It’s Thursday morning. You’re sitting in a meeting and trying to read from an overloaded PowerPoint and stay focused on the speaker. With every slide, it seems like more and more is packed onto the screen. Your eyes glaze over.
It’s happened again – PowerPoint abuse. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
PowerPoint can be a valuable tool when it’s used correctly. If there’s one strategy you try to make your PowerPoint more effective, use black slides.
Black slides have a black background and no master template. It is a. Black. Slide. A slide that is black. Plain black. That’s it. You put them between slides, as you transition from one topic to the next, or anywhere you want to draw the focus of your presentation back to you.
Black slides are a tool that will:
- Remove distraction. After you’ve showed a graph, picture, or chart, you want to get rid of distractions so you can clarify a point, tell a story, or provide additional context. Putting up a black slide gives you the opportunity to bring your message home.
- Make your message clearer. The fatal error of PowerPoint is using it to create your presentation. You should always figure out your key points first and then decide how you might use PowerPoint to accent. When you use black slides, it’s nearly impossible to make your PowerPoint before you figure out your message. Using black slides changes your mindset.
- Refocus all eyes on you. The most effective speakers connect with their audience. It’s hard to connect when all eyes are glued to a screen. When you put up a black slide, eyes will quickly move from the screen to you.
Don’t let PowerPoint take over your presentation; instead, use black slides to keep your message clear and keep the focus on you.
- Do not use black slides on webinars. It’ll make your viewers think their webinar programs are on the blink.
- Do not email around your deck with black slides in it. If you need to send something out, first create your deck and save that version for emailing.
May is PowerPoint abuse awareness month* and to kick it off, here’s the number one PowerPoint rule that can transform the way you present information to influence your listeners. (I’m using the blanket term PowerPoint throughout this post, but that encompasses any slide deck, like Apple Keynote, etc.) Use black … Continue reading