The previous tip was about off-camera flash for your hot-shoe-equipped DSLR or point and shoot. But what if your camera does't have a hot shoe? How can you modify the light from your on-camera flash to make it less harsh and more flattering for your subject?
Tinfoil and cardboard.
Wrap a small piece of cardboard in tinfoil, and use it to bounce the light from your flash off a white wall or ceiling. You'll need to be pretty close to the wall/ceiling for it to work, but I think you'll like the results.
Hold the foil card in front of your camera's flash, and aim it towards a wall or ceiling. Experiment a bit to see which angles work best.