The title of this post seems self-evident, doesn't it? A PowerPoint slide doesn't offer any benefit if it contains no content. So why bother mentioning it? Because of a design practice I have seen too many times in presentations (online and in-person).
Presenters often like to incrementally add content to a slide, perhaps bringing in bullet points one at a time. Or adding graphic elements that add detail. Fine. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with that.
But please, don't let the audience see a blank slide before your first build. Every time you move to a new visual in your presentation, there should be a reason for its presence. The only reason to show something to your audience is that the thing you are showing supports and enhances your vocal presentation. If the "thing" you show turns out to be nothing at all, it turns the entire premise on its head.
Each new slide should have something on it to start with. Then you can add to the content if appropriate. When audience members see an unexpected and unexplained blank slide, they momentarily stop thinking about the points you are making. Instead, they wonder if something is wrong. On a webinar they wonder if the software stopped transmitting correctly. Do they need to notify you? Click something? Troubleshoot? This period of uncertainty might be short, but why introduce it at all? Keeping attention on your topic is hard enough under the best conditions… Why shift attendees' focus to the mechanics of the display process?
Fixing a "build from blank" slide couldn't be easier. If you find that any of your slides show up blank until you click them, open the animation panel and delete the first item in the list of animations. Done. Now the first item to be shown is already there when you move to the slide.