20 Easy Ways To Improve Your Worship Slides Before Sunday


31 Aug 2016

Worship slides (also known as lyric slides) are powerful tools, but that doesn’t mean they have to be complicated. Often, the most obvious mistakes I see are also the easiest to correct. Here are twenty easy improvements that you can make as you head into Sunday.


1. Keep slides to a 3-4 line maximum. It makes it easier for your church to follow along and for new singers to jump in at any given time. (Displaying lyrics over live video? Stick to a 2 line max.)

2. Use a sans serif font for your lyric projection. They’re modern, easy to read, and complement most of today’s backgrounds.

3. Use a consistent font throughout all of the songs in your service.

4. Projecting onto a small screen? Use a narrow font so that you can fit more lyrics without looking messy.

5. Erase any slide labels or instructions. (Examples: Bridge, Repeat 3X, Unison, etc.)

6. Lyrics do not require periods at the end of sentences. Allow line breaks to substitute for punctuation.

7. Capitalize all names or references to God. (Examples: Jesus, Father, Him, You, etc.)

8. Remove all ad lib musical references and interjections unless totally needed. (Examples: O, Oh, Whoa, etc.)

9. Adjust lyrics to reflect your specific location. Reading “saviour” in Hillsong’s lyrics can cause distraction in America.

10. Insert blank slides where there are pauses or instrumentals in songs.

11. Choose at least one background for each song in your worship set. Each background should fit in the same visual theme as the others.

12. Use motion backgrounds to create a more dynamic visual experience. Each background should not only fit the song visually, but also match the tempo.

13. Avoid any background that detracts from legibility. White text over dark backgrounds work best.

14. Use the first slide of your ProPresenter songs as a placeholder for a background. This makes it easy to plan your motions in advance.

15. Organize your lyrics in the order they will be sung. This will help to avoid hesitation in advancing to the next slide.

16. Lyrics should be displayed just before they’re sung so that audience members have enough time to comprehend the next line.

17. It can be helpful to transition to your next slide while your audience is singing the last word of the current slide.

18. If no lyrics are being sung, your screen should be blank. Clear lyrics off of your screen whenever possible.

19. Smooth transitions are the “secret sauce” of professional quality media. Increase your fade time to make your backgrounds and lyrics ease into what’s next.

20. Display your CCLI information on an individual slide at the end of each song. Keep it small and barely noticeable to the audience.


What do you think?

Do you follow any of these tips at your church?
Do you have any other improvements you’d recommend?

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Kendall Conner

Kendall Conner serves as the Creative Pastor at Piedmont Chapel in Greensboro, NC. He is a graphic designer, video editor, and all-around media geek, but above all enjoys seeing lives changed. Together with his beautiful wife, Holly, they strive to use media to spread the message of Christ and equip others for ministry.

Comments

  1. These are all great! With #16 & #17, I’d add that on fast songs it’s good to transition halfway through the last line of text, not on the last word. That’s what we do, and it allows time for the transition to the next slide so it’s up there before people sing. And people will have already subconsciously read the last 2-3 words of that last line anyway, so they won’t miss out on anything.

  2. Kendall,

    Great list!!!

    Kim, you beat me to slide transition on fast songs ;-)

    Here are a couple of my additional tips.

    6a. Place line & slide breaks at lyric “pauses” (musical rests) when possible. It gives a visual cue to those that do not know the song.

    6b. Place line breaks to avoid “orphans” — last word of lyric line on following line. For example:
    Amazing grace how sweet the
    sound

    15a. Use color-coded groups & slide labels for visual cues.

    15b. Play around with the arrangements feature. Some people love it, other HATE it, but it can be useful.

    21. Don’t update ProP to latest version or upgrade OS (Sierra is coming) until thoroughly tested on “non-production” machine and/or Renewed Vision states compatible.

    21a. When you do upgrades, allow time to test changes — NEVER do upgrades during Sunday morning rehearsal!!!

  3. Yes, a great list, Kendall. Thanks for sharing. We do nearly all of these. My favourite is No 4, and we’re currently going through our songs and splitting slides as per No 1.

    I recently submitted an article on this topic for our (UK) church website, which covers a lot of these points. (I’m sure people will think I’ve *borrowed* them from your list, lol!)

  4. I have been going with a black background due to stage lighting that can sometimes hit our screen, and it becomes to much.

  5. Kendall,

    I am so totally late to the party. What are your thoughts on all caps?

  6. Kendall,

    Thank for for putting together this list. I will use it for training our media team. These tips can also be A conditions check we can use and to review how a service went afterwards to continue to improve. Keep up the good work!

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