How To Fix Terrible Segues in Your Sunday Presentation
If this was America’s Funniest Home Videos in the 90’s, then we’d be all for Bob-Saget-style segues from one section of service to another, but the good news is partial mullets, snap bracelets and Dunkaroos are gone (don’t @ me about hating Dunkaroos), so your cheesy segues can be out like the 90s too.
It’s clear that we need to create transitions from one section of service to another, but moving from deep, emotional worship to a message from the Bible with a “Let’s give it up for Pastor Bob” is going to take your guests straight back to a stereotype of outdated churches and production.
Here are a few ways to create transitions and segues that are clear, but also don’t feel like someone slammed on the breaks to change gears.
1. Create a common element that happens through the transition.
One of the smoothest transitions I’ve seen, and is probably recognizable to most of our churches, is when worship finishes, and a musician (often a keyboard or guitar) continues softly in the background while the next person starts to speak. This simple way to maintaining the music behind the speaker for a few moments helps the transition move from A to B like a cross fade rather than a straight cut. The same is true at the end of the message when a musician comes up to play and then the worship team comes back for a final song.
Another idea is coming out of video announcements, have a still image on the screen at the end of your video that remains on the screen after the announcements and is the background for the next person to talk, and slowly fade up your lights. Visually, this stops us from having to switch from “Watching the screen in the dark” to “Listening to a real life person in full brightness.”
2. The “undercover” transition.
This type of transition signals the end of one section and the beginning of another. In announcements, you could end with “For more information about these and other events coming up, stop by the information center, or visit us online a examplechurch.com” – This pre-determined transition makes it clear that you’re wrapping up announcements, and is a cue for the next person to get ready to come on stage without saying “And here’s Pastor Bob.”
3. The walk off.
Sometimes, just walking off stage is the best type of transition (assuming the next person walking onto stage knows that’s their cue). Maybe that’s the cue to start a video, or the cue for the musicians to start playing, or the cue for the ushers to pass the plates. Even though this may seem unpolished, it’s actually better received than the awkward “What’s next, who’s next” transition.
Whichever transition style you use (and maybe a combination of all 3 necessary) be sure to have a planning meeting before your service starts. This could be mid-week, by zoom call, or Sunday before service. This is a simple run down that reminds everyone of their part in the service, and what the transitions will be between each part.
Having a polished transitions allows your guests to recognize that you’re serious about your presentation and removes potential distractions from each person experiencing Jesus.