VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Applying Effective Communication Skills/Forms of communication

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Forms of Communication

There are many forms of communication which can generally be classified into two (2) major groups. In this unit, the definitions and classifications of these groups are discussed.

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  • Think of the times and ways in which you communicate and list the different ways by which two or more persons can communicate.
  • Using this list, categorize that information under two main headings, thinking of the means whereby this communication will occur.

We communicate through verbal and non-verbal means. These include

Verbal Non-Verbal
By Telephone (cell-phones)


By body language

By electronic means (internet)

By mass media (television)

By print media (brochure)

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Verbal communication includes written and oral communication. It is communicating using words and speaking.

Non-verbal communication includes our actions, attitudes, appearance and body language. It involves more than what we say with our words.

Verbal Communication

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Give two examples how verbal communication can take place.

Possible Answers: 1.talking face-to-face 2.talking over the telephone

Elements of the Voice

The medium for verbal communication is the voice. The voice can be adjusted according to:

1. Tone

2. Articulation

3. Speed

4. Volume


Refers to the manner in which someone speaks. It can be high, medium or low. Each level of tone reflects a certain level of emotion.

  • High Tone

Is used to express anger, authority

  • Medium Tone

Is used in a normal conversation.

  • Low Tone

Is used when reflecting sadness.


Refers to the accent of the person; reflected in the way words are pronounced.


This is the pace at which the words are spoken. It is advised to speak slowly.

Volume Refers to the level at which words are projected.

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For each of the following situations, state the elements of the voice that should be used.

Situation 1: A tour guide interacting with a small child Situation 2: A tour guide in front of a group of twelve persons Situation 3: A tour guide talking to an unhappy client

Non-verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication involves more than what we say with our words. It includes our actions, attitudes, appearance and body language.

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Give two examples how non-verbal communication can take place.

By body language: Body language can be very effective but very ambiguous also. It refers to facial expressions, posture and gestures. Different body language has different meanings for different cultures. For example, in some countries it is rude to touch a stranger while you talk to them, but in other countries, touching someone on the arm or shoulder when you talk is friendly. It is important to recognize distance when interacting with clients. For example, By electronic means: Many individuals now use the electronic medium to communicate. For example, CAPITALIZED or bold alphanumeric characters means you are shouting or trying to get attention. By mass media: This refers to sending messages through television or radio used in advertisements or documentaries. By print media: this includes memorandums, letters, flyers, brochures, and posters.

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Instructor will provide a brochure. Students will be asked to look at the photos (without reading the text) and share what message is being conveyed.