Maybe calling it “blessed” is an exaggeration, but the B key is a great tool to use when you’re delivering a presentation. You simply press the B key on your keyboard. What does it do?
It blacks out the screen. And the W key whites it out. If the room is dimmed, the white screen may seem a little bright, so I recommend using the B key.
Why is it so wonderful? With nothing on the screen, your audience automatically turns their attention to you. It’s simple, but effective. If at any time a slide doesn’t need to be displayed, use the B key.
Many remotes have a key that does the same thing. If you’re using a remote, it’s nice not to have to be next to your laptop when you want to black out the screen.
Exception: Don’t use the B key during a webinar. Instead of turning their attention to you, your audience may check their email and texts.
How do you get back to your slide? Press the B key again. Your slide reappears.
What if you want to go immediately to the next slide?
You may have finished talking about the slide when you press the B key. So, when you press the B key a second time, you may not want your audience to see the previous slide again, just before you click to go to the next slide. Here are a couple of tricks you can use to avoid displaying the previous slide again:
- Use Presenter view: In Presenter view, you can move to the next slide without your audience seeing. I have a tip on Presenter view here.
- Create a black slide: If you know in advance that you will want to black out a slide, you can simply create a plain black slide and display that. Then, when you want to move on, advance to the next slide.
What do you do when you want to focus attention on yourself rather than a slide?