As you may have previously read in a past newsletter, Myka Meier from Beaumont Etiquette teaches courses here at The Plaza. When Mr. Manners interviewed her for a Plaza Personality he had the brilliant idea of having her teach a course to his colleagues about proper etiquette when it comes to business and networking. I asked a few of the attendees to share what they learned. Check it out below!
“Leading up to the etiquette class I was expecting to learn old fashioned, extremely proper techniques. I was pleasantly surprised that there was a lot to learn that can be used every day and especially with clients and colleagues. As a girl who lives in Manhattan and out of her purse (or should I say luggage) I was happy to hear there is a proper place for your bag – under the table by your left foot. There is also a proper way to put your napkin in your lap and whip your mouth to avoid lipstick and food stains to be visible. You begin by refolding your napkin once in your lap in the opposite direction of the permanent crease. The opening of the napkin should be at your knees. This allows you to pick the napkin up, open the napkin and blotting your lips (lipstick and all) with the inside of the napkin. When you put the napkin back down on your lap, all of your lipstick marks are hidden on the inside of your napkin leaving your lap looking clean.”
- Lauren Longhi, Catering Sales Manager at CPS Events at The Plaza
“Etiquette, many think they know the best practices when it comes to business networking but as most have experienced there are certainly shortfalls. There are instances that I had never thought to pay attention to as well as situations I was not quite sure how to get around. When sitting in Mika’s class it was a breath of fresh air to learn how to engage with a close talker and take back your personal space. Stand with one foot in the initial conversation position and step the other foot back slightly so that you may lean away nonchalantly to set a boundary of comfort. Handshakes are a key component to a meet and greet, firm with eye contact is the well-known trick. However, what if the other person cups the other hand atop of yours? One may consider it a term of endearment surprisingly it is quite the opposite. The added hand gesture is actually a power move from the individual whether they know it or not. I will certainly take notice of that style of a handshake moving forward and ask myself why the power move was necessary. As I continue to make my way through a networking crowd I will hold two more thoughts in mind. Be sure to hold my glass from the stem as the lower you do so the more elegant you are and lastly sip from the same spot. No one wants to see your lip markings around the entirety of the glass rim, including yourself.”
- Erin Wiggins, Senior Corporate Sales Manager at CPS Events at The Plaza
“I learned that there is “no polite way to yawn” at a dinner party! Looks like I’ll need to start getting more sleep!”
- Carly Katz-Hackman, Event Director at Great Performances
“This was a wonderful class! Whether you’re brushing-up or starting from scratch, this course was informative and fun. I loved the approach of taking what is typically a serious topic, not so seriously. And the overall message of “what etiquette is” – as a guide for how to be thoughtful, courteous and kind to those around you – will never go out of fashion!”
- Ryan Hontz, Event Director at Great Performances
“It was so helpful to see the way that Myka explained every day manners that really make a difference in feeling more confident in social situations!
I loved how she told us to properly hold a wine or champagne glass at the stem rather than holding your hand the bell of the glass. It truly does look more refined and elegant.
It was also helpful to learn that when carrying a clutch that you should always have it rest at your elbow and not under your shoulder. And then you hold your wine or champagne flute in your left hand in order to be able to shake hands with your right hand. It looks so clean and confident rather than looking like you have to awkwardly move things around before shaking someone’s hand at a cocktail party or event.
And for someone like me who can’t survive without coffee, I enjoyed learning that you should move your spoon when pouring in milk or sugar with a front to back motion rather than swirling it all around in the proper cup.”
- Emily Reifel, Senior Social Sales Manager at CPS Events at The Plaza
“The etiquette class was informational, yet fun! I took an etiquette class in college, but this was a nice refresher and I definitely learned more than I knew. For example, I was shocked to learn that flowers and chocolates are NOT an appropriate housewarming/thank you gift – who knew?! Beaumont Etiquette...
Also, I learned that your napkin gets folded in a special way on your lap so that you don’t get stains on your outfit. This will definitely come in handy for tastings and future client’s events!
All in all, it was very educational and the instructor made the class at ease. After all, etiquette is all about making those around you feel comfortable!”
- Emily Bird, Assistant Event Director at Great Performances
"I loved this course so much and wrote down almost everything that was discussed…!! Some of my favorite takeaways:
When you have a handbag at the dinner table, it should be placed by your top left toe. While dining formally, NEVER touch your plate – and do not ever under any circumstances twirl your spaghetti. Do not cut your spaghetti, either. In a networking situation, when you come across a cluster of people, look at their toes in order to determine the leader of the pack. In a social setting, look into a person’s left eye for likeability (and you may lean in); in a business setting, square your shoulders and look into a person’s right eye."
- Emily Giove, Assistant Event Director at Great Performances