The ‘B’ Button is one of the most powerful features in PowerPoint / Keynote software.
When in presentation mode, pressing the ‘B’ Button makes the screen go blank. Blank, in this case, means completely Black. Use it to enhance your presentation.
Blanking the slide immediately takes the attention off the screen, and puts it on the presenter.
Slides, and the images they contain, should reinforce and clarify the material you are presenting. By themselves, they are not the presentation. The words you speak, combined with your verbal and nonverbal communication, is the presentation. Slides and other props enhance the presentation and help the audience GET IT!
The image on the screen strengthens the message you deliver. This is a good thing because people learn, to varying degrees, in different manners: by hearing, seeing and feeling. Providing more than one of those mediums increases the chances they’ll GET IT!
However, there are times to ‘see’ the image and listen to the speaker, and there are times to focus solely on the person delivering the presentation.
Unfortunately, many people who use PowerPoint or Keynote in their presentations forget this fact. Perhaps, because of a fear of public speaking, they present this way. They merely show slides with pictures and bullet points and read the text to the audience. They might as well put the show into automatic mode and leave the room. This is not the way to use a visual aid like PowerPoint.
PowerPoint is a prop, a visual prop. When props aren’t being used, they should be placed out of site. This is why the presentation screen should sometimes be blank. An alternative is to press the ‘W’ button and make the screen white. However, if you’re in a darkened room, people’s eyes will be drawn to the light – screen.
I recently bought a new remote that has a ‘B’ Button. This gives me the opportunity to be away from the keyboard and still blank the screen. Cool!
Take this advice and use the ‘B’ Button in your presentations.
Do that, and my prediction is this: Your presentation will be absolutely, positively –‘No Sweat!’