When giving a speech many of my clients have difficulty looking at the audience. Trying to feel comfortable, some look above the audience’s heads. I often demonstrate this to a client. How does it make you feel if I’m not looking at you? Looking above people’s’ heads makes it appear that you aren’t interested. You’re not connecting, which gives them license to check their phone or zone out. When you tell your story to someone, they look right back at you. And that’s a confidence booster! Arrive early and talk to a few people to get to know them. When you’re up there find those friendly faces and tell them your story. Find people in the audience who are giving you affirmative nonverbal cues like nodding and are interested in your message. Speak to one person for 5 or 6 seconds, then move one to the next person. Otherwise they may think they have something wrong with them, like spinach in their teeth! Plus, the rest of the audience feels ripped off that they are getting all the attention. Include all areas of the room. Break the audience up into three sections: middle, left and right. Speak to people in all sections.
Here are more tips by self-help author Royane Reale