Get A Better Broadcast, Podcast and Voice-Over Voice


0339 – Human Spacing And Its Part In Projection Theory

Season 1, Ep. 339

2021.12.05 – 0339 – Human Spacing And Its Part In Projection Theory

Human Spacing

What the barbecue has illustrated is Human Spacing, the ideas of anthropologist Edward T. Hall[1] from which we understand the projection needed to speak conversationally[2]. It’s because, as we have seen, there are very specific ‘social rules’ about this social distance[3].


The Public Zone

This is generally over 3 metres. That is, when we are walking around town, we will try to keep at least this distance between us and other people. The closer others get, the more we become aware and ready ourselves for appropriate action.


The Social Zone

Between 1.5 and 3 metres we start to feel a connection with other people: we can talk with them without having to shout, and is a comfortable distance for people who are standing in a group but maybe not talking directly with one another.


The Personal Zone

In the personal zone of .5 to 1.5 metres the conversation gets more direct, and this is a good distance for two people who are talking in earnest about something.


The Intimate Zone

When a person is within arm’s reach or closer (under .5 metres), then we can touch them in intimate ways. We can also see more detail of their body language and look them in the eyes. When they are closer, they also blot out other people so all we can see is them (and vice versa). Romance of all kinds happens in this space.

[1] ‘Culture and Environment’ By Irwin Altman, Martin M. Chemers:

[2] There’s a whole chapter about speaking conversationally later in the book.

[3] This is true in the ‘developed Western world’; other cultures have other norms.

Audio recording script and show notes (c) 2021 Peter Stewart

Through these around-5-minute episodes, you can build your confidence and competence with advice on breathing and reading, inflection and projection, the roles played by better scripting and better sitting, mic techniques and voice care tips... with exercises and anecdotes from a career spent in TV and radio studios. If you're wondering about how to start a podcast, or have had one for a while - download every episode!

And as themes develop over the weeks (that is, they are not random topics day-by-day), this is a free, course to help you GET A BETTER BROADCAST, PODCAST AND VIDEO VOICE.

Look out for more details of the book during 2022.


Music credits: all Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License


"Beauty Flow" Kevin MacLeod (


More Episodes