Changes Needed in the Church: #7 PowerPoint

I love consistency. And most other people do too.

But I’m amazed at how many churches feel they should change for the sake of change. You see, we get used to various things and they eventually create a paradigm.

In order to change or break a paradigm, it takes a lot of work, money and effort.

When’s the last time you watched a TV show and the voices were a bit muffled? Reality TV is notorious for this. Or there are subtitles for translated dialogue. Did you notice how easy to read the font is? The formatting? The color? How about the consistency?

It’s rare that you’ll see the format change within a movie or TV show — yet, Churches not only use different formats within the same service — and, gasp, even within one song!

Here’s 5 recommendations for PowerPoint/ProPresenter/etc. in the Church:

  1. Keep your backgrounds simple: Decide if the backgrounds will be predominantly light or dark; and if they’ll be still or moving. This will help you make formatting decisions. It’s always better to have a specific look for your background — one that’s branded for your church.
  2. Keep your Fonts consistent: Our eyes tend to read sans-serif fonts easier on screen — especially if reversed (white on dark background). Upper and lower case (not all capitals) are easier to read as well. Don’t go too big or you’ll end up making weird and awkward line breaks. But not too small or no one will be able to read it. Avoid bright colors — almost always, black and white are the best.
  3. Keep your Paragraph style “flush left”: Especially if you have multiple lines. Our eyes are used to seeing book copy lined up straight on the left (like this page). Don’t center text lines or your eye has to strain to find where to look for the next line.
  4. Be Consistent: I know it seems boring, and that you’d like to use all your fonts and formats. But, resist it! No one will complain if they can easily read the text, but they will if they have to adapt every few slides. Your slides shouldn’t be a “work of art”, rather, they should be utilitarian and easy to read.
  5. Know your Content: For sermon slides, be sure you know the Outline formatting and indenting (Roman numeral, Numbers, i’s, etc). Help people to quickly know where you are in the outline. Think easy — not too complex. Your Pastor will say the whole sentence, your slides don’t need to have all the content. For song lyrics, don’t break lines unless there’s a natural break in the music (if possible). Help your congregation “hear” the music by your breaks. With the advent of “no music notes on the screen”, any assistance helps!

I’m sure there’s more, but always fault with simple and consistent. Can you think of anything else?

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