I make no secret of my feelings about Powerpoint. We'd all be better presenters without it.
However, since many, if not most, business presenters still feel compelled to use it, any little tip that can make dreary PowerPoint presentations less painful is a good thing. Enter the black slide.
As Bert Decker, well-known communications trainer and author, outlines in this post, the black slide is exactly that...not the blacked-out screen which results from hitting the 'B' key, not the master slide with nothing on it...but an individual slide with a completely black background.
So, you're giving your presentation. You click to a slide showing a picture, graph or [gag] bullet points. Once the audience has absorbed that information, click to the black slide. This is a great way to get the audience focusing back on you and what you're saying rather than reading the screen. Now you can tell a story, further explain your message or engage with your audience. No built-in distractions.
The black slide sort of performs the function of sorbet at a gourmet dinner...it gives the audience the opportunity to cleanse their "mental" palate and be ready to receive the next idea, piece of information, concept. Just like at dinner, one doesn't forget what has gone before, but the "cleanser" just makes one more prepared to experience the next bite.