4 Tips for Using Slide Labels in ProPresenter
Creating a culture where your entire team of volunteers and staff are on the same page and are prepared for what is going to happen in your services and events is a challenge. I love figuring out new ways and better ways to bring everyone together and communicate more effectively. I have found slide labels to be a game changer in preparation and Sunday lyric operation not only for my Pro Presenter Operators but also for our entire production team. Let’s dig into 4 tips for using slide labels in Pro Presenter to elevate what you are doing in your church.
1. SHOW THE INDIVIDUAL PARTS OF YOUR SONG
I format the music in my library the same way every time… Verses, Choruses, Bridges, beginnings, endings, everything is always consistent. This allows my team to very quickly understand all the different parts of the songs from week to week. Using this formatting, each part of the whole song has a slide table at the beginning of each element. The reason I do this is so that we can easily see layouts of songs and if there are changes at rehearsals or even on a Sunday we are prepared to adapt and make changes because we can see the entire layout of the song. (Yes, I am little bit OCD, wanting everything in my library consistent!) Below you can see an example of an entire song. You can see the flow from V1 / Pause / Verse 2 / Instrumental / Tag / Pause / Verse 3 (with a pause count in the middle of the song) / Tag 2 to end.
Laying your song out in this way helps you to play the same the song in the same way the band is playing with pauses and everything. This also helps the rest of your team see the flow of the song (lighting, Cameras, Producer). (STAY TUNED FOR MY BONUS TIP AT THE END FOR HOW THIS FEAT IS ACCOMPLISHED)
2. PLACE NOTES ABOUT THE LENGTH OF PAUSES
At the church I serve at in Columbia, SC we have two amazing, distinct styles of worship services I get to be a part of. For modern services, our music is consistently lead sheets so I can’t notate measure lengths. If there are pauses that we don’t have a guide count for, I like to make notes about how long the pause will be, which I make note of during our practice.
(Guides are audible commands embedded into the click channel that only the band and production team hear and they are super helpful for everyone to know when we are rolling into verses, choruses, building, etc.)
For example, in the previous song example I used there is a pause in the middle of the 3rd verse. I noted there was a longer pause that I counted to 4 and then went into the next slide.
For my blended (traditional/contemporary) service we use music so there are actual measures that I can notate.
3. HIGHLIGHT SPECIAL NOTES/TRANSITIONAL ELEMENTS
My third point helps with highlighting special elements or things to keep in mind during the service. Yesterday in our Blended worship service we had a special song where our kids joined our frontline, orchestra, and choir for a song. There were many spots where the kids would sing and then the choir would echo. I use slide labels to highlight and communicate this fact to my lyric operators during the presentation, so we remember that special difference in this song.
Also, we had the privilege of commissioning both a missionary partner and one of our own members who is heading with our missions’ partner overseas for the summer. We needed to make sure we cut our livestream because of the situation our missionaries might be put in if our stream was engaged for this part of our service. I used a slide label to remind me to confirm with our team that the stream was cut so we didn’t/COULDN’T forget.
4. LABEL SPECIFIC SOLOS AND SONG DYNAMICS
My last tip is that using slide labels to highlight solos and song dynamics can only help get everyone on the production team on the same page. A lot of my friends use the STAGE DISPLAY notes section for this, and this is a great option if you don’t use the STAGE DISPLAY NOTES for anything for your team on stage. My production team uses those sections to make notes for our worship teams. I came up with a different way to communicate notes to the production team. I use slide labels in pro presenter so that everyone on our team can see those notes (CHECK MY BONUS PRO TIP FOR HOW I ACCOMPLISH THIS) but we can still use the STAGE DISPLAY notes for our worship teams.
I label solos, pauses, instrumentals, guitar solos, etc. and it is a game changer. You can notice that NAOMI led the song off with a verse 1 solo, then Tiffany (and the BGVs) joined in on Verse 2. At the Bridge, Tiffany led off and then all the vocals joined in.
EXTRA BONUS TIP:
The reason I can use slide labels instead of stage display notes is because I took an old MAC MINI that was in our inventory and hooked that machine’s HDMI into our switcher matrix. I then take that MAC MINI and share the screen of my PRIMARY IMAC that runs our lyrics and once I do this anyone looking at the screen of that mac mini sees the full screen view of the PRIMARY machine. In essence it becomes like they are looking over my shoulder. Once everyone is looking at one area for all the information, I can use slide labels to communicate things to our entire team without having to relay every bit of information over a busy comm channel.
***Because the display of this machine can be routed to any multi view or output we want, I can send this to our producer, video production room, stream room, or anywhere I can get an SDI LINE to.
This whole entire post really is a way to bring all the parts and pieces in your worship service together. When we start our services we all want to be ready and confident in what is going to happen. COMMUNICATION is key and this is one way that I have found that can bring our entire team together and lock us all in to the flow and format of our service. I always want to be a part of preparing and setting up the team I have the privilege of serving with for success and this is one way I found to do this. If you have any thoughts or ideas or questions I would love to help you and/or learn from you in any way I can.