i posted the tips about strictly not using flash for normal point & shoot digital camera (link). i almost never use flash to be completely honest. but there are situations that using flash (direct flash) will improve the picture taken.
Flash as a Fill Light
the idea is to brighten up details that are in the shadows.
1) outdoor shooting under the bright afternoon sun.
2) indoors where the subject is standing too close to the window where all other artificial lights isnt enough.
when i first heard abt this i thought it doesnt make much sense using flash for an outdoor picture, under bright daylight. but after trying it out myself, i realize if the shadows were too strong, this is where flash could help create an even better picture.
the example above is not the best example. when using flash, dont rely on flash to light the subject (as main light) but as fill light only. the pictures above shows that i rely heavily on the flash to light up the little mr. roo there. sorry i'm a little lazy to go outside now to make a better example :P
pro photographers will use flash NOT directly, but by bouncing the light off surfaces around the subject. average everyday hobbyist like us, using point&shoot digital cameras, we dont have to do that.. but just keep in mind when using flash -
1) keep a distance from the subject (some guides say around 4-10 feet). not too close or too far.
2) dont flash into a mirror or other equally reflective surface. that will create glare.
3) practise and keep experimenting. nobody instantly becomes an excellent photographer overnight.
so yeah.. have a go and have fun ^^