As our regular practice, we show something on the screens the entire course of our regular church services. (If there is a baptism, we will raise the front screen for the duration of the baptism, but that is typically the only exception.) From the looping announcements before the service begins to postlude at the end of the service, each service item with the title and name of each group or person is displayed on some pleasant background. If no one dictates a specific background, the visual team member running the service that day chooses a background. There is seldom any specific request and the visual team members do a pretty good job of selecting seasonally appropriate pictures that are not too distracting for the service. However, if a speaker or musical group wishes to have specific background graphics during their portion of the service, this needs to be communicated early before the visual person sets up the program so the surrounding service items can fit within a theme--if it makes sense.
The software our visual team uses includes the capability to display Bible texts by simply providing the reference (book, chapter, verse) and the version of the Bible to use. This will automatically format the text and break up longer selections on a verse-boundary among successive slides. We can format the slides to fit in with the theme of the week to make displaying Bible texts in the midst of a sermon simple and seamless. Our software also has a feature that when this technique is utilized, the congregation can use an app on their mobile device to hook into the current presentation and have it take them automatically to the same Bible verse.
If you bring a PowerPoint presentation, a collection of images with pre-formatted text and graphics that you have made, or insist on using your own laptop, the convenience and synchronization feature we are promoting will not be available. Additionally, last-minute corrections or changes will be difficult and time-consuming.
If you're a speaker that did not prepare any graphics or notes to display but you have a collection of Bible texts, we'd be happy to enter those in to display during your presentation.
Our visual presentation software has powerful song lyric support. All we need are the text of the song lyrics with the sections marked for verse 1, verse 2, chorus, bridge, etc. and then the order of those sections your team will be singing (e.g. verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus, chorus, verse 3, bridge, chorus). When entered in this format, last-minute changes are a breeze because changing a word in a chorus or repeating a verse requires very little editing.
Please DO NOT put your songs into PowerPoint thinking that will save us time--it does NOT. When we get song lyrics in PowerPoint, we have to first export all the slides to individual images, then import those images into our presentation software. If there is any wording change, we have first make it in PowerPoint, then re-export the slide(s) and re-import them into our church presentation software.
If you are the type of person that never makes any mistakes and your presentation will never need any editing, then we will gladly import your songs from PowerPoint or fixed images with confidence knowing we won't be called upon at the last second to correct something you missed.
If you are a regular praise team leader at Beaverton Church, you may be using Planning Center Online to organize your songs. If so, simply let the visual team member know and they will be able to import your songs from PCO directly into Proclaim without you needing to do anything else! The import gets the song lyrics and the order of the verses, we apply a background to each song, double-check everything, and we're ready to go! (If you want specific images as a background for your songs, please communicate that to the visual team, otherwise, images will be selected for you.) We highly recommend using Planning Center Online as it makes everyone's job much easier and is a central method of communication.
Notes and Pictures
Speaker Notes: Many of today's speakers like to present an outline of their presentation on the screen as a visual aid for the audience. With simple words and bullet points, this is easily done in Proclaim. If you already have them created in your own software and don't want to re-type or extract the text, you can export them to a series of still images and we can import them into our software and just click through them. Be aware, though, if you need any change, we have to ask you to make the change and re-export the images before we can import the change.
As mentioned above, our visual computer is a Windows computer. If you have created your presentation using Apple's KeyNote, this will NOT work with our software. If you export images, we can (as mentioned above) import them and click through them, but any transitions you embedded will be lost.
Having said that, we have recently implemented an alternate way to hook up a speaker's laptop, be it Mac or Windows, and allow the speaker to control their own display. If this is important to you, please contact us at the Visual email address far in advance of the speaking date so we can ensure the right resources are in place to support this.
Children's Story Pictures: Often times, the person telling the Children's Story will want to display pictures during the story. Please have these images selected ahead of time and sent to the Visual team at least the day before they are needed to be displayed.
Dedication Pictures: Sometimes there are pictures of new members or newborn babies or recently baptized people. Again, these images should be sent to the Visual team the day before the program
PowerPoint: If you have pictures and/or text in PowerPoint, be sure it's laid out in wide-screen format and that the pictures and possibly text all fit in the PowerPoint ruler guidelines so that it looks good when projected to the audience. If the PowerPoint has embedded videos, we need to have your PowerPoint several days in advance because we need to extract those videos and prepare them for the Live Streaming team. See the note on Videos below.
Our presentation software, as mentioned previously, is on a Windows computer. But live streaming is done from a Mac computer which pulls in a video feed from the Windows computer in order to embed song lyrics or display dedication pictures, sermon notes, or Bible texts during a presentation. Currently, this software, which does a fine job of transmitting still images, does not do so well with videos or any motion background--the video appears choppy for the online audience. In these cases, the Visual operator communicates with the Video operator before the event that there will be a video at a certain point during the service and lets him/her know where that video is and when it is to be played. The Video operator downloads the video and gets it ready to play at the same point in time that the Visual operator starts it for the local sanctuary's audience. Thus, two copies of the video need to be available and they need to be in formats the respective operating systems can play (typically MP4 works for both).
Therefore, it is even more important that videos are prepared ahead of time than still images. Please be especially aware of this and do not expect us to be happy (or you to get what you want) when we discover the need for a video at the last minute.
There are some who are under the misconception that the visual team can find any given picture or grab a YouTube video off the internet and within seconds have it displayed nicely on the screen. Please don't be one of these people! There is the possibility that an image can be found rather quickly, but there is no guarantee--except that you will raise the hackles on the back of the visual person's neck! Videos almost always take more time because downloading them from YouTube is an ever-changing situation as copyright policies and removing embedded watermarks slow the procedure or completely thwart our attempts. Plus, as explained here in both the Visual and Video sections, we have to make sure the videos are formatted for both the Windows and Mac computers.
Once again, the golden rule is to COMMUNICATE NEEDS EARLY