Announcement slides have the potential to play a significant role in your Sunday experience. Whether looping through as people are walking in, having them run during a certain time during your service, or even as people are hanging around after – as all marketing and forms of communication go,- it all depends on how well it’s executed.
Here are five guidelines to keep in mind as you create your next set of slides:
Less is more.
There are times when you get that itch to put anything and everything going on in your church on your announcement slides. Please, don’t do that. The result can turn into an 80-slide monster loop that will take the entire length of your service to get through. Less is more. I would recommend no more than 10 slides. Be intentional with what you want to be displayed on them; only showcase the events going on that month, and leave the rest for your website – that’s what it’s for!
Keep it short and simple.
Announcement slides are best used to provoke interest, not to give every detail about the subject at hand. It’s enticing to be clear and not leave any questions for those reading about your event. However, drowning your slide with words can quickly cause someone to lose sight of the message you want to be presented – you want questions! Guide those who want to know more about what was on the screen to your connection booth or website.
Remember your guests.
Portray your slides as if it’s everyone’s first day. Sure, Gary, who’s been attending for 15 years, might know that ‘Second Half’ is the name of your 60+ ministry group, but you must be mindful of the first-time attender. Be clear on what things are. Try to stay away from in-house terminology. If you have password-protected, guest Wi-Fi, have a slide with the password on it. Let your guests know how to get involved. When it’s possible, provide any information that you would like to know if it was your first time.
Keep your next steps clear.
Have a clear call to action on your slides. Often, people just don’t know how to respond to your announcement. Create slides with a next step that one could achieve from their seat (example: Scan this QR code to ___), or, if you want a personal touch, you can have the next step be to, “ask one of our volunteers at the connection booth in the lobby.” Nonetheless, it’s pointless to simply advertise something. Capitalize on the moment and turn it into an action someone can take.
Cohesiveness is a great attribute when it comes to branding. Having the same look across the board helps build brand recognition and gives a sense of togetherness. This applies to what you print, your website – and yes, to what gets put on the screens at your church. Rather than adopting images aimlessly to create your slides, use the same colors, shapes, patterns, fonts, and styles of pictures to create a more fully conceptualized aesthetic and feel. It keeps the slides uniform and helps communicate intentionality.
To recap: less is more when it comes to the number of announcement slides you’re displaying. Keep it short and simple when it comes to the verbiage you’re adding; they’re there to create interest, not to give every detail. Remember your guests and create slides you would like to see if you were visiting somewhere for the first time. And finally, keep your next steps clear. It’s pointless just to advertise. Capitalize on the moment and be cohesive.
For those of you who read until the end, here’s a bonus tip: use high-quality photos! I will always encourage you to use familiar faces. If you have recent, high-quality photos of your church, apply those to your announcement slides. If you don’t have access to such photos, you can always use pictures from Unsplash. Unsplash is a great resource for free stock photos. If you have money in your budget, you can also check out Lightstock, a faith-based library of stock photos and videos. Lightstock is subscription-based, so you do have to pay, but definitely worth checking out!