Reader Email: Blacking Out Your Slides Without Telling the AV Tech

While presenting, it can be very helpful to occasionally black out the screen (either by pressing the "blackout" key on your remote control or creating a slide with a solid fill black background) so the audience can focus on what you are saying and not your slides. 

However, not everyone is used to seeing slides blacked out.  One of my coaching clients emailed me the following story of what happened when the AV tech saw a black screen during his presentation. 

I thought you would get a kick out of this.  I was presenting yesterday in Hong Kong in front of about 60 people for a major investment banking firm.  At one point in my presentation, I used the remote slide advancer to black out the screen so I could discuss a topic in more detail without the distraction of the slide.  I had walked away from my laptop to get closer to the audience. 

After about a minute of talking, I turned around to see their A/V guy working feverishly on my laptop.  I politely walked over to him and asked what he was doing.   He said “fixing your computer.”  He had shut down my presentation and opened Windows display settings because he thought there was a problem.  I took over and after a few minutes got the presentation working again.  I learned a valuable lesson.

So remember to let the AV tech know if you are going to black out your slides.  And congratulations to my client for keeping his cool!

Gilda Bonanno's blog