Simple Rules for Effective Worship Presentation
First, let's tackle text, which is the most frequently used kind of media in most presentations — so frequent, in fact, that most people don't even consider it "media." But, as a medium conveying specific ideas and information, text delivers with a clarity that pictures can't beat.
It doesn't have to be that way. Use these simple tricks to make sure the text in your presentations' message support, lyrics, and announcements looks great and reads well to the audience.
1. Keep text big.
Display a screen containing several lines of text of descending size, over a typical background. Set the room's lighting to match less-than-ideal conditions, and then sit in the last row to read it. Note the size of the smallest readable line, and then increase that number by about 10 percent. That's the minimum font size for your room.
2. Go easy on fonts.
3. Let words breathe.
But, if you're trying to inspire a sense of God, a boundless faith, a hope eternal, then give the words some breathing space and your audience will breathe easier, too. You can do this with wider margins, fewer words per line, and fewer lines on the screen.
Keeping Backgrounds in Their Place
But our doodling ancestors figured out another way to convey depth. When an object (say, a saber-toothed tiger) stands between a light source (fire) and another object (cave wall), it leaves a silhouette of itself on the second object. After changing his loincloth, an observer of this phenomenon figured out that if he added a silhouette to a painting of the object, said object would appear to jump out from the surface he painted it on. The fake shadow was born.
Adding a shadow effect to text can do the same thing. The silhouette of the letters help the brain perceive the letters themselves as separate from background the shadow is cast upon.
The text outline effect is an easier fix, but it's also easier to use poorly. Choose the thinnest width necessary to make the text readable above the background. The wider the outline, the harder it is for the eye to see differences in similarly shaped letters. The color should contrast with the text and the background.
Go with black if you can, and avoid bright colors that call steal attention from the characters themselves. And don't forget that what looks good on your computer's display may be a blur to someone sitting in the back row trying to read that billboard-sized display.
For example, if just some of the words are hard to read, reduce the contrast. If the readability problem spans most of the page, try darkening it by placing a semi-opaque layer over it, and then adjusting the opacity till you get the best look.
If this causes the picture to lose important details or changes its mood too much, you can use another trick to get some of it back. Assign the original, unaltered version of the picture to a blank page that appears before the first page of text, which uses the text-friendly version. Even if the blank page appears for just a second or two, the brain will continue to "see" what's obscured in the altered picture.
Another trick can work if your display is large enough. Resize and position the picture to one side of the frame so that the cue's base color appears as a fat margin next to it. Adjust the text margins to fit the text within this space. With the picture on one side and the text over a solid color on the other, the words will remain readable without taming the picture into dullness.
This article is courtesy of MediaComplete, www.mediashout.com.