Do you use slides when you speak?
I used to use slides all the time. I would spend hours crafting slides. I crafted them because they mattered, right? As, I learned how to preach better in the past few years, I have started to use fewer slides. The only reason I don’t often use slides is because it can be difficult to preach a message while controlling your slides.
Lately, I still use one slide that is the main image for the talk, or if I want to hit home a main point, I will make a slide out of that. I never use more than 3 slides when I preach in front of students. One of those slides is scripture.
Here are a few things I have learned about using slides when preaching:
1. It has to look great. The slide you use could take away from your talk. If you are looking for images for the background of a slide you can find some options here. Use a nice a clean font when you are trying to build a slide. One font that is simple and easy to use is called Montserrat. It is free and you can play around with the bold, and regular settings to give more depth to your sermon.
If you can’t make your slide look great, I personally think it is better to go without. If I don’t have the time to put into a slide for my sermon, I won’t do it.
2. It needs to be simple. Put one simple slogan or main idea on to a slide. One of the biggest mistakes people make is when they try to cram everything on to one slide. I don’t need 7 points on one slide, I need the main idea! Be careful of trying to unpack too much with text. Use a simple image that drives home your point with a simple text. The simple text could be a bible passage, or key verse from a passage. Make sure your main point is easy enough for your students to take home at the end of the talk.
3. It can’t get in the way. One thing I never want to say is, “Next slide”. I hate hearing that being said. It gets in the way of the flow of the message. I also shy away from looking back on the screen to “see” what the audience is seeing. Getting caught up in the slide can easily distract from the point of the sermon, or what the slide was trying to hit home.
I have seen numerous people give awesome sermons that would have been better without the slides. I don’t want to fumble through the slides, and I don’t want it to take away from what God has called me to preach on that day.
How do you use slides when you preach to students? How do you make sure that they don’t get in the way? How do you keep them simple? How do you make sure they look awesome?