Each presentation situation is different, and there are many times, of course, when slideware is not necessary (or desirable). And just in case you think some of the great presenters are only great because of well-designed visuals, take a look at this informal trip to the microphone by Steve Jobs. Complete with black t-shirt and bottled water, Jobs was just as engaging in an empty room in front of the Cupertino City Council as he is under the spotlight at a large media event.
Jobs, who is gracious and yet informal and conversational when he speaks publicly, uses his casual style to paint pictures and connect with listeners, whether on stage with slides and props or not. For example, you can say the number of available and suitable properties in Cupertino is small, or you can underscore the point in a more visceral way by saying something like...
"There ain't a lot of apricot orchards left in Cupertino..."
-- Steve Jobs
If you want to see a different clip of Jobs speaking (all the way back to 2001) with the accompaniment of simple slides, checkout his presentation announcing the introduction of the iPod. I remember watching this live on monitors set up in Caffé Macs next door to where Steve was presenting. Business instructors may find the contents of this clip worthy of showing to their students, discussing market conditions then and now, etc.
Here's a short clip of Jobs announcing a bit of controversial news in 1997, the killing of the clones. Sharp and to the point...and in a language that is frank (including a couple of "S-bombs").
Thanks to Les in Australia for the great link to the Cupertino video.