Last week, Lataysha and I, along with other WPIC Alumni attended The Etiquette Guy's Business and Dining Etiquette Seminar at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. This event was organized by one of our WPIC Alumni, Holly Carney of Holly Matrimony Weddings.
I was so excited to attend this seminar! For some reason I've always been fascinated with etiquette. Why we practiced it, where it originated from and how to improve my etiquette.
Growing up, my family always went out for dinner, I was in my first restaurant when I was a week old. As children, my siblings and I were always raised to sit nicely at the table, use our fork, remove our hats, and be relatively quiet. I wouldn't say we grew up in a household of impeccable dinner manners, but we weren't the kids running around the restaurants screaming! By the time I was 18 months old, I could use chopsticks, and by the time I was 12 I knew which cutlery to use even for a 4-6 course meal at a restaurant.
It surprises me so much that adults these days simply don't know the proper etiquette of meeting someone for the first time, the courtesy of removing a hat while in a building or proper dining etiquette.
Lataysha and I attended this seminar on behalf of WPIC Inc. I wanted to attend this seminar, not only because I like learning about it, I wanted to have the training behind me from someone who knows what he's talking about!
Jay Remer is the Etiquette Guy. He has been trained by the Protocol School of Washington, which is the leader in etiquette and protocol services. He has planned royal, corporate, political and social events over the past 40 years.
Jay states on his website:
"Good manners and proper etiquette are based on common sense. There are reasons why we do certain things in certain ways and not in other ways. My goal is for clients to have fun sharpening their knowledge and updating their skills, and in doing so, to gain greater self-confidence, to set a good example for their peers and their families, and to develop a deep sense of respect for all people."
The first day we learned about business etiquette.
During the business etiquette seminar we were taught the 3 main proper etiquette practices:
We were taught how to greet someone with a proper handshake with the right amount of firmness, depending on the sex of the person, the positioning of the hand and how many times you "shake" the person's hand. This was such useful information, as so many times we are meeting new clients and their parents, new vendors and other important people. It is really important to know how to shake someone's hand properly - without crushing them or being too dainty!
Some other things Jay covered in the Business Etiquette:
- TOO MUCH eye contact is distracting and just plain creepy!
- Handwritten notes are always a must!
- Business cards aren't handed out like candy, they are only given to someone once you have decided you would like to continue a relationship with this person (I love this rule!)
The second day was the seminar most people were looking forward to: Dining Etiquette. Everybody eats three meals a day, so we should all know how to eat, but do we know how to eat properly?
We learned the proper seating etiquette when there is a host and one guest or many guests. We were taught how to sit - bet you didn't know there was a proper way to do that, eh?
I think one of the most important things we were taught on the second night was The Host Duties and The Guest Duties. Jay taught us whose right it is to do certain things when being the host or the guest. I find that this is so helpful not only for dinner parties, but also weddings as well.
After a few hours of teaching, it was time for our 4-course meal! It was so good!
- Once you commit to using a knife (which should be in your right hand), you can never, change your fork back into your right hand to shovel food into your mouth? This was the most challenging thing for all of us to accomplish! We were so tempted to switch hands!
- In order have to a comfortable amount of space at the table, there must be at least 24 inches between each dinner plate (center to center of the plate)
- Cutlery never touches the table again once you have picked it up. It must rest on the plate or bowl.
- For dessert, sometimes a spoon is used as a substitute for a knife.
- For ladies, if your purse is small enough, it goes on your lap and for larger purses, they should go inbetween your feet, under the table.
Overall I enjoyed both nights at the seminar. I had fun catching up with old friends and meeting new people and most importantly brushing up on my etiquette and learning some new tips I never knew before!
Thank you to Holly for organizing this event and to Jay for teaching us!