One of the core skills one learns as a middle-class Surrey dwelling white male is the 'spurious smile'.
It's a smile frequently deployed in situations such as dinner parties with UKIP supporters, or when someone has over 10 items in their basket at the Sainsbury's checkout.
But perhaps this phoney grimace get's exercised the most at PR and marketing conferences. Entire rows of people with their face fixed in the same 'I'm too scared to disagree' pose.
So, it was extraordinarily refreshing to attend PRFest, a two day conference created and curated by Laura Sutherland bringing together bright minds from the PR world in a bid to learn, develop and progress in the profession.
It seemed that the bullshit we'd traditionally be exposed to at a PR conference was washed away as we crossed the border into Scotland.
We all headed into the conference pure, clean of any fictitious hyperbole and dubious grand gestures about the state of the industry.
Instead, we were able to truly learn from the likes of the brutally funny Andy Barr, the unstoppable and driven Sarah Hall, and the frank Craig McGill. Each one ensuring their presentations and workshops were weighted towards action and fact.
We were also all lucky enough to hear the humbly brave Amanda Coleman, who's transparent and heart wrenching account of the police service's communications strategy behind the recent atrocities across the country, prompted a tearful standing ovation.
Even the subject of stunts and their value was handled with balance and a good dose of filth by Rich Leigh, who brought clarity to floating stuff down the Thames.
What glued each speaker together was a commitment to cutting out the crap, fully knowing their subject and ignoring the political posturing that usually results in boring mass agreement.
In a world where facts and honesty are hard to find and sometimes actively discouraged, it's great to know that a small conference just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh sets the blueprint for how we should all be communicating.
Well done PRFest.
Today, the second #PRFest, the world’s only festival dedicated to public relations, has kicked off at Whitespace in Edinburgh, Scotland, ahead of the international festivals. 15-16 June, 2017 and sponsored by PRCA.