Don't try to impress them. Try to touch them.
People care if. If you truly want to help your listeners--by informing or motivating them, or improving their lives--they will care and listen. But they will care only if you do.
This recalls a favorite tip: "If you really care, notify your face."
3. Your eyes mean everything. We mistrust people who won't look us in the eyes--even if our eyes are among over 200 sets in a room. We regard peoples' eyes as windows to their souls, and it's from our eyes that people assess us.
If you look each person in the eye for a few seconds, you make each person feel important--a feeling that every person craves. It also makes each audience member feel involved; it makes your presentation feel like a conversation rather than a recitation.
For this reason, minimize visual aids. They break eye contact and make it appear that you are talking to the screen and not to your listeners.
Look them in the eyes.
4. Preparation matters. But not for the reason you suspect. Preparation does more than make a presentation appear polished--and a too-polished presentation actually can feel inauthentic, even souless. If you've spent hours learning about the people to whom you are speaking, you will communicate the most compelling message you can deliver to a person: You are important to me.
5. If it's worth saying, it bears repeating. The old rule--"Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them"--reflects the limitations of our memories. Plus researchers have shown repeatedly that people are more apt to believe something they hear more than once--even if they hear it from the same person, and even if they question that person's credibility.
6. People love music. An outstanding speech is musical; it ebbs and flows, hits a variety of notes, and makes beautiful use of pauses and silence. Just as in humor, speaking's key ingredient is timing.
Allow some gaps between your notes.
7. Obey The Rule of Seven. There's a reason why only seven principles appear above: Our brains and memories have limits. We can recall seven-digit phone numbers. Throw in an area code, however, and we become helpless. So make no more than seven points. (Recent research suggests that making just three or four points works much better.