When delivering a presentation, it is a good idea to keep the audience’s focus and attention on ourselves. In fact, keeping the attention on ourselves is one of the main pillars of a successful speech or presentation. So much so, that at certain times you may not want to share your audience’s attention even with your own slides. For example, you may be stressing a very important point in your speech and you would like to have your audience’s full focus on you and nothing else. But if you have some slides still on display behind you, your listeners have the option of remaining focused on them instead of you as the speaker.
In the past, when we wanted to keep the attention totally on ourselves and hide the slides temporarily, we would fold a sheet of paper and put it in front of the projector device. Sometimes this would work. Rarely though, the heat from the lamp would start burning the paper and we would end up with even more attention breakers to deal with.
Thanks to modern technology, we don’t need to walk into a presentation armed with a fire extinguisher anymore. When delivering a computer based presentation, simply hitting the “B” key on the computer keyboard will black out the screen and show nothing. Armed with this new tool, you can keep on talking on and on, confident that your audience has nothing else to stare at but you on the stage. When finished, you can hit the “B” key again to come back to the presentation.
IMPORTANT: This function works only when actively delivering slides. Your presentation software must be running the slideshow to recognize the “B” key.