Slide Show Typos

At the SPE Gulf Coast Section Awards Banquet Thursday evening at the Rice Hotel in downtown Houston, I sat at the table with Clarence Cazalot, CEO of Marathon Oil, who was our guest speaker. Back in the 1980s, when he and I were both still at Texaco, we had played golf together at the annual Texaco Employees Club tournament. I can vouch that he is able to count honestly, and that’s a good quality to have in a CEO.

So after we had eaten dinner and reminisced, the Awards part of the evening was about to start, and the PowerPoint slide show was loaded up and – OMG!!  There on the first slide was a huge typo:

SPE Awards Banque

I was mortified!  Somebody had left off the T at the end of “Banquet.” And that slide remained on the screen for at least 15 minutes while our Section Chairman, Steve Baumgartner, also of Marathon Oil, gave his non-PowerPoint speech. It was everything I could do to keep myself from running up to that laptop and fixing it right then and there. It sure didn’t make us look very good in front of the CEO of Marathon Oil! (BTW, he didn’t use PowerPoint slides; he just read from a script, like many CEOs do.)

When you are giving a presentation, you are usually there to try to impress somebody, either your boss to the second power, or an audience of your peers, or schoolchildren or members of the concerned public. That last thing you want to do is have them gasp at a Big Boo-Boo on the screen. I wonder what all the scholarship winners – and their parents – thought about that typo and our professional society.

Apparently what happened last night is that someone cut some text from the Word document script that the presenters were supposed to read, and then pasted it into the PowerPoint slides. Well, when swiping the text, the T at the end of BANQUET was left behind, and nobody noticed it was gone after pasting it into the slide.

That is why you should always proofread your PowerPoint slides carefully. You want to impress people, not be totally embarrassed by having such a big error up on the screen. And it’s even better if you send your slide show to another person to read over. If two heads are better than one, then four eyes must be WAY better than two.

Profound Quotes of the Day:

“It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken.”
– Aristotle, Greek philosopher, 384-322 BC

“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.”
– Aesop, Greek author, 620-560 BC

“Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.”
– Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish writer, 1850-1894



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