Although etiquette might seem relevant only to posh, old-fashioned, private school-type people, Melody Kissoon explained to us that etiquette, in all its shapes and forms, is still highly relevant today and particularly in the business sphere.
As she rightly mentioned, in any business relationship the aim is to sell something to someone, it could be a product or it could be yourself. It is therefore essential to make a great first impression and make the person opposite you feel at ease in your company.
And this, in a nutshell, is all etiquette is about: making people feel comfortable in your presence.
It is important to be able to adapt to any situation, to adjust to others way of functioning in order to put them at ease, but essentially to be more comfortable yourself knowing that you are wearing the right outfit and doing the right thing at the right time.
This is particularly relevant when dealing with a different culture, where it is advisable to get informed and to generally tone it down.
Of course, no Business etiquette conference would be complete without a check-list of things that one should/shouldn’t do in social situations. Quite sensible points in there, such as wearing moderate heels for the ladies, not drinking too much alcohol, and eating with your mouth closed.
But at the end of the day, whatever you say, however you dress, your personality and the way you behave yourself is what will shine through.
Overall, the conference was highly interactive and entertaining; with participants sharing anecdotes and asking tips for specific situations which gave it a relaxed and pleasant feel.
Unfortunately, we only got to see the tip of the iceberg. The perfect opportunity for a second session.
Topic of the discussion: Improving your professional presence
Speaker: Ms Melody Kissoon, Etiquette consultant
Thursday, 4 October 2012