Changing from one software platform to another can be tricky. Some can be surprisingly easy, while others make us go to our knees in prayer.
Transitioning your presentation software presents its own set of unique challenges, but with a little bit of preparation you can minimize issues and eliminate some potential headaches.
Here are four steps to help you make a more seamless transition from PowerPoint to your preferred church presentation software.
1. Don't Rush It
While transitioning to a new presentation platform can be made to happen quickly, for the sake of everyone involved, please don’t rush the process. Try to give yourself and your team some time to adjust. Set some time aside and familiarize yourself with the following:
- Customizable software interface
- Creating service schedules
- Downloading songs from CCLI SongSelect
- Downloading media into your media library
- Set up/install the Bible translations you need
- Logo, Black and Clear buttons (my personal favorite)
- Nursery and Message Alerts
The more comfortable you get with the software, the smoother this transition will be.
Remember, like EasyWorship, most church presentation software options include the ability to import PowerPoint presentations into the software. Don't be afraid to take advantage of that. In fact, do take advantage of it, while you learn everything your new software can do. This is about making sure that you run the software and not the other way around.
2. Schedule Training Sessions
What if you could plan out exactly how your transition will go? While we can't always plan out our transitions to a T, planning training sessions with your team can significantly reduce hurdles down the road.
When planning your training session, keep in mind these three things:
Plan ahead - It's important to value your volunteers' time which is why it's best to give at least two weeks advance notice of training session.
Schedule multiple training sessions Giving your team multiple calendar options to choose from lets them know that you care about them and want to work with them as much as possible
Send reminder emails a week before and the day before It's easy to get caught up in this thing called life. Why not give your team a helping hand by sending out texts/emails the week before and the day before as reminders of the upcoming sessions?
When it comes to the content of your training sessions, here are some suggestions of what to cover. At the end of the day, you know your team best, so feel free to adapt as needed.
- Practice building schedules by dragging and dropping the songs, scriptures and sermon slides in the correct order.
- Talk about how to apply different themes to items like scriptures, song lyrics and sermon notes.
- Run through what to do if the service schedule isn't being followed such as using the Clear or Black button.
When the training sessions are over, use training videos, which most church presentation software companies make available. Don't miss out on all the help that comes with your purchase - it will save you time in the long run.
3. Practice Run
You've made it through the training sessions and you feel good. Your team feels ready. That's great!
Now, it's time to schedule the practice run. Did you know that the practice run is a great opportunity to break your software? That's right, "break it!" Okay, not literally. This is not the time to throw your computer out the window.
However, don't be afraid to try using the software to its maximum capabilities. Try different configurations and see what questions you can come up with.
During the practice run, see about getting the worship team involved as well. Bring the dynamics of working with real people in real time into the practice run. Ask the worship leader to throw in one more song last minute and run through what to do in that scenario. Preparing your volunteers with different real-case scenarios gives your team confidence for Sunday morning.
4. Be Patient
Again, remember, this is a significant transition for you and your team.
What better test on one's patience then going live with new presentation software on Sunday morning?
You may have a team that picks it up faster than you can say, "EasyWorship". Or you may have a team with a bigger learning curve than others.
Either way, please try to remember that we're all in this thing together; building God's kingdom the best way we know how. So, take a breath, put on your patient hat and see what happens. And don't be surprised if you actually have fun in the process!
Moving forward, know that your software can grow with you. You'll discover more and more of its capabilities.
Want your text or church logo to blend with your background a little more?
Try using the Alpha Channel feature. Have a volunteer that has an eye for design? Put them in charge of creating custom themes and presentations. This is all about knowing the software you've purchased and using it to its full capabilities.
It might just surprise you with all it can do.
Casii Stephan has been a church administrator and communicator for 15 years both in Tulsa, OK and South St. Paul, MN. Though she has been faced with many trials, Casii continues to love the church and develop her passion to help the church communicate clearly to her generation. Currently, she works as the Media Store Manager at EasyWorship (easyworship.com) where she enjoys connecting churches with the right worship media.