If you are in front of a group of people, strangers or otherwise, and are getting ready to speak, congratulations! You've overcome a barrier that many people cannot. But now you have to deal with keeping the people in the audience interested. How can you do that without looking like this guy (see video below)?? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvsboPUjrGc The first bit of advice I give to anyone is: Don't be like that guy. At least in that Crazy mode. Doing that may get you fired. His name is Steve Ballmer, btw. Enough said. I have a style of speaking that leads me to move about the room at a more normal, non-Steve speed. Why do I move around when speaking? I find it gives me the chance to distract myself from being worried, keeps the blood pumping, prevents tunnel vision, and ensures that I get a bit more attention from whomever I happen to be talking to. For boardroom type lessons, I will keep my eyes on the group, but I will move about, from time to time, along the front of the room. People, being visual animals, will focus on the thing that is moving. If I stay in one place, they get bored because nothing new is happening. Translation: In one ear, out the other. Not good. In a classroom setting, I may wander up and down the aisles. People have to work a bit to hear what I'm saying. That too is an effective way of keeping them focused on you, and not on their blackberry. If possible, try and arrange the room in a way that works for you. For larger groups I like the U shaped setup, and for smaller ones, the classic boardroom. But make yourself comfortable first. I'll write a bit more about gestures, voice, volume, etc in a few days, since I am off to fight aliens on distant worlds. Also, my cat Muffins needs a good brushing. Cheers!