What Is Communication Channel?

The channel is the medium or the communication format chosen by the sender to transmit the message to the receiverOpens in new window. Communications generally travel from the sender to the receiver(s) through channels.

There is a wide range of channels available to the senderOpens in new window to choose from.

Written message channels include memos, letters, e-mail, web pages, notes, reports, telegrams, newsletters, and news releases.

Oral message channels can occur in many forms, including face-to-face conversations, telephone conversations, voice mail, in-person conferences, video conferences, and speeches.

Nonverbal Opens in new window messages can be conveyed by both humans and objects. The human channels through which these messages pass include gestures Opens in new window and facial expressions Opens in new window.

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Object-based Opens in new window nonverbal message channels include the appearance and layout of a document and the audio and visual clarity of a videotaped presentation.

Because communication channels deliver both verbal and non-verbal messages, senders Opens in new window must choose the appropriate channel and shape the message carefully. A company may use its annual report, for example, as a channel to deliver many messages to stockholders. The verbal message lies in the report’s financial and organization news. Nonverbal messages, though, are conveyed by the report’s appearance (showy versus bland), layout (ample white space versus tightly packed columns of print), and tone (conversational versus formal).

Nonverbal communicationOpens in new window is a compelling complement to verbal communication. When there is a conflict between a speaker’s words and actions or between a document’s contents and appearance, the receiver will most likely believe the nonverbal message.

Anything that cause interruption in the transmission of a message in the communication process is called noiseOpens in new window. Channel noise may range from a weak internet signal to sloppy formatting and typos in e-mail messages. Noise may even include the annoyance a receiver feels when the sender chooses an improper channel for transmission or when the receiver is overloaded with messages and information.