But when you are presenting to a room full of accountants who are there to earn their requisite hours of Continuing Professional Education there are only two mortal sins you can commit :
1. Finish before your 50 minute scheduled time
2. Be seen as selling something.
And of the two, the "S" one is the more likely to get you uninvited from future events.
But if you think about it, aren't we all selling something? How can you give a successful presentation without selling? You might be selling an idea, or a concept, a technique, or a piece of software but what you are really up there selling is YOU. You are selling your expertise. You are sharing your passion on some subject and you are trying to communicate.
Now you might not be earning a commission for your "sales pitch" but you are selling just the same.
So the next time I get invited to speak (at a free event) and receive this warning :
" ... but any kind of "pitching" for individual clients and/or workshops may only occur during individual post-meeting networking."
I will reply as I did this time to the event for jobseekers : 'The only thing I am selling is my passion for improved communication, which means more now that it has ever meant to the success of individuals."
Here's to more not less selling in your next presentation.