A step-by-step tutorial to maximize this popular program

PowerPoint, Professionally

A step-by-step tutorial to maximize this popular program

by Tim Eason

PowerPoint, Professionally
A step-by-step tutorial to maximize this popular program

By Tim Eason

I set out to determine how many churches use a video projector to display song
lyrics during worship using Microsoft® PowerPoint®, the result was not
surprising: 95 percent. After all, PowerPoint has become a standard in the
business world; it’s easy to use and has many features that make it a fairly
powerful program for graphic display.

Despite its strengths, however, PowerPoint was not designed for church
applications, so it needs some “discipling” to be most effective in a
worship setting. With that in mind, I’d like to share a few tips and tricks that
maximize the impact of PowerPoint in your next worship service.

All of the following tips are based on the PowerPoint® 2000 program.
Although most can also be applied to earlier versions, an upgrade is well worth
the investment. New features include the ability to play animated gifs, add
graphical bullets and use dual-screen capability, which requires two video cards
in your computer. A slide show may now also be started using the F5 key,
which is easier than clicking the small icon to start a show.

Get organized!

The key to maximizing PowerPoint in worship is organization. A
well-organized filing structure saves time and headaches when assembling
presentations. Create a main folder to store your worship files. Inside that
folder, create three folders named Service, Songs and Pictures.
Inside the Service folder, create three folders named Announcements,
and Old. Each of these folders will be covered in greater
detail as each tip is presented later. Now, let’s get started!

Assembling songs

When building a song library, each song should be saved as an individual
presentation. This allows for greater flexibility when assembling services and
it is safer than putting all songs into one big file. Open PowerPoint. Start a
blank presentation. Right-click on the slide and choose Slide Layout.
Double-click the box with nothing in it. You should now have a completely blank

Select a background color. Right-click on the slide and choose Background.
From the drop-down menu, select a medium blue color and click Apply.

Name the slide. To the left of the slide is a “1” with a box
next to it. Click to the right of this box and type the title of the song along
with the verse number. The text entered here will appear on the slide. Drag that
text box off of the slide so that it appears above the slide. This text is for
the operator’s reference only and does not need to be displayed.

Type the first verse of the song. Select Insert Textbox (or
click the icon) and click in the upper left of the slide. Select Format >
. Choose the Arial font and select a font size between 32 and 44.
Set the font color to yellow. Check the box by Default for new objects.
In the toolbar, click the icon to center the text. Type the first verse of the
song. You may also copy and paste text from other programs. Arrange the text so
that it is aesthetically pleasing and that the musical phrases are separated in
a logical manner. Resize and reposition the text as needed. A shadow may be
added by adjusting the shadow controls. Finally, add any notes about the slide (e.g.,
“Repeat Once”).

Additional slides need to be created to complete the song. Rather than
starting from scratch with a new, blank slide, it is faster to duplicate the
first slide and modify the contents. Select Insert > Duplicate slide.
Highlight and replace the text on the duplicate slide, typing the next segment
of the song. Change the title and notes as well.. Repeat this duplication
process until the song is complete. You may duplicate choruses and drag them to
their proper location in the left-hand list.

Save the song to the Songs folder and name it accordingly. If the song
title will be used more than once, indicate an author in the file name. Repeat
this song creation process for each song that will be sung during a service. To
save time, start with a presentation that you have already created and use Save
to rename it.


PowerPoint is a great tool for creating eye-catching announcements that may
be shown before and after a service. When creating announcements, only display
the major points of an event, such as name, place, date and time. Announcements
on screen are not always a substitution for printed material. Especially keep
away from displaying weekly schedules that no one could possibly memorize. If
there is a particular event that you would like to emphasize, copy that slide a
few times and place it randomly in between other announcements. Be sure to test
presentation colors on the projection system because what is seen on a computer
monitor may appear different through a projector. On that same note, do not put
in a lot of time and detail that may be lost when displayed on a big screen.
Create slides with scripture or thoughts pertaining to worship, your church’s
vision or the sermon topic. This is a great way to prepare the congregation for
worship. With these tips in mind, let’s create an announcement from scratch.

Start a new presentation and select a blank slide layout. Right-click on the
slide and select Background. There are several background options.
Experiment with different fill effects and choose a desired background. Picture
backgrounds from the Digital Juice or Kick Starters packages give announcements
a professional look even before any information is added.

Add a title to the announcement using the Word Art tool. Select a Word Art
style by double-clicking on the desired style. Select a font and type in a title
for the announcement. Determine if the heading should take up more than one line
and return when necessary. At this point, do not worry about the font size.
Click OK and drag the Word Art to the desired location. Resize the title
as needed. Experiment with the Word Art controls, particularly the Word Art

Add text boxes as needed for dates and other information. Select fonts and
colors that may be read easily. Resize and rearrange as needed.

To add a picture, first insert your PowerPoint 2000 clip art CD. Click the
Clip Art button and then click Find. Type in a keyword for the graphic
you want (e.g., church, rainbow, etc.) and click Find Now. When a
suitable picture is located, click the image and then the Insert Clip
button. The picture will be inserted onto the slide. Resize and move the picture
to the desired location. If the picture is covering up text, move it behind the
text by right-clicking on the image and making a selection from the Order
menu. To insert a picture that is not located in the Clip Art gallery, select Insert
> Picture > From file
and find the image that you would like to use.
Experiment with the Picture tools.

Two Transitions volumes, with more than 70
images in each, plug into PowerPoint 97 and 2000, adding transition and
synchronized sound effects.

Inserting shapes is a useful technique. Use shapes to highlight an area of an
announcement by placing them behind the important text. They also can be used to
design unique backgrounds. Click the AutoShapes button and select a
suitable shape. Resize, reposition and reorder the shape as desired. Recolor the
shape by right-clicking on it and selecting Format AutoShape.

Now it’s time to bring this announcement to life by animating the objects.
This is where the real fun begins! Right-click on any object and choose Custom

Click on the tab labeled Order and Timing. Check the box next to each
object name to be animated. In the Animation Order window, arrange the
objects in the desired order. Set each animation to Automatically in the Start
box. A delay time may be set if preferred. Now click the Effects
tab. Click on an object in the Check to animate slide objects box and
choose an animation for that object. Some animations have various options. Click
Preview to see what the animation will look like. Repeat this step for
each object to be animated.

When finished, click OK. Press F5 to see the slide in action. Make
adjustments to the animations if necessary. Repeat these instructions for
additional announcements.

The announcements should cycle at a set time interval. To enable this
feature, select Slideshow > Set up show. Check the box next to Loop
continuously until Esc.
under Advance slides, make sure that it is
set to Use timings, if present. Next, set the transition and time
interval. Switch to the slide sorter view by clicking the icon located in the
lower left of the screen. Right-click on any slide and choose Slide
. Set the transition to Random Transition. Under Advance,
uncheck the On mouse click box and check the Automatically after
box. Set a time interval of 10-15 seconds. Click Apply to All and the
settings will affect every one of the announcements.

Save the presentation to the Announcements folder and name it

Take note!

Digital Juice puts thousands of royalty-free graphics on 15 CDs at
your fingertips. This program also includes a tutorial video and color
index of the graphics library.

Displaying sermon notes is a great way to keep the congregation’s attention
and help them retain the message. Pastors who want to maximize this method
should plan their sermons far enough in advance so that their notes may be
assembled into PowerPoint.

Let’s create a fill-in-the-blank slide. In this example, a sentence will
appear, “God has called us to make ________ of all nations.” When the
mouse is clicked, the word “disciples” will dissolve in to fill the
blank. Start with a new slide and select an appropriate background. Add a text
box and type in the first part of the sentence, “God has called us to
make.” Next, create a second text box and type in the last part of the
sentence, “of all nations.” Now draw a line using the line tool,
located next to Auto Shapes. Be sure to make the line long enough for the
fill-in word. Finally, create a third text box with the word
“disciples” and position it over the line. Alter the fonts and
locations of the boxes as desired.

Using techniques learned for creating announcements, animate each object on
the slide. Pay attention to the order of the objects. Make sure that the fill-in
word is last on the list and set it to animate On Mouse Click. All other
objects should be set to advance automatically. When setting the effect type,
choose Zoom for the line and Dissolve for the fill-in word.

Now give it a try! If everything has been set correctly, the sentence should
appear with the blank and then the slide should pause. When the left mouse
button is clicked or the space bar is pressed, the word should dissolve to fill
in the blank.

Create as many notes slides as necessary and save the presentation to the Notes
folder. To save time, duplicate slides and change the text.

A warm welcome

For the welcome time of a worship service, create a slide with your church
name and logo to be displayed while people greet each other. Use techniques
learned for creating announcements. If a digital camera is available, take a
picture of your church to use on the slide. Save the slide as its own
presentation to the Service folder.

Put it all together

Now that all of the necessary presentations have been created, it’s time to
assemble a service! Start a new, blank presentation and switch to the Slide
sorter view
. All of the individual presentations that have been produced
need to be compiled into one service file. To do this, select Insert >
Slides from files
and then click Browse. Navigate to the Songs
folder and double-click the first song in the order of worship. Click Insert
and the slides will be put in to the new presentation. Click Browse
again and repeat this procedure until the all of the songs, sermon notes and
welcome presentations have been added. Do not add the announcements. When
finished, click Close.

Rearrange the slides as needed by dragging them to the desired location.
Multiple slides may be selected, such as a whole song, and then moved all at
once. Slides may also be cut and pasted within the presentation.

To ensure that slides will not automatically advance, select Slideshow
> Set up show
and choose Advance slides manually. Save the
presentation to the Service folder and name it “Service.”


The projector is glowing, the computer is up and running, the congregation is
on their way, and it’s time to put PowerPoint into action! First, open the Announcements
presentation and then the Service file. When using a dual-screen
computer, set the presentation to display on Monitor 2 under Set up
. Start the Announcements presentation by pressing F5.
Hold down the Alt key and press the Tab key to switch back to
PowerPoint’s edit screen. Now start the Service presentation. It is now
possible to use Alt > Tab to switch between the announcements and the
service files without the congregation seeing PowerPoint’s editing screen. If
this is done quickly enough, no one will even notice the box that pops up for
program selection. It can be a little tricky, but practice makes perfect!
Dual-screen users should forgo the Alt > Tab technique and use the
program buttons available on the Windows toolbar.

When navigating PowerPoint during the worship service, use the forward and
backward arrows to move through the presentation. Print out the slides for a
reference sheet. Dual screen users may use the control screen as a reference. To
jump to a slide out of sequence, type the slide number and press Enter.
Press B on the keyboard to black out the screen. Press B again to
return to the slide show.

Become a maestro of multimedia! Practice with the choir or praise team so
that the slides will flow with the music. Timing and organization are very
important when running a slideshow for worship. If there are going to be any
major distractions, it will be due to lack of preparation on the part of the
computer operator. During the song service, advance to the next slide midway
through the last line of the current slide. If there is a musical interlude,
stay on the current slide or insert a slide with scripture or imagery pertaining
to the song. Be sure to pay close attention during the sermon and display notes
slides on cue.

Before long, you will be creating stunning presentations that enhance worship
and maximize learning. Develop an eye for graphics and enlist volunteers with a
passion for art and media. Take time to experiment with new ideas and seek out
ways to take full advantage of PowerPoint. Eventually, you will become a master
at using PowerPoint in worship.

Tim Eason is president of ChurchMedia.net(www.churchmedia.net)
and travels the country training churches to use media in ministry. He is the
author of
Using PowerPoint in Worship, an electronic training program.

For a printable version of this article with step-by-step
visual aids, visit our Web site at www.churchbusiness.com.

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