It brings the attention of the audience to YOU!
Because non-verbal communication trumps verbal communication you want the eyes of the audience regularly looking at you and not continually focused on the screen.
PowerPoint and Keynote are visual props. When used correctly, they will help your audience GET IT! and GETTING IT! is the goal of all forms of communication.
When props are not being used, they should be placed out of site so they don’t distract the audience. This is why the presentation screen should sometimes be black.
If your audience is looking at the screen when you’re speaking they are not looking at you, the presenter.
The audience is drawn to text and images on a screen. If the screen had a white background, and nothing on it, people would probably be looking at it because they are drawn to the light and anticipate something appearing.
Inserting a black slide, pressing the “B” button on your keyboard, or making the screen go dark via a remote control, is necessary if you don’t want the audience continually looking at the screen; and You Shouldn’t!
Gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and body language can make a Good Presentation – Great!
If all eyes are looking at the slides, they’ll miss non-verbal communication elements of your delivery.
Your nonverbal communication must be in sync with your message. If you’re giving a serious talk and have a snicker on your face or are yawning, the message is mixed. The audience believes what it sees.
Unfortunately, many who use PowerPoint or Keynote in their presentations forget this fact. Perhaps they have a Fear of Public Speaking and don’t want the audience looking at them. They show slides with pictures and bullet points and read the text to the audience. They might as well put their presentation into a QuickTime Movie and leave the room!
Take this advice and make the screen periodically go black in your presentations.
Do that, and my prediction is this: Your presentation will be absolutely, positively –