I just created the PowerPoint presentation for the trade show this week in Wisconsin. I really dislike PowerPoint, having sat through one too many pointless slide shows in IT, often given by people who don't know what their talking about and hide behind their wooshing slides with fancy effects. I also don't like speaking in front of people, so no wonder I have some animosity towards the tools for doing so.
My goal in making a PowerPoint presentation is to avoid the glazing over of the audiences eyes. It seems to require a minimalist approach. You want something nice to look at, but you don't want a lot of text. The worst feeling is to travel to a presentation and realize the guy could have just emailed you the PowerPoint, considering he's just reading it verbatim. They're supposed to be talking points for the presenter and visual aids for the audience. Anything else and you've got too much (I think). The key for me is to learn how to pace my undocumented talking about a topic with the time allotted, while having some good interaction with the audience.
My best ever presentation was for a speech class in my senior year of college. I was also taking bodyguard classes at the time for a career I never went into (don't ask), so I combined the two, giving a talk on bomb identification. This was in 1992, so you could talk about bombs without Homeland Security running an armored personnel carrier into your living room and sending you to Cuba. For the presentation, I arrived to class a half hour early and hid homemade bombs throughout the room.
These bombs used batteries and various triggers attached to flash cubes. One used a mercury switch, so when you tilted a pack of cigarettes, it went off. Another used an old Russian wristwatch that went off at a certain time as the metal hands closed a circuit. Another was a collapsing circuit bomb that went off when the batteries died or you got clever and tried to cut the wires to the explosives (flash cube). As I presented the speech to the class, I walked around and revealed the hidden bombs, under chairs, behind the TV, duct taped under the podium, and set them off, using their mechanisms with an exciting flash. You couldn't even talk about something like that nowadays without law enforcement coming down hard on you.