Stuart’s Friday tip

by Stuart on 14 October 2011

Here’s a little known fact about Powerpoint.

There comes a time in any presentation when you want the audience to stop looking at the screen and look at something else.  That screen is hypnotic and no matter how exciting the other thing is, their eyes will be drawn towards your slide.  It’s as if there’s an eerie power keeping them focussed on the screen.

You need to turn off the projector for a couple of minutes.  But that’s not really on, as it’s bad for the projector and you never know if it will all go horribly wrong when it restarts.  You could just block the light from the lens for a while.

If the projector is at desk height, you could lean a pad of paper against the lens.  It works but it’s clumsy.  And if the projector is mounted to the ceiling, then you might have to resort to climbing on the table and gaffer taping your pad to the lens.  No, probably not.

Fortunately, there is a much easier way.  Provided you’re in slide show mode, you can type “B” on your computer keyboard and the screen will turn black.  No image – nothing to look at except you.  Sorted.

Press “B” again, and the slide reappears.

If you prefer the screen to go white, then just use “W” instead of “B”.

Easy. Impressive.  No climbing, no gaffer tape.

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