Here is a good example of a passionate presenter giving a fast-paced overview of an important topic that is greatly enhanced with the integration of simple visuals in harmony with the narration. The visuals are a wonderful example of "amplification through simplification." This 20-minute talk by Annie Leonard, an expert in international sustainability and environmental health issues, is informative and provocative. Her style is informal and casual, but also passionate, and with just a touch of urgency in her voice. The aim of the presentation (from the website) is to "...expose the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues and call for all of us to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something. It'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever." The presentation is illuminating, and it raises as many questions as it answers. Therefore, this is also a good example of a tight, well-structured presentation that would greatly benefit in a live setting from a lengthy discussion session after the 20-minute opening so that both the presenter and audience can go deeper.
The Story of Stuff website is very well done. The presentation does raise questions so they have made it possible to explore and go a little deeper. For example, if you mouse over the images above Annie's head, you'll see that there are links to more info in each of the five categories she touches upon: Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, and Disposal.
You may have issues concerning some of the specifics of the content, but I think she does a great job of telling the story of the problem as she sees it. The visuals in this case are not something "over there" off to the side. Here the presenter and the simple visuals work in harmony and are integrated to form a compelling and engaging narrative. Something similar can indeed be done in a live talk with PowerPoint or Keynote.
For the best viewing, watch the Flash version at the top of The Story of Stuff homepage. Parts of the presentation are on YouTube. (Below is a short clip of one of my favorite parts of her talk.)