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7 Best Introvert Strategies for Speaking up in Meetings

Learn how to command the room with my step by step guide. I teach you how to be proactive, muster your courage and the best way to register on your superior's radars.

 Yikes! You were just called on to speak in front of your colleagues and you'd rather disappear - but that's not an option. If you're among the 71-percent of adults who identify as introverts, being called upon to speak up is akin to painful dental surgery.

But fear not, my friend, I've got some fool-proof tips to help you prepare for your moment in the spotlight.  

First, it's necessary to have a mindset shift. You can speak in front of a group if you truly want to conquer that fear. You have the ability to share a compelling story, share images that elicit emotions and make them laugh and lean in with anticipation - if you want to.

There are of course other options to speaking up in meetings. They include not moving up in your company, receiving the bare minimum in raises and not being viewed as a...

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Case Study: Do Table Manners Matter?

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2019

Do table manners really matter? Ken was considered a rising star at the office and was hoping to be offered a promotion to lead one of the firm's European offices.

In the final days before a decision was to be made Ken was thrilled to be invited to lunch with his boss. After several minutes of small talk, his boss glanced at the menu and closed it, while Ken continued to consider the selections and drool over the dishes being delivered to other tables. When the waiter took their order, Ken hemmed and hawed before coming to a decision. After the food arrived, he tossed his necktie over his shoulder then tossed back his meal as if he hadn’t eaten in weeks.

Did this matter? Absolutely. Ken would have been smarter to consider this rare lunch invitation as a test to determine whether he could handle himself professionally and hold his own when representing the firm. Instead, manners and courtesies were not even a consideration as he prepared for the meeting.

Ken did not receive the...

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How To Choose The Power Seat

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2019

Here’s how it goes down. You enter the room for a seminar and hope there’s a seat in the front row. Or maybe your cohort already grabbed a seat at the midpoint of let’s say 20 rows of chairs, so you join them.

Then there are my favorites, the least enthusiastic who immediately take seats in the very last row, smack in the middle as if they’ve already planned to tune out or nap, or near a rear exit if they want to make a quick getaway.

I notice who hasn’t removed their coat or hat, even though the temperature is ideal, who has a pen and notepad at the ready, and each person with their arms folded across their body and sliding down in their seat.

Where I find the greatest pleasure as a public speaker is in observing and interacting with the audience both before and after the program. Whether they’ve independently registered for the session or assembled by HR mandate, the first thing that catches my eye is how attendees select a seat.

It’s...

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Case Study: Who Should Pay The Bill, and When?

etiquette Jun 15, 2019

For over a decade, Amanda has traveled the globe as a partner in a consulting firm. Imagine her surprise to recently learn from her manager that some clients felt uncomfortable when she reached for the check at business meals.

Since Amanda initiated the invitation and work was clearly on the menu, she was correct to pick up the tab. But how could she avoid the awkwardness that occurs when a waiter leaves the check on the table, the inevitable discussion over who will pay, and the uncomfortable silence that accompanies deciding on the tip?

The solution was easier than she imagined it would be. Amanda now arrives at the restaurant before her clients and leaves a credit card with the manager or host, with explicit instructions that she’s going to pay.

Why is this the smartest approach to business dining? Rather than having conversation grind to a halt, Amanda is able to graciously thank her guests for the pleasure of their company at her own time and on her own dime.

This is a...

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How To Go From Quiet To Charismatic

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2019

Ahhh...charisma. The word alone sounds nice. It conjures images of a smooth operator who can make their way around the office or cocktail party as throngs of admirers glance in their direction and smile, all the while thinking "I wish I had that (elusive) thing!".

While charisma is often viewed as an enviable and worthwhile trait, it requires foundational building blocks to ascend to that level. There are a few other areas which may require your attention first.

Have you ever wondered what exactly "professional presence" is and whether you have it? Well, it's a component of your personal branding strategy and well worth your time to develop.

As a young girl, I recall watching my father win over people everywhere he went. It didn't matter if we were shopping, at a sporting event, or an amusement park. Within minutes, he always seemed to have a cohort of new friends gathered around him.

At the time, I didn't understand what my dad was doing or what "presence" was — let alone how...

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Raise Your Professional Grade

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2019

"Believe in what you do and think hard about what kind of changes you want your work to make."

That quote, attributed to Ceci Bastida sums-up the transition from the moniker of Oh My Gauche! to Business Class.

For the past nine years, Oh My Gauche! performed precisely as it was intended, to stand-out in a staid arena, and bring attention, some levity and lightheartedness to the often uptight, stodgy topic of etiquette.

As the founder of the firm, I embrace change. I believe that we should all be so lucky to have the ability to make our mark as we see fit and to receptive audiences. Remaining in atrophy is unnecessary, and not how our lives were intended to unfold.

Alas, I love a good pun, play on words and idioms, and after months of searching and focus groups, Business Class was selected as the corporate name, although we continue to offer a robust selection of youth programs.

Don't be fooled. Etiquette is not an endgame, and all clients, including private coaching, corporate...

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Hosting Etiquette

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2019

So you'd like to host a gathering that's well-attended and memorable.

Following are a few basic tips to ensure you've covered the bases:

Budget before guest list: Whether your wallet is a bottomless pit or the purse strings are a little tight, know how and to what extent you would like to entertain your guests, prior to extending invitations.

Space considerations: If you're somehow able to seat eight people at your table, but can barely turn around in your kitchen, perhaps a sit-down, plated dinner is not the best plan. Your guest's comfort and preparation and serving space must be accounted for in advance.

Keep it simple: Cocktail parties require the least effort and time commitment. In case you're thinking "No, potlucks require the least effort", that is not true, as asking guests to bring their own food and/or drink is a topic for a different etiquette column.

Host: Guest Ratio: Can you manage everything on your own, or should you have a co-host(s) or hired help? A...

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Making a Case for Soft Skills Training

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2019

Picture a spinning, open umbrella. Each section covers the user with something they need to protect them from the elements; social skills, soft skills, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and manners, all held together with a handle we'll call professionalism.  When one of the wire spokes breaks or becomes separated from the material holding it together -- well you're no longer protected and start to fray. 

Which of those spokes or skills are you willing to forego in an employee or yourself? Likely none.

The emphasis in HR training, professional development, and professional presence coaching is turning from a focus on professional etiquette to the bigger, more complete picture of soft skills training. A wind-ranging list of qualities and characteristics needed to move throughout the day in as flawless a manner as possible.

Employers desire the whole package and not people skills which appear in bits and parts or are at times non-existent. The great...

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Do Table Manners Matter?

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2019

Do table manners really matter? Ken was considered a rising star at the office and was hoping to be offered a promotion to lead one of the firm's European offices.

In the final days before a decision was to be made Ken was thrilled to be invited to lunch with his boss. After several minutes of small talk, his boss glanced at the menu and closed it, while Ken continued to consider the selections and drool over the dishes being delivered to other tables. When the waiter took their order, Ken hemmed and hawed before coming to a decision. After the food arrived, he tossed his necktie over his shoulder then tossed back his meal as if he hadn’t eaten in weeks.

Did this matter? Absolutely. Ken would have been smarter to consider this rare lunch invitation as a test to determine whether he could handle himself professionally and hold his own when representing the firm. Instead, manners and courtesies were not even a consideration as he prepared for the meeting.

Ken did not receive the...

Continue Reading...

Charisma May Be King - But Professional Presence is Primary

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2019

Ahhh...charisma. The word alone sounds nice. It conjures images of a smooth operator who can make their way around the office or cocktail party as throngs of admirers glance in their direction and smile, all the while thinking "I wish I had that (elusive) thing!".

While charisma is often viewed as an enviable and worthwhile trait, it requires foundational building blocks to ascend to that level. There are a few other areas which may require your attention first.

Have you ever wondered what exactly "professional presence" is and whether you have it? Well, it's a component of your personal branding strategy and well worth your time to develop.

As a young girl, I recall watching my father win over people everywhere he went. It didn't matter if we were shopping, at a sporting event, or an amusement park. Within minutes, he always seemed to have a cohort of new friends gathered around him.

At the time, I didn't understand what my dad was doing or what "presence" was — let alone how...

Continue Reading...
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