Here are a few tips to make your slideshows better.
• Tell a story.
Have a beginning, middle, and end.
Answer the Who, What, When, and Why.
What are you trying to communicate?
Why does the viewer want to watch your slideshow?
• Use a variety of shots - close-up, medium, and wide.
• Use zoom sparingly.
Use zoom when there's complimentary movement of a subject in the scene.
• Use a caption to introduce a person, rather than having the person saying, "Hi, my names is . . . ."
• Transitions should reflect the pacing and mood of the slide show at that point.
Slow fades and pans are used differently than cuts from one photograph to another.
Just because a photograph is great doesn't mean it's meant to be part of the slideshow.
If it doesn't add to what you're communicating, the story, the reason why the viewer wants to watch, edit it out.
• Find and use a protagonist.
Viewers like to follow a person through his or her story.
• If you have a camera with a microphone input, use a separate microphone, such as a shotgun microphone mounted on the camera.
• For the best sound, use a flash card recorder.
• Collect ambient noise to use at the opening, for transitions, or at the end.
• Use a variety of sounds, just as you vary between wide, medium, and close-up shots with your camera.
• Use a multi-track audio editing program to add layers of sound.
• Use royalty-free and public-domain, music, if your slideshow may appear outside your home.
Edit Foundry Video editing with shot-by-shot explanations
Adobe Soundbooth Bundled with Adobe CS4
Audacity Free, Windows or Mac
Microsoft Movie Maker Windows
Photoshop Elements Windows or Mac, clumsy audio editing
Photoshop Premiere Elements 7.0 Windows, versatile
Soundslides Windows or Mac, no video, no audio editing