Issue #12

Tel: 780.472.0767

Style & Substance Secrets


The resource for business professionals to improve credibility, relationships and bottom line, through image, etiquette, dining and social skills.


Build your personal brand Public Seminars

in Edmonton March 18

-Making the Connection

-Looking the Part

Click here for Details


View a 2 minute preview of our Business Dining Skills Training Video.

It will raise the bar for your entire team.
Your organization can receive a full evaluation copy and train online.


Tips Inside This Issue


- How not to network


Dear Joanne & Terry Q & A:


- Business Dress


- Table Manners


- Quotable Quotes


- What's New With Us


Looking for a humorous motivational speaker?  Audiences love Terry the Kid.


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About Style for Success
Business Image and Etiquette Consultants, Speakers, Trainers


Joanne Blake & Terry Pithers can help your organization and your people improve their personal image and social skills to build credibility and inspire stronger business relationships.


Specializing in business dress, demeanor & dining, we add enjoyable, unique, profitable content to your training, conferences, retreats and in-house seminars.


View our business brochure (pdf)


View our Dining Training Video brochure (pdf)





Why are some networking events fun and some like a root canal?

Too many people want to cut to the chase to maximize their networking time. This selling approach ends up feeling like time in the dental chair.


I recently attended an event that reminded me why I like to network. It was the Key Communicators Luncheon in Edmonton, hosted by the Canadian Women in Communications. That got me thinking about what set it apart and why I enjoyed myself networking there so much.


Planning for connection

The planning by the organizers, certainly helped. There was an opportunity to mix and mingle and then listen to a discussion by a guest panel of high profile women in the media, the public and private sector. As a bonus over lunch each table was hosted by one of the guest panel members to facilitate table discussion and conversation.


There were fascinating insights shared by the women on the panel, but just as valuable was the way the women interacted with one another in the informal networking. Most of the attendees understood and practiced true networking which is about having meaningful and connective conversations. 


Rapport talk vs. report talk

Sure we learned what people did for a living, but that was incidental to establishing rapport and finding common ground. 


The women shared universal challenges like finding balance between work and family, what it’s like to work in male dominated industries and how they gained respect, as well as finding mentors in their careers. 


It reinforced that no matter what position you hold, people are more alike than different. Taking the time to have a  conversation helps you discover these similarities. Days later as I write this article, I’m still feeling invigorated and pumped from this positive experience


What gives networking a bad rap

Contrast this experience with other networking events you've attended where people spend time with you trying to sell their products and services, and at the end of it you feel drained of energy and for some reason your teeth hurt. Click here to see what a bad networker looks like.  (Too bad they weren't always so easy to spot.)


There’s no reason all networking experiences can’t be more positive. Even if the organizers and other attendees don't do all they can to make it a rapport building experience, you can be empowered to make it that way yourself. Just keep one fundamental principle in mind.


The KLT principle

In our seminars we refer to this as the know, like and trust principle. People like to do business with and refer business to those they know, like and trust. 


Don’t push your products or services when you first meet people.  At this early stage you have not established any rapport. If you meet someone who is stuck in selling mode, just move on.


Look for opportunities to engage in conversation to get to know people on a human level and build the know and like first. They will remember you positively for it, and the relationship, trust and business develops in a connective serendipitous way. 


This is our idea of good networking and it makes networking enjoyable, not a sales job. In future newsletters we will discuss ways that you can build and nurture relationships with people you meet. 



Networking Opportunity for Entrepreneurial Women

Looking for a fun, great networking, learning and sharing experience?


Attend the AWE Women's Business Blaster April 16-18, 2008 at the Marriott Edmonton at River Cree Resort.  There are some great speakers. Click here for exciting details.


Joanne is presenting two sessions One Size Does Not Fit All along with a fun Dining Etiquette session. Say hi to her and Terry at their business soft skills trade booth.


Q&A - Business Etiquette, Dress & Table Manners Advice


Business Dress Question:


Q:  Pantsuit or Skirt?

Is a pantsuit just as appropriate for a job interview as a dress or skirt suit? I am in banking/real estate industries.


- Skirting the Issue in Seattle



Your challenge is that you’re representing two different industries; banking is more formal while real estate is more creative.  In North America, business women have more leeway in terms of wearing either a pantsuit or a skirt suit for many occasions. 


For the job interview, there are a number of variables to consider such as industry, corporate culture, geography, etc.  You can get a good sense of the culture by checking out the company web site to see how the majority of employees dress. 


Banking is a conservative industry and you can never go wrong wearing a skirt suit, however pants have become more acceptable providing they are teamed with a jacket.  A darker colour would be more appropriate (conservative) for the banking financial/commercial side of real estate.


For most residential real estate type of interviews you should make a good impression in a well fitting pant and jacket (doesn’t need to be a suit) in earth tones or a wider range of lighter colors which are seen as more approachable.


As a general rule, in an interview situation, you won't lose any points for being slightly over or more formally dressed, but you will lose points if you are under dressed.


- Joanne


Terry says- For men the pants with suit or jacket is always a better choice for an interview unless it's Robbie Burns Night.

Click here for an example. (Who would have thought kilt rentals?)


Dining Question:


Q: Pass the pepper?

What's wrong with people? I like pepper on my food.  When I'm sitting with a larger group at a roundtable at industry functions or service club meetings, the pepper starts to get passed around the table until it gets to someone who doesn't want it and there it sits.


This really bothers me.  It is so rude.  Are they so self-centered that they can't  see that other people around the table might want some pepper too.


- A Little Peppery in Regina



Well we're glad you got a chance to get that off your chest.  

Yes, if something is being passed around the table, when it gets to you, if you don't want it, you shouldn't decline it. You should just pass it on around the table. 


Also, salt or pepper should not be passed around the table on their own. They should always be passed together.  Like most etiquette rules this is in consideration of others, incase someone wants one or the other or both the salt and the pepper.


On a lighter salt and pepper note, click here to see a fun lego set of shakers. We welcome all your image and etiquette pet peeves or questions.


- Terry


P.S. Have you noticed people in your organization making dining mistakes? Remember it's not good manners to point it out to them (especially if it's the boss).


To raise the bar in your whole organization without finger-pointing suggest that your company invest in a cost-effective online business dining training. Click here for preview and information so your HR Dept. or organization can receive a free evaluation copy.


Quotable Quotes:


The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: In short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another.


-George Bernard Shaw

(from Pygmalion, aka - My Fair Lady)
1856-1950, Irish Playwright


Speaking of Irish - HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY

from Terry (who was born in Ireland, not so long ago. He didn't personally know George Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde or Saint Patrick, honest)


The Alberta Election kept us hopping!

Both Joanne and Terry were in the papers and on TV rating and commenting on the Leaders' presentation, charisma (or lack of)

and image.


Two Half-day Public Seminars in Emonton Mar. 18th

  • Making the Connection - Networking to build  profitable business relationships
  • Looking the Part - Creating your positive personal brand (for men and women)

Tuesday Mar. 18

Seminars limited to 20 attendees

Click here for seminar information

Forward this opportunity to a friend


And The Winner Is...

Keep your fingers crossed for us.

We submitted our dining skills video and are looking forward to the March 19th announcement for nominations for the AMPIA Awards (Alberta Motion Picture industries Association).


Our Dining for Business Training to go on-line.

We will be launching this next month.

Corporations, professional associations and MBA programs across North America are already taking an interest in this cost-effective training option.

Raising the bar, one diner at a time, just took a quantum leap forward.


Looking for entertaining and empowering presentations with a difference for your next conference or retreat?

Business dress, etiquette, networking, dining and meeting skills.

Check out our website and give us a call.


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All contents Copyright ©2008, Style for Success Inc. - Terry Pithers and Joanne Blake, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved worldwide. Duplication or reprints only with express permission or approved credits as indicated below.


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This article was provided by Terry Pithers and Joanne Blake, business dining, image and etiquette experts, speakers and creators of the Dining for Success DVD.
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