36. “When displaying lyrics, look out for hanging words. Avoid single words (orphans) on a line unless it’s sung that way naturally. If possible, put a ‘return’ to break a sentence to two or more lines where there are natural pauses.”—Patrick, Salvation Army San Diego Citadel
37. “On lyric formatting: keep the words readable, it is better to put fewer of them up at a time. It is a balancing act though to get readable, consistent slides for the lyrics.”—Anthony, Zion Grace UMC
38. “Bigger sans serif fonts are best. Don’t crowd too many lines on one screen, especially for liturgy or congregational reading. Break the line where the congregation would naturally breathe. This goes for written out orders of worship, too.”—Brenda, East Heights UMC
There’s a real art to creating slides that are readable and draw people into worship. The most important thing is to weed out anything that’s a distraction. If your congregation can’t read it easily, it’s a distraction that takes away from the worship experience. Jump to the free download.
Choosing your elements
39. “Choose a video that can compliment your offering time.”—Mary, Grace and Peace Lutheran Church
40. “Fluidity and transitions are important. A jumpy presentation to me is a sloppy presentation.”—Chris, West Ward Church of God
This is where creating presentations requires creativity. It isn’t just a question of choosing a background that you can superimpose lyrics and verses over. It’s about creating an experience that draws the worshiper in.
41. “Be aware that the lighting in the sanctuary is going to have a different effect on the readability of the typeface than it looks in your home.”—Anonymous
I can’t count the times that a script created at home, in the office, or in coffee shop looked completely different when projected at church. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to troubleshoot your presentation on the equipment you’ll actually be using.
42. “If you are running multiple videos and or sound clips during one service, go ahead and make volume adjustments in your software before it is time to go live. That way your sound guy doesn’t have to adjust for every clip, and it is easier to go one to the next without sound differences.This is especially useful when playing pre-service music videos that you don’t want to be overpowering while people are coming in, and have another more ‘focused’ video later in the worship time.”—B. Snow, Fellowship Rome
43. “Ideally, tech teams should be able to control sound, or be adjacent to the person who does.”—Francesca, All Saint’s Church
If your presentation involves elements that include sound, don’t forget to check them and set their volume before the service. Francesca’s right, if it’s at all possible, put the presentation system close to the sound system.
44. “Most people don’t realize that an image that looks fine on a small screen can look bad on a large screen. They can require cropping and rescaling. People also take videos in the vertical format on their smartphones. I embed these in an HD video and add graphics or text to make the presentation look more professional.”—Kirby, Asbury United Methodist Church
As much as possible, make sure that people understand what kind of assets you need to put together a good presentation. Just know that you’re not always going to get things in the ideal formats, and sometimes pulling it off is going to require some creativity. Jump to the free download.
Be vigilant against mistakes
45. “Review, practice, and run through your service before Sunday. The ‘perfect’ service is elusive even with your best efforts but impossible without them.”—Mary, Grace and Peace Lutheran Church
46. “Make sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to the service. Any element of the presentation that is tied to human involvement needs to be run through with the individuals that will be helping to pull it off.”—Anonymous
It might seem impossible to pull off, but if you can do a quick run through with the service components and the presentation, you’re going to be a lot happier with the outcome. No amount of individual preparation matches what you’re able to accomplish with a full-team runthrough.