In this post, I am going to give you some tips and tricks to storyboarding or moodboarding a missionary presentation.
Also see this website/series of pages: Effective Slide presentations
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What to do
Work up material when you have the ability to do so.
As pastor, I baptize my people. It is extremely hard to get good photos of yourself when you are in a baptistry trying to work a camera and keep the person from drowning! Get several other people to take photos, and work up a body of images for you presentations when you have the opportunity to do so. If you haven’t been to the field yet, make a trip before you start deputation and take zillions of photos. I did this, and used regular film camera (back way when that was the only option short of hammer and chisel on stone), and believe it or not, out of 10 roles of 24 picture film, I didn’t have a single one that I could use! It is always better to have many to choose from, that only one that is not good. Getting good images is hard work! The best images come from people who put together the presentation (have done it before), and frame the pictures because they know what works and what does. If this is your first presentation, then take your family, go on a vacation or picknic, and take photos and make yourself a presentation of it, and then delete it. The making of it will open you eyes to what is a good photo, and what is not.
Use visible clues to link and interest the viewer to engage him.
Good presentations “fit” the pieces together. They do this by using visual clues that do the linking. A good presentation, for example, may use a single color throughout to tie things together. This color is not usually chosen at random, but rather, two or three beautiful pictures have that color in it, and it is chosen to tie everything together, even if these images are appearing later in the presentation. This is a link that binds the entire presentation into a single unity, which is very hard to do otherwise. Sometimes a graphic or clipart image is used, and divided into multiple parts, and each part is a section of the presentation. The entire image appears at the beginning and end, and by doing this, the presentation has a uniting element.
Highly limit text on slides
Crazy, but limit the text on your slides to 6-10 words per slide. You don’t want the entire text of that point on the slide. Too much to read, but the audience will try reading it instead of listening to you. Give them the idea, but you fully describe the point. Each slide should be a small stone in the building process. Never spend more than 1-2 minutes on any one slide.
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Write drafts quickly, and edit everything many times slowly
In the brainstorming stage of your presentation, get ideas down quickly and work on keeping the flow moving. When you go back, edit, edit, and edit some more. Be slow and meditative in the proofreading phase. Think of every question or twisted thought from your words that is not what you intended and rewrite.
Wisely use white space on your slides
1. White space creates separation.
2. White space attracts the eye.
3. White space creates balance.
4. White space implies sophistification.
5. White space improves readability.
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What not to do
Dump the bullets!
Although many presentations have bullets and lines and such, don’t use them. All that is distracting to the point your are trying to make. Use a short text in a large font so people can easily read it.
Don’t try to generate sympathy by showing poverty.
This one is from my wife. She is mexican, and I had to clean out a lot of slides that showed Mexico in a negative, or laughable manner. If the people from your ministry on the field were to see your slide presentation, would you be embarrassed? Are you trying to make money off their hardship, misfortune, or disadvantages? Show the spiritual need, and don’t make fun of the economy, poverty, or corruption.
Don’t limit yourself to Google images
I won’t get into the copyright problems related to this, but in general, don’t limit yourself to premade Google images. Make you own, and get clicking with a camera. Get people on your field of service to take pictures for you. Rule of thumb: When you want to take a picture, take 5-10. We get our church all out in front of our building once a year for a photo. Don’t take a single picture! Somebody was behind somebody else’s head, and to get that group together again is next to impossible. For one image, take 5-10 pictures moving slightly from side to side as you do to get different angles. When you examine the pictures (believe me here), you will think that it is impossible that somebody had their eyes closed in every picture, but it happens. None are good or clean. What the two fingers behind somebody’s head also. Always a problem.
Don’t frame mug photos!
A mug photo is like a police line-up of mugs. Everybody is looking into the camera, and they are doing nothing but staring at you. This kind of went the way of the dinosaur a generation or two back. Don’t do it, no matter how much you are tempted. If you have a church and want a church photo, well, better not to do it!
Tips and Tricks
What you leave out is as important as what you include
Do not fill your presentation with useless images, or images that are not excellent. Select the very best, and 10 excellent images with a common thread running through them, and that leave an impact is much better than 100 mediocre images that don’t really move anybody. They just bore people.
Search and collect images quickly. You search (using Bing) in a setup where you enter a search word, and then this website puts up around 100 images, and you click on a part under each image, and it is added to a collector area at the bottom of the screen. When done, click one the button (zip and download). Very fast and good! Down side is that it uses Bing only.
The Law of Thirds
The law of thirds has to do with positioning things within an image or slide. If you take a normal photo or image, and you divide it into nine parts (3×3), this is where you start. With these nine areas, you now locate the focus of your image in specific parts that are more attention getting,
1. Always place the eyes of a face in the top third row.
2. Divide the image into three equal columns. Always place the image in the left or right, and never in the center. (Images in the center make it difficult to add text.)
For a more detailed explanation see The Law of Thirds
The use of colors in your presentation
1. Find powerful images.
2. Prefer full scale large images.
3. Select easily readable type faces.
4. Make information visual as much as possible.
These principles (in part) come from these resources: