Refresher course on table manners and entrances

Whether you have an important party where impressions are keys or you're just looking to be socially proper at your next function, these tips can serve as a refresher and make sure you're noticed in a good way.

Refresher course on table manners and entrances

Looking to make new friends, or make a good impression on new friends? While giving gifts, inviting people to events and hosting your own are all good ideas, the little things count too.

  • Don't give up on social graces like table manners, or rule out the importance of making an entrance. While these are seemingly small actions, they really do make a difference.

Table manners matter

If you think people don't care about etiquette at the table as much as they used to, think again. One soup slurp or toothpick is all it takes to turn some people off. So to stay on your toes, here is a quick — and necessary — table manners refresher course.

  • If you are the recipient of a toast, keep your glass at arm's length — never drink from it. Instead, simply nod your head and graciously say, "Thank you."
  • Never take your cocktail to the dinner table.
  • Allow your food to cool on its own — never blow on anything.
  • If you wear lipstick, keep it off your plate and napkin by blotting it as soon as you apply it.
  • Your napkin is there for you to dab your mouth only. Don't use it to wipe off lipstick or blow your nose.
  • Keep your elbows off the table at all times.
  • Don't put your purse, keys, sunglasses or eyeglasses on the table.
  • Take food out of your mouth the way it went in. If a piece of steak fat went into your mouth with a fork, spit it out onto the fork.
  • Remove an olive pit with your thumb and index finger.
  • Taste everything on your plate before you add salt or pepper.
  • Leave your plate where it is when you are finished with your meal — don't push it away from you.

How to make a memorable entrance

Psychologists say most people form impressions of others within the first four minutes of meeting them, and 80 percent of those first impressions are based on non-verbal behaviour.

  • Making a dignified entrance at an event might just be more important than the conversations you have later.

When you make your entrance, the best way to draw attention to yourself in a tasteful way is being attractive, charming, witty and memorable. To turn heads and leave good impressions, pay attention to these.

  • Your walk. As you enter, walk with confidence, but not arrogance. Keep your head up, your shoulders back and down, and smile. No swaggering!
  • Your clothes. Your clothes should be stunning without being over the top — fashionable without revealing too much skin.
  • Your placement. When you first pass through the door, pause, step to the right and survey the crowd. People watch the front door, so you'll be in plain view.
  • Your sociability. Do not make a beeline for safety nets such as the bar, food or people you already know. Instead, move from group to group and introduce yourself. If you are confident and friendly, people will naturally be attracted to you.
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