Presenters – Check your spelling

Earlier this week a few of us from my company went to a marketing summit in Houston that focused on Online marketing best practices and emerging trends. All of us were pretty jazzed about going because the topics seemed both relevant to our work and interesting (there were a few social media sessions I was particularly excited about). And, no shocker, it’s always nice to get away from the office for a day or two, right?

The night before the conference I was able to spend some time with an old friend on a fantastic patio for conversation and a decent Cabernet. It had been a few years since we’d seen one another and in the time that had passed each of us had seen quite a few changes – new careers, new children, and on. It was a blast catching up.

 Without a doubt, that was the best part of the trip. By far.   

It’s not that the conference was awful, it just wasn’t good. I think each of us came away with a thing or two we didn’t know before, but we all left feeling it could have been so much better, especially considering the variety of topics that were listed on the agenda.

For me, things went south about 8:45. The founder of the summit had been delivering the Keynote address for about 15 minutes or so when his slides became littered with typos, usage errors, and missing and/or duplicated words.

Are you kidding me?

No question, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes when it comes to that kind of thing, but really? In the Keynote? The third or fourth slide with blatant mistakes and I just sat there shaking my head, slightly puzzled. How was I supposed to take this seriously when the Keynote Speaker, the founder of the organization, didn’t seem to understand Spell Check?

His presentation definitely set the tone for the rest of the conference. Unfortunately, I doubt it was the tone he intended.


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