes that vary from place to place are:

  • TouchEye Contact
  • Gestures
  • Facial Expressions
  • Physical Space
  • Posture


Communication is the mode of conveying messages and sharing them in various ways. There are different communication modes available globally, and all of them are essential in one way or the other. Furthermore, there are also several variations and differences in the communication modes, based on the needs, place, usage, and tools considered for effective communication.