Communication is a two-way process. There are two roles in a communicative act, the speaker or the sender of the message and the receiver or the audience. Without the speaker, there is no one to pass on the message. Without a receiver, there is no one to accept the message. The speaker and the receiver then is the key element to a successful transmission of message.
Verbal communication focuses on the use of the spoken language. Whether one is in a face-to-face dialogue or in a limited communication, spoken language is an essential in conveying the message. Speech is needed to communicate a message, especially in limited communication.
Non-verbal communication is used to emphasize the message conveyed. It evokes images and translates the spoken message into pictures and descriptions. The process and method of communication affects not only the verbal part of the communicative act but also the non-verbal part (Bavelas, et.al. p. 22).
The concept of the working memory, thus, is important in understanding how speech and gestures are used in communication. Humans have a working memory, by which it is described as the perception and the knowledge, whether stored or new knowledge, that our minds have the capacity to store (Logie, p.2). This offers a conceptualization of how language, speech and gestures are used in a communicative act. Whatever we have stored in our minds, that is what the speaker and the receiver processes in order to understand the message transmitted.
Context plays a big part in communication as it determines how the message is to be understood and is understood by the communicators. In face-to-face interaction, a comprehensive communicative act by which both spoken language and gestures are simultaneously used in order to better convey the message. Bavelas and Chovil (p.164) suggests that communication processes should consider the concurrent use of both the audible and the visible