It’s Easter. Our to-do lists are already full, and there is probably a thousand things you still want to get done before service this weekend. However, I thought it may be helpful to share some tips of the things I do right before a service or event that help me go from good to great and make an excellent environment. These are just a few ways you can make Easter amazing, create an environment that’s memorable and 14 Tech Tips to Make Easter Excellent this year!
Final Spot Check Your Lyrics.
From spelling to grammar, line breaks and more, I always do one last spot check on my lyrics before a big event. This will make sure that holy and holly don’t get mixed up because spell check doesn’t catch the difference (here’s a great post on hand-drawn lyrics). Some other tricks of the trade:
- Avoid more than 4 lines per slide
- Find natural breaths for a line break
- Don’t have only 1 word per line
Backup Slides, Media & Screen Graphics.
At Catalyst Conference last year, my media server went down seconds before I was about to hit play on a critical video. However, I had backed up my files to my laptop right before I started the session, so we were able to play the video from a different source instead of waiting 3-4 minutes for the server to boot back up. This saved my life, and if you want to make Easter excellent this year, then back up your files and be ready for the worst case scenario!
Update Lyric Templates
Looking to make a subtle change to the look and feel of your lyric template, but haven’t had time to make that happen? Well you may want to check out the 22+ Free templates that SALT Community has put together. This will save you a lot of time in trying to get something together last minute, and may be that one little “secret sauce” that helps you look just a tad bit more excellent.
Double Check Speaker & Announcement Slides
Sometimes my focus becomes choosing the right piece of media for the song or service, and I don’t focus on the easy parts (i.e. speaker slides and announcement slides). However these are sometimes the most important, and because most churches don’t rehearse these elements with pastor or host, you will want to double and triple check that you have the right slides loaded.
Change Your Desktop Background
In the event that something happens to your presentation software and it quits! (who hasn’t had that happen before!?) You may want to change your desktop background for your secondary screen to black or something else for this week. I saw one church turn it into a scripture slide that fit their branding. This way it wouldn’t be a blank screen, but something that seemed to fit. Small tweak, huge impact on excellent environments.
Clean The Projector Filter
This may seem like a small-time task, but it could prove to be the single greatest tweak you make this week. Cleaning the filter will allow the projector to not have to work too hard in cooling your projector lamp. This means there’s a lower chance of the bulb blowing during your biggest service of the year! Proper preparation prevents poor performance.
Rehearse With The Band
I know you have a ton of things to do this week, but don’t miss the chance to rehearse your media, transitions, etc with the band. If you have a volunteer that’s going to be running media, then make sure they rehearse with the band instead. Don’t have time? Then put the songs they’re doing onto your phone and listen to them during your drive times. This will engrane the music structure into your mind, and allow you to be ready when they do a bridge a second time, repeat a chorus or skip the third verse last minute. You’ll know exactly where to go and when!
Fine Tune The Mask (If Using Environmental Projection)
Are you using environmental projection? Have you been rehearsing all week and listening to the music? Chosen your last few pieces of media and you’re ready to go? Well odds are good that your projectors have settled a bit, or you haven’t fine tuned that mask to look good from every seat. I always fine tune the mask before every service. Put an all white graphic on your EP setup, and walk around the room. Having a good mask makes for an excellent Easter environment!
Check the Zoom & Focus (on the Projector)
Take twenty seconds and go check the focus and zoom of each projector in the room. Make sure it’s crisp and cleanly fills the corners of your screen. To me, this is the biggest pet peeve when I walk into any concert or worship environment; when the projected image doesn’t fill the corners cleanly, isn’t in focus or has bad alignment.
Check Alignment (In Multiscreen Setups)
If you’re doing a standard triple-wide screen or have an edge blended environment, double and triple check your alignment. Feel free to grab one of our alignment grids (these are worth their weight in gold) and make those last minute fine tune adjustments. This is a great way to make Easter excellent this year.
Coordinate Colors Between Lighting & Video
If you run video, check with your lighting operator. We’ve talked about the importance of color theory before, but make sure to coordinate those colors well. It won’t take long, but this is one of the last things I do before music starts. Often this can be done over intercom or through a simple conversation before the service starts.
Replace Batteries in Mice & Keyboards
The number of times I’ve had a mouse die on me in the middle of a service is too many to count on one hand. So take my lack of planning as a way to plan better, and replace the batteries in any of your wireless mice and keyboards before the weekend!
Turn Off Screensaver
Even though most presentation softwares are written in a way to prevent the screensaver from turning on, you just can’t be sure of it. Go turn it off. Let it never come on, and if your computer has hot corners (i.e. the screensaver will turn on when your mouse goes into the bottom left corner) then remove that as well!
Adjust the Secondary Screen Position
Have you ever lost your mouse to your second screen? Or better yet, have you ever seen a volunteer move their mouse around like crazy and come to find out it’s on the output of your worship screens? That’s the worst! Use this simple trick to avoid that from happening. Just move your secondary output to be in the upper right corner of your main output (I’m on a mac, so that’s the screenshot) and your mouse will have a simple “safety fence” around it.
That’s it, our 14 Tech Tips to Make Easter Excellent! Simple, but incredibly effective ways to increase the excellence factor in your easter environments this year. What are a few last minute routines you have to make sure they are excellent? Let us know on Facebook!
Are you ready to go deeper with Environmental Projection? We have put together a 30 minute e-course on environmental projection from breaking down the myths, methods, and technologies involved. Click here to download.