5 Etiquette Tips When Attending an Important Dinner with VIPs

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Etiquette Tips For High Powered Business Dinners

etiquette tips for business dinners

In today’s professional world, business etiquette extends beyond the office. It is often the case where you are required to attend a formal dinner alongside executives and decision makers of your company so it is crucial that you adhere to tableside etiquette standards.

People with good dining manners can win over their colleagues and bosses and those with poor conduct may miss out on career progression.

Don’t let your flawless business plan be overshadowed by your dining faux pas. You’ll want to avoid these dining disasters at all costs.

  1. Don’t hassle over the check. If you’ve invited someone to dinner, always pay. Better yet, discreetly give the maitre d’ your credit card before your guest arrives to avoid a potentially awkward situation when the check comes at the end of the meal.
  2. Stick with the familiar. A formal dinner with VIPs isn’t the time to try out a new establishment and risk bad service or bad food. Choose a restaurant familiar to you. The best choice is a place you’ve dined at often. Better yet, pick a place where the servers know you and give you outstanding service. Nothing is more impressive than being greeted by name when you enter a restaurant.
  3. Don’t order first. Allow your guests to order first, then follow their lead. Be aware of your dining companion’s dietary restrictions. Mirror your companion’s preferences and dinner will go more smoothly. If your companion orders just three courses, follow suit. Don’t go overboard and order a five-course meal. It is also the host’s responsibility to choose the wine.
  4. Be a good listener. Get to know your dining companions through dynamic conversation. Ask open-ended questions. Be interested and interesting and the conversation will flow organically. Don’t be afraid to share a few personal stories. This is the best way to establish a personal connection.
  5. Don’t check your phone. Put people first; technology second. Your phone calls and text messages can wait. Turn your phone on silent and leave it in your pocket or handbag. You may have trained yourself to respond to every beep and buzz, but give your dining companions your undivided attention. Everyone will appreciate your attentiveness.

Etiquette is a very important factor in determining the success or failure of a business or a person so next time you are invited to a formal dinner with executives from your company, make sure you bring your best to the table.

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5 Tips When Dealing With VIPs and High Net Worth Individuals

by Jacqueline Whitmore


Etiquette is one of the many keys to help you progress in your career and in life. It is a set of unwritten rules that apply to social situations, professional workplaces and relationships.

Specifically on the business world, is a valuable and essential skill-set that will make you stand out from others and enhance your presence.

The relationships you build are critical so establishing good rapport is significant if you want to progress your professional future, especially as you deal with high net worth individuals.

People with good etiquette are rewarded and noted when in the company of distinguished professionals and it is important to make a good impression. The way you dress and carry yourself impacts the way others perceive you.

Here are five tips when dealing with VIPs and high net worth individuals:

  1. Do your research. Make a good impression by reading everything the person has written. Learn more about his career and passions. Check his website or blog frequently, sign up for his newsletter, “Like” his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.
  2. Don’t rush the process. If you want to cultivate a relationship with a VIP, don’t ask for assistance or favors prematurely. The best way to meet a VIP is through another connection or referral. A personal introduction ensures you have been vetted — someone who knows and trusts you already.
  3. Address correspondence correctly. In every letter or email, be sure to spell the recipient’s name correctly. If you omit his or her name altogether, it’s a giveaway you have sent the request to a list of people and it’s unlikely you’ll receive a response. Show your admiration and respect by personalizing your message.
  4. Flatter his work. When do you do something for someone, they are more willing to help you. If you have read his latest book or purchased one of his products, mention it. If his work or advice has made a difference in your life, tell him.
  5. Send a thank-you note. Even if you receive a negative response, send an email or, better yet, a handwritten note to thank the VIP for their time and effort. Let him or her know you appreciate the response. If his advice or actions were helpful, explain how your situation turned out.


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How to Receive a Compliment Without Being Awkward About It

by Jacqueline Whitmore

how to receive a compliment

Everyone craves praise, but to accept a compliment with grace is an almost universal challenge. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re eager to receive a compliment — especially from someone you admire — but aren’t sure what to say in response.

Many people downplay compliments to avoid the appearance of conceit. It’s so common that sociolinguists have categorized the three responses to a compliment: acceptance, deflection or rejection. Rather than humbly accept or outright reject the kind words, individuals often choose to deflect or dilute the compliment.

Click here to learn how to accept a compliment and read the full article at Entrepreneur.com

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The Magic Word That Can Boost Your Business and Your Health

by Jacqueline Whitmore

How Saying No Can Help You Grow

It’s ok to say “no.” Really.

That may be tough to hear. After all, we’re constantly told to seize the moment and never let an opportunity pass us by. That’s true for budding entrepreneurs, especially.

But sometimes we lose sight of what we’re actually chasing. We forget to ask ourselves whether the people we meet and events we attend enrich our lives or drain the life out of us. We forget to say no.

Watch the video to learn why saying “No” can help you in many ways, from staying healthy to growing your business.

You can learn more etiquette tips on how to say no politely here.

This video was originally shared on Entrepreneurs Magazine.

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15 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Do Every Day

by Jacqueline Whitmore
Image credit: Ulf Bodin/Flickr

Image credit: Ulf Bodin/Flickr

The most effective entrepreneurs view themselves as assets. They continually invest in themselves and in their future through continuing education and self-improvement.

If you want to become a better entrepreneur and successfully grow your business, dedicate time and energy to improve your daily habits.

Here are 15 things many business influencers make time for in their busy schedules.

Click here to continue reading on Entrepreneur.com

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One Way to Calm Down Before a Presentation

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Public Speaking Tips

The sweaty palms, the shaky hands, the dry throat – for many people, a big presentation can bring on a slew of confidence-destroying conditions.

While there’s no universal strategy for calming down, one simple piece of advice is to take a few deep breaths and get a good look at your audience before you launch into your presentation.

Watch the video for a simple tip to help you calm down before your next public speaking engagement.

You can find more public speaking tips here.

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July Fourth Party Etiquette Tips

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Photo credit: Sylisheve.com

Independence Day is a time to celebrate with friends and family while you enjoy fun, food and fireworks. Here are a few party etiquette tips to help you enjoy your July Fourth holiday.

1. Always RSVP. Let the hosts know ahead of time that you’ll join them for their barbecue, picnic or pool party. For informal get-togethers with close friends, a quick phone call or email will be appreciated. If you received a Facebook invitation to the event, follow up with the host directly to let him or her know you’ll attend.

2. Arrive on time. Plan to arrive at the location when the party is set to begin. If you have a prior engagement that will cause you to be late, let the host know a few days before the party. Unless you made arrangements ahead of time, it’s polite to stay long enough to greet the host, enjoy some food and mingle with other guests.

3. Bring a small gift for the host. For barbecues and potlucks, it’s perfectly acceptable to bring a food item to share. Ask the host if you can bring a side dish, beverage or dessert. For more formal gatherings, or if you’re unsure of what to bring, choose a small token of appreciation like a bottle of wine, a pretty plant, or a candle for the host’s home.

4. Show good manners. The host has put in a lot of work to make the party a success. If you have a food allergy or sensitivity, it’s best to tell the host ahead of time or be polite and find a few side items to enjoy. If you don’t drink alcohol, drink sparkling water, soda or juice instead. Finally, if the host looks like he or she could use an extra hand, offer to help.

5. Thank the host. As you leave the party, be sure to say goodbye to the host and thank him or her for putting together a wonderful party. The most polite thing to do is to send a short thank you note as well — especially if the host is a new friend, colleague or acquaintance.


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For Better Conversations, Replace ‘How Are You?’ With This One Phrase

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Mastering Good Listening Skills

We’ve all dealt with bad listeners. You know the signs: They nod their head, but fail to look you in the eye. They talk over you. They ask you the same question twice, or worse, they don’t ask you any questions at all.

If you’ve never had this experience, you might be the bad listener. And that’s bad for business.

Watch my video interview with Entrepreneur.com for advice for how to be a better conversationalist.


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7 Rules to Avoid Being a SmartPhone Jerk at Dinner

by Jacqueline Whitmore

July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

It’s one of the greatest inventions of our time, but as the cell phone has developed into the smartphone, it’s also one of the greatest distractions, too.  July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, an event I founded in 2002 with the intent of making cell phone users more respectful of their surroundings.

In honor of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, here are my top tips to become more courteous on your smartphone:

  1. Put your smartphone away when having dinner with friends. Don’t even look at it, ever. Put people first, technology second.
  2. Never place your phone (or your handbag, keys, sunglasses or anything you can’t eat) on the table while you are having dinner. Keep it on silent mode in your pocket or in your handbag. Keep it in your lap, only if you’re waiting for a very important call.
  3. Unless you’re a doctor on call, keep your cell phone out of sight at all times. Better yet, give yourself a break and keep it in your car.
  4. If you have to take a call, excuse yourself from the table and find a place away from other diners to carry on your conversation. P.S. A restroom is not a private place.
  5. The only time it’s permissable to pull out your phone is for brief picture taking or for showing pictures of a cute baby or pet. Show the photo to everybody at the table so no one feels excluded.
  6. Wait until you get home or get in your car to post pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
  7. If everyone needs to know the answer to a perplexing trivia question, one person is permitted to Google. Put the phone away as soon as you have an answer.

Watch my interview with FOXBusiness to learn more cell phone etiquette tips.


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Dear Etiquette Expert: How Do I Deal With Chatty Co-Workers?

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Ending Office Chat the Nice Way

Open offices naturally lead to more socializing. But you don’t have to participate in every conversation. Here’s how to duck out without looking like a grouch.

Q: I work in an open floor plan office and lots of socializing goes on. I find it distracting and have a hard time getting my work done. How can I break away from the office chitchat without looking like I’m no fun?

A: Open floor plan offices naturally lend themselves to more socializing. But you’re hardly alone in finding the chatter distracting. A study published last year found that open office layouts had a negative effect on productivity, contributing to “mental workload, poor performance, stress, and fatigue.” Another paper, from 2011, found that sound was one of the main factors affecting workplace productivity, with conversation being among the most annoying of them.

Click here to learn how to end the office chat and read the full article on Time.com.


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