This reminds me of an excercise in "blocking" for the theatre. The people in front, because they are facing toward the central figure, force your attention there, so should the people in the back. It might be that the central figure is not on the same plane as the seated figures. You might want to experiment with a few friends and a camera. I'm all for using your imagination, but a digital camera can work miracles.
A second look suggests that the central figure may be on an outcropping, so that's cool. I also noticed a nice triangle that has him at one apex and the listeners on the sides. I might look into making the gaze of the viewers more focused on the central person's face.
[This message has been edited by dhenton (edited September 01, 2000).]