Power Point

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by JoeKan, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. JoeKan

    JoeKan
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    Hello,
    I have been thinking about powerpoint and getting it for our church but I am totally clueless as to what I need. I know one thing I need and that is a laptop and I already have that. But it does not have a power point slide program, so I would have to get that (not sure where to get it at).
    If someone here is knowledgeable in this area, I would appreciate it if you can inform me of what all I need to get this for our church.
    Thank you in advance,
    Joe
    Preach the Word!
     
  2. Magnetic Poles

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    Joe, you need the software, a pc, a projector, and helpful to have a remote control.

    Also, to save $$ you can download OpenOffice.org for free. It has a program called Impress, that is a clone of Microsoft Powerpoint, but doesn't cost a dime.
     
  3. SBCPreacher

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    Beat me to it.
     
  4. Jkdbuck76

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    Ditto.

    If you use Open Office, be sure you download the Impress Templates to help you out.
     
  5. tinytim

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    Ditto.. Also, impress will allow you to convert your powerpoint into flash, to upload on a website...
    Or if you want to share your Powerpoint slides you can use slideshare.com
    I have been using powerpoint with my sermons for 3 yrs now.. My oldest son runs the powerpoint, while I preach on.

    One point to remember.. simple is better.

    From your slides, to the font you use..
     
  6. padredurand

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    About the same length of time here. Big difference is I use a remote to advance the slides. Now I'm so used to preaching with it in my hand I don't know what I'd do with out it. I know it keeps me from pounding on the pulpit. That battery would fly out and we'd be stuck on a slide...

    Tim, you mentioned the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. We experimented with a lot of combinations of fonts and colors to find what worked best for our auditorium. Now we have a simple rule of thumb:

    Times New Roman, 38 pt font, white letters on a black background line spacing at 1 1/2. That works out to no more that five lines of text per slide. Folk can see it from 30 rows back on the 15x20' screen. That's the best combo for our room and as they say in the commercials, "Your results may vary."
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    These guys have given great advice, but you will also need to add 30-60 minutes more on sermon prep.

    And avoid the temptation to determine what to preach based on what may look good in a ppt slide. That's a more subtle temptation than I ever expected.
     
  8. Trotter

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    Look up some basic rules for PP slides. Our former interim had appartently never done this. He had entire paragraphs of scripture up there... a huge no-no. Squashed images, black text on dark backgrounds, no bullet-points. Plus someone running it whose sense of timing was non-existant... even with a transcript of the sermon.

    avoid glaring colors, small text, more than 4-6 bullets per slide. Spend a little time and learn how to make the slides look presentable. I had to use PP for all my college reports, so I learned hard and fast how to do things that make a difference... things like white-washing a picture and applying it as the background for the whole presentation. It's a simple thing, but it unifies the whole thing in such a wonderful way. Imagine a sermon on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane that has a faded background of a painting of Jesus praying in the Garden, or Resurrection Sunday with the empty tomb as the background.
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    These are all good suggestions.

    I don't ever teach or speak without powerpoint (or some kind of presentation software) these days. People are too visually driven.

    I don't use powerpoint because of the limitations (it is exceedingly limited.) My usual MO is to use my Apple Powerbook Pro and either keynote (for simpler, me driven presentations) or Pro-Presenter (when I have a helper.) Pro-Presenter puts anything PC into the ground and kicks some dirt in its face for good measure.

    If you are thinking about getting into the game with brand new stuff I would highly recommend spending an extra $500 or so and getting a Mac Desktop and Pro-Presenter loaded. One of the great things is that you can overlay video, add lower thirds, etc to your presentation. The really cool thing part is that Apple offers tons of training and there are add-ons widely available for download to help out.

    If you are going to be stuck in the PC world, which is cool, than I still recommend dropping powerpoint (because of its limitations) and getting something like MediaShout or of the like. :)
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    If you can't preach without PP you will never be able to preach with it.
     
  11. rbell

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    some thoughts:

    I use "non-serif" or "sans-serif" fonts usually. (a sans-serif font such as Arial doesn't have the serifs, or "tags" on the end of the letters. Times New Roman, a Serif font, does. It doesn't display quite as well. )

    Also, use contrast, particularly if your ambient light is high, or your projector isn't strong.

    Use red sparingly. Red tends to not show up well...either as a font color, or as a background.

    Be careful with the animation "gimmicks." They can become attention getters in themselves, and they can detract from the message.

    I echo what was said about not putting too much up on the screen. I put primarily the basic points...not the whole sermon. My goal is to help visual learners remember, and to assist those who take notes. (Probably 1/3 of my students in my ministry take notes regularly).

    This sounded kind of harsh...the guy's just asking a question...
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    It is just font. It cannot sound like anything. You took it harsh.
     
  13. preachinjesus

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    Maybe another serious question to ask is how much are you looking to spend in total? That is a pretty good place to understand how committed you are the transition and how it might go over. One of the great problems of too many churches is that they under spend in critical areas and don't put together a genuinely excellent presentation.

    I'm not being snarky or snooty. I just believe that people genuinely desire to see their experiences and environments valued as they connect with others and with God.

    A good system (thinking you're starting from scratch) could easily run 10,000 to 15,000 dollars. You figure the hardware itself is at least 10,000. A decent projector (one will appropriate lumens so it doesn't get washed out by the lights) is at least 6,000 to 7,000. A laptop (even the baseline model) will end up at 1,500 (minimum) when properly equipped. A screen is about 500.

    Then you need to consider mounting, running cables, buying software, buying add-ons, and securing the devices properly. If the system is run out of the back of the church or facility it is a bit more expensive to run the cables from the back to the projector. How accessible is your architecture to running cables?

    These are pretty important questions imho. Again I'm not trying to be weird, just asking legitimate questions. The worst thing we can do is grab a pop-up screen, toss an underpowered projector on a rickety cart, and wheel it out in front of everyone. Just messes up the transitions in worship and looks...well...bad.
     
  14. rbell

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    Hey, it's no biggie to me...the OP hasn't been here that long. Just trying to show some grace to a newer poster.

    Carry on.
     
  15. tinytim

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    Good advice.. all.. even Revs.. (BTW.. I can preach with or without.. I just prefer with.. )...

    Our sanctuary isn't that big.. it will hold about 100 people..
    Our screen is actually the wall.. in front to the left.
    Our projector was there before I got there 3 yrs ago, it is a portable one that is ran from the front row by my son... I think it cost around $1500..

    For my laptop, I am using a Dell Vostro 1500.. souped up for Vista, but have XP installed instead so it runs FAST!.. I can have 5-7 Powerpoint shows all up and ready to run at the same time. It cost around $650 last yr.

    I violate my own rule for keeping it simple.
    I put more on the slide than I should.. ONLY because the church has asked me too.

    I tried it extremely simple, and they told me they missed seeing stuff.
    The older generation is the ones that really wanted it.

    Plus, when I upload them to slideshare, you can follow my powerpoint, and still understand my sermon.

    I am trying to wean them to simpler slides.. so one day we might get there.

    I spend about 2 hours extra on my sermon setting up my slides the way I want them.
    If you have the right visual effects, you can drive home your point.
     
    #15 tinytim, Apr 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2009
  16. rbell

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    also: depending on what one's facilities are...a laptop might not be needed. We use a desktop. Cheaper, and just as good (now that flash drives are so common...we just transfer the ppt file up there).

    ONE NOTE: Should you compose the show on one computer, and show it on another...if you use anything other than the most basic fonts, be aware: PowerPoint, if your font isn't available, will substitute another one. That can mess up the spacing.

    I make sure that all our church computers (20 of them) have the same fonts.
     
  17. Trotter

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    You don't have to go all out to get good quality. Our church has an older projector that probably cost $400 when they bought it. You can get decent projectors pretty reason nowadays. If the lumens are not that great, dim the lights around where you project the image. ;)

    A laptop or desktop will work, but make it inobvious. We set the church's laptop (a cheap Acer) in a chair in front of the projector (which sits on the organ behind the music out of sight) and use a wireless remote to change screens. The wall behind the choir is our screen since it is already white. :D

    A little thought and ingenuity can make a silk purse out of a cow's ear. I could do a lot more with what we have but I am not a part of how it is done. I have offered my help but was told they "have it under control".
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    Yes, saves you from having to pray and depend on the Spirit. Too bad the great pastors of yesterday year weren't able to drive home their point by spending two hours on a powerpoint presentation.

    While I am speaking slightly sarcastically, I think Tim's response shows one of the great perils of technology.

    INTERJECT: We use it for singing, and on rare occasions for preaching, but I tend not to like it for preaching because it leads to preaching points rather than preaching the text. It is also too confining during a message.

    On to the perils: Too many are depending on means other than the Spirit to convict and convince. It shows that, for all our pious talk, our trust in not in the Scripture's power but in the nature of the illustration we tell, the video that we show, the atmosphere we create, the way we put a powerpoint together, etc. Yet none of these things are seen in Scripture as necessary to the preaching. 1 Cor 2 would indicate that many of these things are actually contradictory to "Christ and him crucified." They cloud the message rather than clarify it. If you can't drive home your point through the power of the Spirit through the Word and prayer, the powerpoint won't help.

    I think this is a dangerous road.

    On to the point: In spite of claims for $10-15,000, most churches can get started for less than $2000. A good projector, a laptop or desktop, and powerpoint or Open Office (which is free) can do the job and is really all you need. Our auditorium seats about 200. We have a $50 laptop, a 3000 lumen projector, and a screen hanging on a wall. We are well under $1500 for it. It wouldn't work in all settings, but it works in most.

    Get some help from someone who knows what they are talking about. It depends on your room, the size of your congregation and what you intend to do with it.

    Here's my suggestion: Skip the two hours in powerpoint preparation and interact with people, study the text more, and pray. It will be time better spent. A great powerpoint can't rescue a bad message. And a good message doesn't need powerpoint in most cases.
     
  19. tinytim

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    Well, since I don't serve you.. and GOD directs my path... I will choose to ignore your slander..

    WE are called to present the message in a way that people will understand... if using powerpoint to do that, then I will.

    OH.. I said I was going to ignore your slanderous statement...
     
  20. swaimj

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    Larry, I have never used power-point in a sermon. My guess is that I might find it confining as well, but I'd be willing to give it a shot.

    I think using the I Cor passage as a reason to do away with all sermonic aides, including illustrations, is a little over the top. A preachers job is to explain the text to his hearers. Illustrations help illuminate the meaning. Surely, Paul uses practical illustrations in I Corinthians to explain his meaning. Surely he uses personal experiences in his argumentation. There is nothing wrong with these things. I cannot imagine the Bible being what it is without them. Even God uses earthly analogies to explain His person to us. If he did not condescend to us in this way, he would be utterly incomprehensible!

    Powerpoint can help people who are visual learners to better grasp what the preacher is saying. I have appreciated the pastors who have used the tool.
     

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