1. Explain why the audience should care
And know your main point.
Even when presenters are clear on what they want the audience to take away, many do not explicitly answer the question "why should you care?"
They may assume it's obvious or that the audience knows enough about the topic to make that conclusion for themselves. However, don't make that assumption – and don't make your audience work that hard.
Answer the question explicitly and passionately. It's the most important one.
2. Speak naturally
Use a human, down-to-earth voice.
Conversational speech is engaging to your audience and will naturally keep their attention for a long time. Your audience will feel like they are in a conversation with you, even though you're up on the stage and they're down in the audience. When you use a natural, human voice, you'll draw them in and you may even see them smiling and nodding along with you.
Conversely, language that is dense, technical, or devoid of emotion is tiring to process and it will be difficult for your audience to stay focused for more than a few minutes at a time, even when the presentation in important.
Leave that tone for your written reports or any hand-outs, but in your presentation - use language that will connect with your audience and be easy to follow!
3. Use stories
Real life anecdotes are the most powerful.
We are all wired to remember and relate to stories, not facts and figures.
So, rather than displaying list after list and graph after graph, make an effort to explain your point and examples with real life stories – things that happened to you or others that your audience can relate to, laugh at, get inspired by, and easily remember.
4. Don't go long
Practice and cut what you need to.
Your audience should feel you value the time they have given you.
Know how much time you have and make sure your content fits that. Trim (even ruthlessly) if you need to. And leave enough time for questions and discussion if that's expected, rather than filling that time with the presentation.