TCP: Quick Tips For Better Lyric Slides – Part 1

The following post is by Kendall Conner at TheCreativePastor.com.

Projecting lyrics may not always be the most exhilarating part of Church Media, but there’s no doubt that it provides a valuable service for those in the congregation. It’s particularly important for newcomers who are less likely to know the songs in your worship team’s repertoire. Because of this, it’s critical that we do our best to design our slides to be both functional and attractive. (Even if people don’t truly read the lyrics you’re displaying, they’re still likely to be distracted if your slides look all jacked up!)

As I’ve visited different churches and studied their media practices, I’ve noticed that it often isn’t huge mistakes that keep lyric slides from looking their best. Instead, it’s the little things that subtly stand out. So, for the next several weeks, we’ll be discussing some quick tips that are super easy to implement, but will make a big difference in your Sunday morning media.

• Stick To 2-4 Lines Per Slide
The quickest way to add confusion and distraction to your lyric slides is by having too many lines on the screen. It may be the easiest route for you because it requires less flipping through slides, but this lazy way out is not the way to go. Fill each slide with 2-4 lines max so that it’s easy for new singers to jump in at any time without having to do a word search on your screen. (This also makes it easier for people to close their eyes in prayer/worship and pick right back up when they open their eyes again.)

Better Lyric Slides 01

Better Lyric Slides 02

• Bully-free Slides
Some people describe this problem as “orphans and widows,” but I’ve always instructed my media volunteers to avoid having bullies on your slides. Simply put, don’t create small lines of text surrounded by large “bully” lines. While still keeping with the general flow of how the song is sung, arrange your slides to have fairly equal line lengths.

Better Lyric Slides 03

Better Lyric Slides 04

• No Commas or Periods At The End of Lines
This is day one stuff, folks! These are lyrics—not sentences that require absolute, perfect punctuation. For a much cleaner look, ditch the commas and periods on the end of lines. The line-break is more than enough for your congregation to recognize that there is a separation.

Better Lyric Slides 05

Better Lyric Slides 06

Are you guilty of these? What are some more tips for better lyric slides? Be sure to check back with us next week for more tips!

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Kendall Conner is the founder of TheCreativePastor.com—a blog centered around making church media simple. He is a graphic designer, video editor, and all-around media geek.

Comments
  1. Billy says:

    Good tips! The only thing I would disagree with is the use of punctuation. The reason I say this is because I think proper use of question marks and exclamation points emphasize the meaning of a lyric. Omission can seem drab (overuse can also be obnoxious).

    For example:

    What can wash away my sin?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus

    And if our God is for us
    Then who could ever stop us?

    From the rooftops – sing!
    I’m not ashamed!

    Thanks for taking the time to address these issues that are so common!

  2. Hey there Billy,

    I couldn’t agree more! You’ll notice that I mentioned ditching the commas and periods. On the other hand, I’m a big fan of the question mark and exclamation point on certain lyrics. Thanks for bringing that side of it up!

    Be blessed,

    Kendall

  3. Adam says:

    Thanks for these posts, Kendall. Your slides look great — what font did you use on them?

  4. Thanks for the kind words, Adam! The font that I used on these is Helvetica Neue Condensed Bold. I use it for my slides pretty much every Sunday. I love it!

  5. Chris Lund says:

    Good start to the tips. We generally follow these, however I find the number of lines per slide to be a little more relative than absolute, influenced by how much text you can fit on one line. In our room, we must use a relatively larger font size than your examples since our not-so-large screen was installed in 1988 when use of media in worship looked very different! With less maximum text per line to work with, 4 lines per screen is our typical limit.

    As for line breaks, I certainly agree not to leave orphans, but you didn’t give advice about where to break lines when you must. With less text per line, we have to break more lines than your template would. When we have to subdivide a long text line, we do so at the point that makes the most sense for singing, such as where people will take a breath if possible, or where it makes sense lyrically.

Leave a Reply

 
 
301 Moved Permanently

Moved Permanently

The document has moved here.


Apache/2.4.7 (Ubuntu) Server at centerlinenewmedia.com Port 80