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Etiquette Tips for the Holiday

Published Wednesday Dec 21, 2011

With the holidays around the corner, we could all use a brush up on our etiquette skills; implement these four simple things and get through the holidays without embarrassing yourself or others, says Josephine Nicholas, only one of a handful of certified Protocol and Etiquette experts in the state of Michigan, and executive liaison with LJPR, LLC /
  • Make an Entrance and Work the Room
Who are the ones in a room we are most drawn to speak with? Qualities others want to be around are humility, confidence and authority; be that person during this holiday season, says Nicholas. When you make your entrance, it is best to find and go directly to the host and thank them for hosting. Make eye contact, and smile, as you walk through the room, so you do not look lost; and, remember, starting with gratitude is always effective.
  • Introduce Yourself and Others with Ease
Doing a little research prior to any event you attend is a great way to make sure you are well-informed on the crowd. This knowledge equips you with the ability to introduce yourself to the right people in the room with ease, and have a little something about them to discuss. Everyone likes to talk about their latest accomplishment, award, or effort. Never fail to introduce one person who may need an introduction to another in the room even if this introduction provides zero value to you. You will then be known as the classy person who is looking out for others, making them feel at ease.
  • Implement Effective Meal Tactics and Improve Your Mingling Proficiency
One of the largest holiday faux paux is to have both your hands full when at a party. Better behavior? Always have one hand free to give a proper greeting. Additionally, brief yourself on current events and make sure you are skilled with small talk. Be an interesting person to speak with and others especially your host will be grateful. Small talk breaks the ice, establishing an immediate connection that you can't otherwise gain.
  • Effective Meal Tactics
Have you ever faced confusion over which piece of silverware to use during different parts of the meal? Learn the best way to dine with style and grace so that others walk away feeling as if they were dining with royalty. And always place your napkin on your lap, folded in the middle, with the open side facing the table. Wipe your mouth with the inside of that napkin, not the outside which only creates a messy napkin. Follow your host with regard to the speed of eating and completing the meal.

Etiquette is a lost art and there isn't much that can make up for a lack of tact and consideration. Balance needs to be implemented in a world that is so caught up in itself; committing to bringing proper protocol back into your world will not only attribute to your personal standing, but to the landscape of the world as a whole. Keep in mind that with proper etiquette and protocol intelligence the ability to think, learn, and apply etiquette and protocol skills, especially when this ability is highly developed will not just make a better impression, but help the individual feel better about themselves.

Josephine Nicholas is certified by the Protocol School of Washington as a Protocol and Etiquette Instructor and speaks to a range of audiences on this and other topics. She also has extensive experience with business and office administration, having founded and grown some of her own companies. She is a professional speaker, writer, and entrepreneur. Contact her at
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