Students Focus on Etiquette at Professional Workshop
Lilia Garvin, a Kendall Illustration major, nailed it at the Business Etiquette: Personal Power Tools workshop recently.
The workshop leader, Julie Duke, asked the students to come up with a short “elevator” statement to explain who they are when they need to introduce themselves at a business or professional or social event.
Lilia’s immediate and confident response was, “ I’m an illustrator with a particular interest in two dimensional character design in the gaming industry.”
“You got it. That’s perfect,” said Julie.
Julie Duke spent four hours at Kendall with a group of students teaching them everything from how to shake hands properly, to making introductions, presenting a business card and making a good impression at a cocktail party.
“You create a first impression in five seconds,” she said. “Your posture, your smile and your confidence are all part of that. If you practice things like shaking hands, making introductions, eye contact and your short statement about your self it will be so much easier to make a good impression and create positive relationships.”
Duke is the principal in a business called Protocol Consulting Group. She works with all kinds of people to teach them basic manners and correct etiquette.
Her “aha" moment was when she was seated at a dinner with twelve professionals and no one knew which bread and butter plate was theirs. “I realized that people needed training and education in the area of etiquette and protocol,” she said. Now she does everything from business training to weddings.
Some of her advice was very practical. Like always put your name tag on the right hand side of your body so that it can be seen as you shake hands. Always keep your food or drink (never take both at the same time) in left hand so you can shake hands with your right hand.
Be prepared with business cards easily accessible in your pocket. Avoid fumbling.
She told the students to always stand up when you are being introduced to someone. Participants practiced the best way to shake hands—nice and firm, from the elbow and then let go.
The presentation extended to technology tips like using a landline for important calls to potential employers or clients so there’s no risk of a dropped call. She also said, “Never put anything into an email that you aren’t comfortable with it being forwarded.”
The small group of students listened attentively, jumped up to actively participate in the role-playing sessions and seemed to enjoy it all.
Why is all this important?
“Opportunities just fall into our lives,” Julie says, “and my advice to you is to be prepared. Learning good manners and proper etiquette is one way to do that. You never know when it might be the connection of a lifetime.”
– Susan J. Smith