Vision 111 knows from experience that putting together and executing a good-looking, engaging worship or sermon media presentation can seem a daunting and complex task. So, here is Vision 111's contribution to helping you produce quality presentations and, hopefully, you'll see that sometimes it's easier than one might think. Please contribute your own tips, comments, and experiences you think might be helpful to others using media in ministry, please e mail the info to Ken at Vision 111. Try to keep it concise and include your name, what you do, and where you do it so you can be credited for your great idea(s).
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Purpose. It is amazing how many problems in this world can be traced to people not knowing, not understanding, forgetting, or just plain having a faulty purpose. And, almost everything, everyone and every activity somehow involves purpose. Why are we here? Why do I go to church? Why do I serve? Another way we might phrase it is, "Why do I do what I do?" Doing what we do for good and proper purposes keeps us on track and helps us avoid at least some trouble and difficulty in this life. Whether it's improperly juxtaposing form and function, doing something good for bad reasons, having selfish motives, or simply not knowing why you do what you do, when our purpose is off kilter or without intention, our road can become bumpy quite quick.
If, when serving in the Kingdom of God, we have any other motive than ultimately bringing God glory, we are probably on a pathway to problems, or even down right flirting with disaster. Hopefully you serve in some capacity in your church. If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you are involved in preparing or projecting presentations for worship. If you work as a technician or projectionist for worship services, you have probably become aware of a strange irony. That is this: When you perform your tasks and duties well, nobody notices you. If they notice you, you are probably messing up somehow. Maybe it's forgetting to unmute a microphone or not changing the lyrics of a song as promptly as you should have. If your goal is to be patted on the back and showered with compliments, you will be sadly disappointed. Our purpose for service, any kind of service, in the church must be to please God, express our gratitude toward Him , and bring Him glory, honor, and praises. Period! When we serve to procure the praise of others we serve out of vanity and not gratitude. Continually and prayerfully check your purpose and motives for serving.
Remember that your part, though you may serve in relative anonymity, is important, needed, and contributes. And when you serve with proper purpose, God can use you, no matter how you serve, in powerful ways for His purposes! Keep in mind that, when you serve, you are personally assisting Jesus Christ in the building of His Kingdom! That's heady stuff, and, why would we want any other purpose than that?
First, choose a light font for a dark background, and vice versa. When given the choice, Vision 111 generally prefers a dark background with white or sometimes, if the background fights with white, a lighter bright yellow font with a black drop shadow. Avoid using all kinds of colors, fancy, hard-to-read fonts, and putting more than one or two font styles on the same page...just because you can. Nothing seems to downgrade the professional look of a presentation more than using bells and whistles just because you have them available (that goes for transitions, cute but useless animated graphic elements, and other components too ...Fight the urge! You can do it!).
One of the easiest methods to make your lyrics, Scripture, sermon points and such more readable, attention-grabbing, and professional looking is to add a drop shadow or outline (sometimes referred to as a "stroke") to the text. This may require a little bit of a learning curve to grasp how to accomplish it correctly, but is, generally speaking, quite quick and easy once you know how and can often be set up in your templates as the default setting. It will be a little different in each presentation software package and some have more than one way to get the job done. Watching old baseball or football games from the 70s on ESPN Classic, it is easy to see the lack of technical sophistication and savvy, that we didn't realize we were missing at the time, when viewing text in lower third graphics, factoids, and scores without drop shadows. It is amazing the difference that little shadow can make! Check out the examples. Notice, not only does the readability go up dramatically, but the overall appearance of the slide is improved as well.
Send in your tips to Ken at Vision 111.