Direct communication (+15 types of communication)

In this article we will talk about: The concept of direct communication; 10 features of direct communication, other types of communication; barriers in verbal communication; improving verbal communication skills; couple communication; communication and language problems.

Direct communication: what is it and what are its characteristics

Broadly speaking, direct communication is what occurs “in the here and now.” But what does that mean? When we talk about direct communication, we are talking about a type of human communication that takes place through a natural language, which is oral or signed (sign language). The natural language is any linguistic variety that is part of the human language, and that has the mission of communicating.

Direct communication, moreover, is characterized in that the message or information is transmitted, from sender to receiver, immediately. Thus, the sending and receiving of the message are practically simultaneous.

In an ideal situation, in this type of communication, both the sender and the receiver say what they think and feel, and there is active listening between the two, in addition to effective feedback.

On the other hand, this type of communication makes the messages that are transmitted have a special structure, and that they are expressed in a certain way (different from how a written message would be expressed, or a message through non-verbal communication, for example).

10 characteristics of direct communication

Regarding the main characteristics of direct communication (especially the one that uses oral language), we find the following:

  1. Use of reiterations

Reiterations involve repeating a word, or a set of them, throughout the speech (especially at the beginning of a sentence). They appear many times in direct communication without realizing it, or because we want to highlight what we are saying. An example of reiteration would be: “Drink, drink, don’t be silly.”

  1.  Use of redundancy

Redundancies also appear frequently in direct communication. It is about using unnecessary words to express an idea, when in fact it can be expressed in fewer words (or can even be understood without using words). That is, it is about repeating unnecessary information or that does not contribute anything new to the speech or message.

  1. Use of expressions and phrases

Expressions are also very common in direct communication. These, used by the vast majority of people at all sociocultural levels (since they also deal with very diverse topics), consist of expressions with a fixed form and a figurative meaning.

That is, they transmit messages in a non-literal (figurative) way. Some examples of them are: “let your guard down”, “give a cat for a hare”, “screw up” or “the drop that fills the glass”.

  1. Use of crutches

The words, those famous words that the professors we spoke so much hated in oral presentations, consist precisely of that, words or expressions that we repeat, often unconsciously, throughout our speech and with excessive frequency.

In a way, it is an “oral tic” that appears when we speak or explain something in the context of direct communication, and whose frequency of appearance is accentuated when we are nervous.

  1. Use of unfinished sentences

Unfinished sentences are phrases that we use frequently in oral language, which are unfinished. It is about starting sentences without actually finishing them, because of the speed of the speech, because another idea appears, because we digress, etc.

  1.  Appearance of omissions

Another characteristic of direct communication is the appearance (or use) of omissions. Omissions involve failing to issue (cancel or cut) certain relevant parts or aspects of the communication.

They are produced due to the source or the recipient of the message and make the communication not complete, or that certain meanings lose their essence.

  1. Use of onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeias, other common elements in direct communication, are either words that we use to represent a sound or imitations of a certain sound. Examples of onomatopoeias are: “tic-tac” (clock), “wuf wuf” (dog) “,” ring-ring “(alarm), etc.

  1. Jumps from one topic to another

In direct communication, it is also quite frequent that we jump from one topic to another during our speech (often without realizing it).

An example of this would be: “The other day I went to the cinema to see that movie… oh yes! I met Pablo. It’s hot now, isn’t it? ” The jumps from one topic to another, if they occur in a very accelerated way, can confuse or dislodge the receiver of our message.

  1. Messy elements 

On the other hand, it is also common for disorderly elements to appear in the sentences that are issued in direct communication.

This occurs because the speech is rushing, the speed of the speech being high, because suddenly new ideas appear in the sender’s mind, causing them to rush into the speech, or for other reasons.

  1. Support in non-verbal language

Finally, another characteristic of direct communication is the complementary use of non-verbal language. This implies the use of gestures by the interlocutors, of certain body positions, use of different tones of voice, etc.

You can try out some communication activities for teens also.

What about indirect communication?

We have seen what direct communication consists of, but what about indirect communication? Both types of communication are part of human communication. In the case of indirect communication, this occurs when the interlocutors are not physically together (and often not even close).

To carry out this type of communication, communication channels are used such as social networks (for example Facebook, Twitter, Instagram …), chats or email.

That is, in these, there is an intermediary between the sender and the receiver, and the communication is not totally immediate (it takes seconds or minutes, depending on the channel). Another characteristic of it is that there is no physical and temporal space shared by the speakers, which means that their visual and body contact does not occur.

Other types of communication

The message can be transmitted through verbal language (words), non-verbal (gestures, facial expressions) and paraverbal (a form of non-verbal language, represented by the tone of voice, speech rhythm, how to accentuate words, verbal tics, etc.).

Thus, communication is of several types:

Verbal communication 

It refers to communication through the utterance of words and can be:

Oral – the one we use to express ourselves in relationships with others, in everyday life, in the workplace, in stores, on the phone, etc.

Written – the one that takes place through an indirect means of communication, such as texting, e-mail, written documents, books, magazines, newspapers, social media, etc.

Non-verbal communication 

People communicate using much more than just words spoken: through gestures, facial expressions, gait, body posture, eye contact; all these aspects represent non-verbal communication. This part of the communication has a significant impact on the messages sent.

Paraverbal communication 

It is a form of non-verbal communication and includes elements such as:

  • The tone of voice;
  • Voice volume;
  • Rhythm, intonation and accent of speech;
  • Pauses, speed of speech;

In the process of communication, the largest share belongs to non-verbal communication, with 55% (body language, movement, facial expressions), followed by para-verbal – 38%, while verbal communication (words) represents only 7% of what communicates.

Aesthetic and visual communication

Aesthetic communication is achieved through art, whether we are talking about painting, dance, music or sculpture, while visual communication refers to illustrations, graphics, presentations, etc.

Other types of communication

Depending on the number of participants and the nature of the relationship between them, the communication can be classified as follows:

Intrapersonal communication – represents communication with the self, and the sender and receiver become the same person;

Public communication – refers to a presentation given by a person directly, in front of a group of people (conferences, lectures, pleadings, presentation in front of an examination commission);

Mass communication – refers to the transmission of written, spoken or visual messages produced by the media to an audience;

Business communication – aims to send a message for the fulfilment of professional tasks, within formal organizations.

Formal communication – Vertical communication is that verbal communication that takes place between the interlocutors in subordinate relations – it can be from the higher hierarchical levels to the lower ones and vice versa;

Horizontal communication takes place at the same hierarchical level and is functional and cooperative;

Diagonal communication takes place on several hierarchical levels, but without a direct relationship of subordination or superordination; it is used for the transmission of methodological indications, for example;

In the case of formal communication, well-defined and well-defined communication channels are used, while in the case of informal communication alternative channels are used, including free discussions.

Another type of business communication is represented by the communication of companies and brands with customers through advertisements, marketing and promotion techniques, public relations, etc.

Interpersonal communication – is the communication between two people, is what helps us to know others, to create and maintain human connections. It can be direct (direct) and indirect (mediated by technology or other methods);

Group communication – takes place in small human communities, teams, families, circles of friends, etc. Through this type of communication, ideas and emotions are exchanged, solutions are sought to solve problems, decisions are made and conflicts are settled.

Barriers to verbal communication

Sometimes communication can be distorted due to limitations called barriers, such as:

Internal barriers in verbal communication

  • Physiological/psychological factors – the state of health of the interlocutors, the emotional state, conditions such as hunger, thirst, need for sleep, etc .;
  • Incorrect decoding of the message, due to differences in meaning that people give to the same word;
  • Distortions related to differences in attitudes, beliefs, value systems, life experiences;
  • The tendency to evaluate, judge or disapprove the message conveyed; it occurs when the differences between the self-image and the external one are disproportionate or if the interlocutor is not self-confident.
  • Defective wording of the message – vague or incomplete wording of the message, intentionally or unintentionally;
  • Individual limits in sending and receiving the message – speed of speaking / thinking; ability to retain / process information.

External barriers in verbal communication

  • The physical environment, the space in which the communication takes place – the noise level, the lighting, the temperature, etc .;
  • The physical distance between the interlocutors – either the two do not hear each other or are too close;
  • Visual/olfactory stimuli etc. what distracts (furniture, clothing, smells, etc.);
  • Improper hours/circumstances for communication;
  • Repeated interruptions that cause a state of stress;

Improving verbal communication skills

Communication allows you to establish and maintain relationships with others, and if it is deficient, it can lead to misunderstandings on all levels, both personally and professionally.

That is why it is important to take into account some ideas for more effective communication with those around us:

  • Learn to master the art of listening – it is very important in verbal communication.
  • Active listening is a very important skill, listening carefully to the interlocutor is vital for good communication.
  • Be prepared to listen to your interlocutor – focus on what he has to say, not what you have to answer;
  • Keep an open mind and avoid prejudices about the interlocutor – try to put aside preconceived notions associated with the interlocutor’s gender, ethnicity, accent, social class, or physical appearance;
  • Focus on the main direction of the message – try to understand what it has to say, but also try to “read” between the lines.
  • Avoid anything that might distract you from the conversation. For example, if there is a lot of background noise, ask the other person to go upstairs to talk;
  • Be objective;
  • Try to use all the information you have, and don’t rely on just one or two ideas;
  • Use a warm and friendly tone with others, smile it is scientifically proven that we are attracted to people who are friendly because they make us feel good and generate a pleasant state;
  • Think carefully about what you would like to say before you speak – most of the time, it is advisable not to say everything that comes to mind, if that information does not bring a real added value;
  • Don’t talk too much – a person who talks too much can be considered tiring because he dominates the conversation. There are few who like to be around such people who monopolize the conversation;
  • Be authentic – try to be honest and transparent when communicating with others;
  • Be clear and concise in your expression, so that the message is better understood;
  • Respect your interlocutor – pay attention to what the interlocutor said, be modest;
  • Express your point of view without hurting others; listen to what others have to say and respond without becoming aggressive, even when you do not agree with what you hear;
  • Be confident – trust is felt in the words you use, in your tone of voice, in your eye contact, in your body language;
  • Pay attention to body language and tone of voice, because these non-verbal elements are the ones that convey interest and respect for the interlocutor;
  • Adapt your message to your interlocutor so that you understand;

Improving verbal and non-verbal communication skills requires constant awareness, sustained efforts and a stable desire for self-improvement. The only way to achieve this growth is through practice.

Equally important in interacting with others is the “first impression” – which we form when we meet a person for the first time, based on how they look, speak and behave, as well as what we have. heard about it.

The first impression guides future communications to some extent. It can be reviewed later and really needs to be constantly updated with new information about that person as we get to know them better.

Communication within the couple

In a couple,  communication plays a vital role. Because each person has a different communication style and different needs, couples are forced to find a suitable way to communicate.

It is recommended to:

  • Communicate clearly, without interruption;
  • Think carefully about what you want to communicate;
  • Talk constantly about how you feel and what worries you;
  • You assume what you say;
  • You listen to your partner – try to put yourself in his place and understand his intentions, feelings, needs and desires – that is, to show what is called empathy;
  • Share your positive feelings with your partner, tell him you appreciate him;
  • Use a warm and open tone of voice;
  • Remember that you don’t always have to be right – especially if it’s not about a serious problem.


In this article we talked about: The concept of direct communication; 10 features of direct communication, other types of communication; barriers in verbal communication; improving verbal communication skills; couple communication; communication and language problems.

The way we communicate with others plays a crucial role in our personal identity, having an effect on both professional and personal life. Therefore, you need to pay attention to how you communicate and constantly try to improve this skill.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know!

Further reading

4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication in Love, Life, Work–Anywhere!: Including the “12-Day Communication Challenge!

Communication Skills Training: How to Talk to Anyone, Connect Effortlessly, Develop Charisma, and Become a People Person (Practical Emotional Intelligence),by James W. Williams 

Communication Skills: A Practical Guide to Improving Your Social Intelligence, Presentation, Persuasion and Public Speaking: Volume 9 (Positive Psychology Coaching Series Book), by Ian Tuhovsky  

It’s the Way You Say It: Becoming Articulate, Well-spoken, and Clear, by Carol A. Fleming  

Nonviolent Communication — A Language of Life (Nonviolent Communication Guides), by Marshall B. Rosenberg



Maletzke, G. (1992). Psychology of social communication. (5th Ed.).

Michael, T. (2013). The origins of human communication.

Communication Theory – Types of Communication – 4 Types of Communication