In the same spirit of experimentation shown here, in the last year I’ve been using another fairly original presentation technique. The original aim was to mitigate my being chronically late in turning in slides for events but it turned out something that audiences actually like :-).
The technique is easy to explain, and i am sure that somebody is using it already (although I’ve never stumbled in anybody doing it so far). Instead of having fully baked slides, you have just few elements appearing at strategic moments; you hand draw everything else on the fly, directly during the presentation. I finally got a good recording of a session using the technique, the “Windows Identity Foundation Overview” I gave last week at PDC09. It went really well, and judging from the comments the drawing was a contributing factor (BTW thanks to all the nice comments on twitter and in the evals! :-))
At PDC I used a hybrid, meaning that I didn’t draw everything from scratch, but it can and it has been done (the intro to claims talks in Australia & New Zealand techeds & Munich EIC, for example). That usually works best for architectural talks.
While it is true that you can save time by not having to author complex animations and media research, keep into account that a good act needs some planning (and you may have to do the slides anyway). If you want to apply the same technique, here there are few tips I’ve discovered by trial & error.
Learn to draw quickly. Drawing & talking should happen seamlessly, if you stop talking for drawing you break the magic
That’s it. This so powerful yet easy & simple to do that I am truly surprised this is not mainstream. Give it a try and let me know if you discover more tips!