Last time I told you how I like to break up lyrics in slides for easy reading. Today we’ll tackle another ProPresenter operational topic; color codes. I’ve seen this happen so many times it has become tragic. The worship leader, sensing the congregation is ready to repeat the bridge one more time loops back. The ProPresenter operator however, was expecting the final chorus. Those lyrics are triggered and sit there while the ProPresenter op frantically ties to find the bridge slides. Sometimes it takes so long, the WL has gone back to the chorus before the bridge slides ever make it to the screen. That is not a great way to stay non-distracting.
Now, I understand the conundrum. As an operator, you’re staring at a screen full of grey tiles with itty-bitty words on them. You’re reading and trying to find the right slide, but you just can’t find it. What are you supposed to do? Take advantage of a feature that has been around for a long time; slide labels and colors.
I wrote about this 6 years ago, but I still see it happen so often I figured I better touch on this topic again. The good folks at Renewed Vision have made it easier than ever to build custom label lists that have colors associated with them, so it takes just a minute to label and color code your whole song. Here’s how it works.
Colors for Easy Identification
As you can see in the above screen shot, it’s pretty easy to tell right off the bat where the different sections of a song are. I settled on a standard color scheme many years ago and it’s served me well ever since. You can probably figure it out by looking at the image.
You can use whatever color scheme you want as long as it makes sense to you and is consistent. After a few weeks behind the computer, the operators get to know the color code instinctively. Once they have it down, it takes mere seconds to locate the right slide when there is an off-script change. There were times when I would be mixing and would see our WL motion to the band he was going to repeat something unexpectedly. Before I could even motion to the ProPresenter op, they would already have the slide on the screen. That’s how it should work.
Name Your Slides
You can also apply labels to slides. In addition to the colors, I always made sure to label them Verse 1, Verse 2, Chorus, Bridge, etc. It’s just one more item for the brain to latch onto when looking for a slide in a hurry. If a verse is broken up into multiple slides, it would be labeled Verse 1-1, Verse 1-2. We experimented with Verse 1-A, Verse 1-B for a while, but I think I like the numbers better.
Honestly, getting to that level was more important in Ver. 4 than in Ver. 5 & 6. Version 5 brought arrangements which make it easy to clump all the slides for Verse 1 into a token. When you’re building an arrangement, the tokens keep the verse slides together and in the right order.
I know this may seem like a little thing, and it might seem tedious at first to start labeling and coding your songs. However, you only need to do it once, and after that, you are ahead of the curve. I used to say I would put my ProPresenter ops up there against any other church anywhere and they would be some of the best. Part of that was the fact that we trained hard and they really cared. But making it easier for them to succeed is the TD’s job, and it’s one I gladly take on.