As a Church Communications Director at my previous church, I spent my share of time using (fighting with) presentation software.
Whether is was PowerPoint, MediaShout or ProPresenter it amazed me how differently each approached the goal of showing content.
That’s part of what intrigued me about sitting down with a copy of the Proclaim software.
I knew what the end result would be, but I wondered how they would get there.
To be honest, I went in a little hesitant. I’ve spent a lot of time using presentation software and it takes a lot to turn my head. What could they really be doing that is different, interesting and worth noticing? Is this really worth my time?
I was truly surprised by what I found.
Not only was it user friendly, but it was incredibly intuitive. In under an hour I had most of the features figured out and was investigating the full functionality. It wasn’t until until I got into some of the more advanced options that I needed to consult the help menu or online resources.
The software is incredibly easy to try out.
A click on the Mac or Windows option begins the download and the installer takes care of the heavy lifting.
Within a couple minutes I had the software installed and created a user name and login for the program.
At installation you’re provided with a link to the “Get Started” section of their website to answer any questions you might have. This section is well documented and includes a user section for questions and discussion.
On launch, the application opens to your main edit window, providing access to existing presentations, settings, editing and media files.
Creating a Presentation
Built with the church in mind, presentation options include importing from Elvanto and Planning Center Online. Media sources are equally ministry minded, with links to materials from Ministry Channels and church media providers.
A NEW PRESENTATION opens with a service order already in place.
- Pre-Service Loop
- Announcement slides
- Countdown time
- Sermon Slides
- Post-Service Loop
- Different announcement slide loop
Users of other presentation software will feel right at home with the left side, vertical service order format. It makes it easy to see what is next in the order, and to drag-and-drop elements as needed.
- On-Screen Bible
- Image Slideshow
- Web Page
- Survey Results
Creating and editing slides is simple.
- Insert a slide
- Pick a background
- Select a text box to edit
- Type your content into the WYSIWYG text window
- Select the playback features you desire
- transition type
In under a minute you can have a new slide built and ready to use.
The Proclaim software utilizes an interesting take on inputing lyrics.
All text in input in a single pane, with tags added for Verse 1, Chorus, etc. If you frequent CCLI for lyrics, you will find the formatting to be nearly identical. In fact, you can upload .txt files directly into the database to avoid retyping lyrics.
At first glance I wasn’t sure about entering text this way. It seemed odd to have everything in one window as a continuous flow, rather than added to each slide individually.
What would happen when I need to change line returns or the order of slides during a service?
The “Slide Order” option takes care of that. When activated, you can change the order of slides in seconds.
Need to add an extra Chorus? Type the word Chorus into the song order and the slides will automatically adjust and reorder. Want to shorten the reprise? Delete an element in the order list and the slides adjust and reorder.
It’s a very cool feature.
Test & Present
Once you’ve built your service you have a couple options for previewing and running the presentation.
To test your presentation, pick the Preview option in the upper right corner of the screen. It gives you a quick reference of what the slides will look like on screen.
Like what you see? Click the On Air option (also in the upper right corner) and view it on a second monitor or projector.
There are a couple ways to view and run the presentation once it’s On Air.
This mode makes the entire slide visible center screen. The service order list stays on to the left and thumbnails appear along the bottom, giving visual insight into what is next in the service order. Quick format screens (black slide, logo, etc.) are available along the right side.
This mode gives thumbnails of the service center screen. The service order list stays to the left and an output preview window appears on the right. The quick format screens also appear along the right side edge.
Things of Interest
Signals allows you to deliver contact cards, calendar invites, bible reference, donation request, web addresses or surveys to app users.
Showing a slide triggers the content to appear on screen and in the app simultaneously.
Announcing registration for an event? The date, time and registration website can appear in app.
Surveying your congregation during the service? Automatically trigger the survey question to appear in the app and invites a response from users. Advance to the Survey Results slide and answers appear on screen as your question disappears from the app.
Proclaim understands that church size often dictates the type of solutions you can afford. To help churches get the presentation solution they need at a cost they can afford, they have adopted a monthly use plan. Rather than a high upfront purchase cost, their pricing grows with your church.
1-99 = $19.95/month or $199.95/yr
100-199 = $24.95/month or $224.95/yr
200-499 = $29.95/month or $249.95/yr
500-999 = $34.95/month or $274.95/yr
1000-1499 = $39.95/month or $299.95/yr
1500-2499 = $44.95/month or $324.95/yr
2500+ = $49.95/month or $349.95/yr
Proclaim presentation software is well worth your time. The ease of use, functionality and 30 day trial all lend themselves to being a solid choice for your church.
If you are unsure of the idea of a monthly fee, consider the alternatives and their upfront costs before you decide.
For more information and to download the trial visit Proclaim today.