During a recent group meeting, one of the student was making a comment regarding the document really bad powerpoint by Seth Godin. Her point was how can one impart emotion to a scientific talk. Clearly, when you have 7 or 8 minutes to get to the point it could indeed be difficult to make time for humor…
Yet emotion can still be generated in term of response of the audience to your data, figure or conclusion: raising eyebrows, smiles, figures looking at you making yes (or no) motions. Of course in longer presentation, these could be much more involving.
Here is an example of a great presentation of data by Hans Rosling. He used this technique numerous times but you will get the idea: Hans Rosling’s new insights on poverty | Video on TED.com.
Now, story telling is of course at the heart of what you should be doing. It is sometimes easier said than done (sometimes it works and others it don’t, unfortunately). Again, here is a great link to a talk on story telling and getting the message across on TED: Nancy Duarte: The secret structure of great talks | Video on TED.com.
Hope these inspire you.