Friday, September 11, 2020

Power point poison

I have been preaching again these two Sundays at my local church and they are keen on using power point for preaching. That has become the tradition over many years. So, I am currently completing a short set of slides. Looking out through my office window I saw a friend walking his dogs on the road and thought it would be good to greet him.(All distractions welcome!) Going outside I told him that I was in the middle of working on power point for my sermon to which he exclaimed: 'Power point poison!'  'You don't like power point?' I asked rather unnecessarily. Emphatically he told me that so often the content on the screen swallows up the speaker so that you just don't listen properly and all the words just slide off instead of sticking.  The technology comes between speaker and hearers and poisons the art of listening.

It's a long time ago that I posted some blogs on the merits and demerits of power point. When I heard my friend it reminded me how very negative they can be for some people. Certainly, because I preach without notes I am necessarily constrained by power point but I also recognize that congregations develop their own response patterns dependent on the preacher's usual style.

I have ended up with just nine slides for Sunday.  Because we use zoom I am unable to click the next slide and the IT team needs to operate the slides.  I asked them to show each slide briefly and then return the screen to me.  The team leader was puzzled:;'Normally, we leave the slide show running the whole time'. 'Ah,' said the worship leader, ' he wants to see the whites of the sinners' eyes!'  I wouldn't put it exactly like that but I am hoping it will be a good compromise between seeing the speaker and having salient points emphasized on the screen.  I'll let you know how it goes.

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