Yesterday I was mulling over the first of a series of blog posts by Nick Morgan on How do you connect with your audience?
He began by pointing out that there are four different zones or spaces between people. These are:
Public space- Greater than 12 feet
Social space- 4 to 12 feet
Personal space- 1.5 to 4 feet
Intimate space- less than 1.5 feet
The four spaces could have been described better by an illustration, so I used PowerPoint to create one.
He finished by stating the essential point that:
“Everything significant in communication between people happens in personal space or intimate space.”
When I looked at my illustration I began to wonder if the distinction between public space and social space might roughly correspond to Professor Andrew Abela’s distinction between conference room and boardroom presentation styles.
Last December I discussed both how Your presentation style should match both your intent and the size of your audience and how Audience size determines working distance and thus presentation style. We don’t have common terminology for describing either working distances or audience sizes, so there is much more that could be said about interactions, if we just could find the words.
For theater seating a person takes up a square with a 3-foot side, so an audience of 64 people would fit into the 24-foot side of the green square marked as social space. Does that audience size define the limit for a boardroom presentation? (I first assumed that 12 feet was the width, but it's the half-width,or radius).