Some times ago I have a discussion with local folks from powerlexis (sorry, it's on Russian and burried deep). My point is presentation are divided on two types:
- for live presenting,
- for downloading, i.e. for learning without presenter.
The requirements for both types are different. It's rather weird to watch some non-relevant animation in the middle of technical presentation which are learned without presenter. Because there is a lack of context! Obviously, in live presentation you provide some comments on your animation, which is not the case for the offline presentation.
For live presentation some breaks is a good technique. Human attention and its concentration decrease over time. So periodical breaks are necessary. It could be cases, anecdotes, images and animations. The type of "break content" should be relevant to your audience.
Providing analogy with learning process,
Periodic breaks in lectures improve attentiveness and help develop
the ability to concentrate. Students rarely come equipped to
concentrate for the full lecture period. Successful television
producers and radio commentators know well that people have a very
limited attention span. The secret of success lies in the ability to
control when the students are concentrating, and when they are not.
If lecturers can control die timing of student attention, then they
can feed the important material during those periods. Successful
breaks in lectures, at short intervals, are a means to that control.
Providing breaks is a technical aspect of good lecturing.
Waugh, Geoffrey H. and Waugh, Russell F. (1999) "The Value of Lectures in Teacher Education: The group perspective," Australian Journal of Teacher Education: Vol. 24: Iss. 1, Article 3.
Ideally it's better to remove non-relevant animation from presentation for downloading.