I’ve presented at many ASUG conferences about technical topics, ranging from tuning, to Unicode, to upgrades. When ASUG volunteers manage session tracks, we work with speakers to make sure their materials meet general best practices, as well as staying away from being product pitches. We want to make sure the audience has a good experience.
This year is only the second time I’ve presented officially at SAP TechEd, though I have done meet-the-expert and led Community day sessions before. The first time I put together a presentation, it was changed at nearly the last minute by someone in SAP. As I’m not an SAP employee, but a guest speaker, as it were. I would have expected to be informed of changes to my content. I wasn’t, and only a diligent review discovered German text had accidentally been put in place of English text in my slides. It was a minor typo, but I much prefer that mistakes in my content be my mistakes, not added by someone else.
And please don’t get me started on product naming standards (except within the confines of BITI HQ).
ASUG volunteers review material for our annual conference, then contact speakers asking for them to update slides, increasing resolution of screen shots, cutting down on wordiness and similar “PowerPoint 101” tips. We’ve also hosted webcasts on how to prepare for building slide decks, and best practices in presentation style.
This year, I missed the chance to validate edits to my content. I’m not sure why, but am assuming that the pressures of collecting everyone’s slides led to skipping the crucial feedback loop to speakers. I guess the changes made by an anonymous editor are already being burned onto thousands of USB sticks. It’s a sinking feeling for an author to discover you’ve been edited after the fact.