5 Tips for Using Stage Display in ProPresenter

Carl Barnhill

If you’re not using ProPresenter on a Mac to run your lyrics, graphics, and videos, you need to get there as soon as you can. ProPresenter gives the most functionality and has the nicest interface of any presentation software on the market.

Using the Stage Display feature within ProPresenter gives you more options to feed your band lyrics, and also give your speakers messages and notes throughout their talks. I’ve seen churches use a Teleprompt machine in a couple of very effective ways:


1. If you only have one machine running lyrics, you can set up the Stage Display to show the Next Slide of lyrics for your band.


2. Another option is for you to have a dedicated Teleprompt machine running ProPresenter that does nothing but provide content to your teleprompt monitor. This is the preferred option because you can make changes and communicate with those on stage without interrupting your main lyric machine. It also provides another volunteer opportunity that is a great entry point for less technically skilled volunteers.


If you’re using Stage Display in ProPresenter, here are our 5 Tips to make your process better:

1. Collaborate with your Worship Leader and your Speakers.

Nothing can substitute for this. You and your counterparts on stage must work together. You are one team, and you have to work as one. Schedule time with your Worship Leader to know what benefits the band on stage. Do they prefer 2 lines of lyrics or 5 lines of lyrics on Teleprompt (Note: if you do not have a dedicated machine, we suggest you do not go beyond 3 lines of lyrics on one slide)?

Get 5-10 minutes with your speaker sometime during the week or when you can before showtime. What notes are beneficial for them to see? Do they need a counter? What is your plan to communicate to them if something crashes? The more you plan these events during the week and the more prepared you and your team are, the less stress is felt on game day.

2. Have a Clean Layout.
If your Stage Display boxes are on top of each other or its too much to look at, it can be very hard for you to have clear communication with your team on stage. I suggest having no more than 4 boxes on your Stage Display at one time. Too much going on can be confusing and you defeat the purpose of your Stage Display.


Consider a layout similar to this:

stage display

3. Use countdowns and clocks.
The countdown feature is great to use to give your speaker a given timeframe to speak. This is a great feature to use if you have multiple services and you really need to stick to a tight timeframe. The clocks feature allows your band and speaker to see the time of day it is.

4. Use messages.
Don’t go overboard on this, but use the messages feature to communicate to your band or speaker important things they need to know in the moment. Be sure to try to plan some scenarios out beforehand so its not foreign to them when they see a message pop up from you. An example of using this feature would be if you are a multi-site and you are on a time delay from your broadcast campus. If you need the band to sing longer in order to buy you more time, you can work out a message with you Worship Leader that says “KEEP SINGING” or “WE ARE READY”.

5. Use the App.
The guys at Renewed Vision have released a Stage Display app for only $9.99. You can wirelessly send a customizable confidence monitor to your device. Let’s say for instance your guitar player wants to see lyrics and chords but your singers only need the lyrics, the app can do that. It’s customizable based on the needs of your band. Remember #1 – you must collaborate with your Worship Leader. You are there to help him. Partner with him or her to lead worship together. The app can also work for you speaker. You can customize his screen to show the current slide, next slide and a counter for instance. It’s a great tool, and cheap. Use it!

stage display

What other tips and tricks do you have for ProPresenter’s Stage Display?

About Carl Barnhill

Owner, Church Visuals

Carl Barnhill is a creative entrepreneur, motion designer and author. He is the Owner Church Visuals, a company that helps Ministry Leaders visually communicate the Gospel. He is the host of the Your Visuals Matter Podcast. You can find him in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife, Katie and two sons, Jacob and Wesley.

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