A colleague came to the lab yesterday to tell me about this really fantastic presentation he had seen another of our colleague give in class. The presenter had used a tool I'd read about, called Prezi. Prezi lets you create slides, zoom in on key points, emphasize ideas, and animate your text. Here's one I did. To run it, click the left and right arrows or hover over the word "More" and select "Autoplay."
Frequently, people complain about having to sit through PowerPoints presentations. None of us likes to have a presenter read, word for word, the text on the slide. Yawn. Just let me read it--I can read faster than you can speak!
I always use the 6-6 rule. No more than 6 bullet points per slide, and no more than 6 words per point. This forces me to summarize succinctly and it requires me to know my material well. Guy Kawasaki, a venture capitalist, has the 10-20-30 rule. I'll let him tell you about it.