Powerpoint for worship

I have attempted to use PowerPoint for several years, often with problems during the display of words! – but with the recent version (Office 365), the timing of slides is now reliable and the system offers a robust way to synchronise words and backing track.

In this post you will find an example PowerPoint file, with details as to the process I use.

Once completed I store the files on my Ipad, ready for use; the Office 365 version on the Ipad works really well and delivers a reliable way to manage the hymn words.

Be Still  (By clicking on the link, the file will be downloaded – but you can only view it if you have the latest version of PowerPoint)

Process for creating a synchronised set of words

  • Create a new slideshow (I use ‘Berlin’) – you may want to remove the page numbers.
  • The first slide needs to be a title page – include your CCLI number (and remember to report it when used!)
  • The second slide will be the words of the first verse.  I have used font size 40pt for most of the words – a simple white works well for contrast with the orange background.
  • On the second slide you need to insert your Audio / mp3 file.  I place this toward the bottom right of the screen. Once inserted to the slide, you need to set a couple of attributes for display.
  • Select the inserted icon for your audio, and select the special menu that appears at the top of the screen (Audio Tools / Playback).  On the dropdown for Start, select ‘Automatically’ , then check the box for ‘Play Across Slides’.  This will make your backing start after the previous (Title) slide, and then continue playing as the remaining verse slides are shown.
  • Add your remaining verses by duplicating verse 1 (and remember to delete the replicated audio!).  By duplicating the page you make sure the text box is in the same place.
  • Add text for each verse by pasting over the previous verse – continue with verses / choruses as necessary.
  • Finally, add an end slide, this will contain some appropriate image to reinforce the gospel message in some way.
  • Make all the transitions ‘Fade’ – in this way it gives a simple approach that doesn’t detract from the hymn.

Now comes the clever bit!

  • Use the menu ‘Slideshow / Rehearse Timings’
  • The first screen is shown – press the space-bar to progress to the words.
  • The music will start – follow the words and progress to each subsequent slide at the appropriate point (if anything, move to the next slide a little early!).  If there is a musical break between verses, perhaps wait until nearer the time when the next verse starts.
  • At the last slide, wait a few seconds and then end the show.  You will then be prompted to confirm if you want the new timings saved (Press ‘Yes’).

A couple more edits after the timings are saved.

  • On the First and Last slides, select the ‘Transitions’ menu, and on the right hand side of the menu area, un-check the box for progressing the slide after a specified time (just below ‘On mouse click’).  This will make sure your music does not start until you click on the first page, and the last page stays on the screen until you exit the slideshow.

Save your slideshow and see how it works.

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