I've always felt that an audience's attention has to be compelled watching your show. In order to deserve their attention over any length of time beyond a 5 minute practice set, I felt I should make all aspects of me and my words trustworthy and authentic.
I made it a point to develop or (release) a fascinating stage character and be consistent with that character throughout my set. My character (me) has a story and I stick to that story.
A while back I caught onto the power of allowing the audience in and give them time to breathe while enjoying the laughs.