Many youth workers use PowerPoint, MediaShout, or other presentation software in their ministry to display sermon/talk notes, song lyrics, game slides, etc. The truth is, I have seen some BAD media over the years in youth groups. It's easy though, when pointed to the right resources, to take your presentations to the next level. There are two quick ways to spice up your visuals - fonts and backgrounds.
Let's cover fonts first. A lot of youth workers will build their presentations using only the fonts that are preloaded on their computer. Here's a simple slide I made using "Comic Sans" - the go-to font for children's and youth ministries:
It's not awful, but there's certainly room for improvement. Let's see what we can do if I take a few minutes to download a free font from one of the MANY websites that offer them. My favorite is www.1001freefonts.com
Now, here's the same slide, but I switched the font to a free one I found called "Dead Secretary" (not crazy about the name):
A HUGE improvement! Downloading a few eye-catching font sets will vastly improve your presentations and add some flair to what could be some drab visuals.
Here's a few more quick font tips:
1. Don't be afraid to use two different fonts in a presentation (NO MORE THAN TWO!). Use an elaborate font for the title/headline, and another easier-to-read font for the body. For example, type your Scripture up using a large, elaborate font for the reference (i.e. John 3:16), and a smaller simpler font for the text.
2. Try moving the font around on the slide. Align it left, right, center, top, and bottom to see where it is the most eye-catching.
3. If it works, make the font slightly transparent. Allowing a little bit of the background to seep through can add some texture to your words and makes it look more like a custom graphic instead of something you typed up on your own.
Good luck, and get creative!
This Easter season our church has launched a pretty massive marketing campaign called "Find It Here". The campaign is designed to engage people in a multitude of ways - tangibly and through media outlets - with a simple, straightforward invitation to attend a church service (specifically Easter Sunday service) at FBC Cold Spring.
The state community of churches we belong to - the Kentucky Baptist Convention (www.kybaptist.org) - has put out 30-second TV and radio spots that will air in the several weeks leading up to Easter. On the local-end of things, we distributed around 3,000 door-hanging bags to as many homes in the community surrounding our church. Each bag contains both a Find It Here pamphlet and a half-page sheet with information on our Easter weekend events/services and an upcoming revival the week after Easter (which I just so happened to design - check it out below!).
I'm really interested to see how effective this campaign is. In the past I've done a lot of neighborhood canvassing for Vacation Bible School, Sports Camps, and other children's activities, and only met with mild success. However, this campaign has so many facets to it - the TV and radio spots, a strong online element, and then the local touch of door-to-door delivery (which always leads to at least a few one-on-one conversations in neighborhoods).
I hope we'll see much fruit over the next few weeks!