Issue #13

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 advice.


Upcoming June Seminars in Vancouver

- Protocol for Building

  Business Relationships

- Looking the Part

- Savvy Networking

Click here for info


View a 2 minute preview of our Dining Skills Online Training for professional development.


Tips Inside This Issue


- Act Like You Mean It


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)





I was speaking at the Women's Business Blaster and one of the other presenters was Marjorie O'Connor, a fitness expert, who got us all up on our feet exercising and dancing to a fun salsa beat. Terry was there too, with about 200 women. (As he says, it's a tough job but somebody has to do it.)


Pretty powerful stuff

After Marjorie had us do some simple core strength exercises I watched a powerful change in the audience of business women (and Terry). They all started standing and sitting up straighter.


That reminded me that a facet of professional image often overlooked is how we use space and our bearing to denote confidence and authority. This is equally true for men and women, although women need to pay particular attention to it.


The following are a few observations I have made from working with successful speakers, entrepreneurs and leaders. 


Space - the final frontier

Men and women that have a strong professional presence are not afraid to take up space.  They do this at the podium, around a conference table, in business meetings, or business/social events such as receptions, business mixers or wherever they have an opportunity to create visibility and shine.


Pick a chair - not just any chair

In meetings, they will select a seat that gains them more exposure such as sitting in close proximity to the chair person.  If there are a variety of seats available, the choice of seat is also interesting -- they will select one with an armrest, sit up straight and place their arms on it to appear more confident and powerful. 


This doesn't happen by accident. they arrive at meetings a bit earlier to obtain the best seat and claim some territory by spreading their papers out in front. 


Up front and centered

When delivering a presentation, they don't hide behind a podium, but will stand in front of it or to the side of it. In terms of posture and bearing, they stand with feet slightly apart rather than shifting from side to side.  (Click here to see a posture exercise you might not try at home)


When it comes to gestures, they aren't afraid to make bold expansive ones. They understand the importance of and utilize direct eye contact to communicate rapport, authority and credibility. 


Invisibility cloak

People who are less sure of themselves select a seat in a corner rather than front and centre, they tend to take up less space, folding their arms and making smaller hand gestures so as not to stand out.


Subconsciously these mannerisms serve to make them appear invisible.  Often they won't be called upon for their opinions, or if called upon, their opinions may be discounted.


Who's got the power

In meetings and presentations look around the room and when you see someone who seems forceful and dynamic in their bearing, analyze what they're doing with their body to create this impression. (Click here to see a powerful transformation)


Successful professionals that make the most of their bearing and space get noticed, heard and remembered. This doesn't happen by accident. It involves making a conscious effort to eliminate mannerisms that can sabotage success.


You have the power

Start with just sitting and standing straighter and see what it does for your own attitude and other's perceptions of you. The extra effort is worth it.



Kudos to the organizers of the Women's Business Blaster. It was a great networking, learning and sharing experience put on by AWE (Alberta Women Entrepreneurs). 


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


Business Dress Question:


Q:  Buttoned Up or Down?

I just started reading your newsletter and am enjoying it very much. My question for you is about proper appearance at a job interview. For a man is it recommended that I button my suit jacket or is it OK to just leave it undone?  A female recruiter I am working with says I should fasten my top suit button, especially when being interviewed by a woman.  Is she right?


- Suitable for Employment in Minneapolis



When sitting, it is always appropriate that the lowest button be unfastened.  Having the remaining buttons done up looks more formal and business-like which is usually the goal in an interview situation.  A good fit ensures that the fabric does not gape or pull too much.


In a more casual environment, all the buttons may be undone when sitting.


Standing or sitting, the accepted button rule when wearing a single breasted suit or sports jacket is that the lowest button always be undone. This is the way most men, including myself, wear their jackets. This helps to make the jacket less restrictive on movement.


This perennial style is attributed to King Edward the VII of England, who was a large man who preferred not to (or was unable to) fasten the lowest buttons on his vests and jackets. Click here to see the King enforcing the lowest button will always be open or else rule.


Lesser mortals didn't want to make the King feel self-conscious so they mimicked the style and for reasons of comfort and practicality the look caught on and has stayed with us since.
(I just love trivia. Don't you?)


- Terry

Dining Question:


Q:  Regular or decaf?

I was at a chamber of commerce luncheon where the same waiter, who must've been having a really bad day, was almost attacked after he poured coffee into two different women's purses. What should you do with your purse when dining?


- Coffee-ed Out in Calgary



Yikes! That would be messy. 

That's why purses shouldn't go on the table. Briefcases and purses should be out-of-the-way, preferably under the table or under your chair.  Beside your chair is not a great choice because people can trip over it.


There’s an engineering marvel gadget I just got. (AWE supplied one in every conference goodie bag) Have you seen these? Click here to see a purse hook. These nifty little hooks work on most tables and keep your bag under the edge of the table and off the floor.


- Joanne


Our Dining for Business Training to go on-line in May.

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

Raising the bar, one diner at a time, is taking a 24/7 leap forward.



Quotable Quotes:


Behind every well dressed man is a woman asking him "Is that what you're going to wear?"


-Terry Pithers

June Seminars in Vancouver Open to the Public


Protocol for Building Business Relationships

Full day session  Friday June 27/08 Vancouver

Presented for and sponsored by APEGBC

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. Click here for more details and registration


Savvy Networking: The Art of Building Business Relationships

Morning session   Wednesday June 18/2008 Vancouver

Presented for and sponsored by ICABC

Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC

Click here for more details and registration


Looking the Part: Creating a Positive Personal Image

Afternoon session   Wednesday June 18/2008 Vancouver

Presented for and sponsored by ICABC

Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC

Click here for more details and registration



What's New With Us


Always the bridesmaid and ...

Now we know how it feels not to get an Academy Award.

Unfortunately we didn't get a nomination for the AMPIA Awards (Alberta Motion Picture industries Association) for our dining video. But congratulations to one of our clients, Nexen, who did!


Did You Catch Terry on Radio and TV?

He's becoming a regular, let's hope his head doesn't swell.

Lack of manners in business and public were the subjects Terry was invited to weigh-in on this month with on Career TV and with Bruce Kenyon on Calgary's CHQT


Tampa Here We Come

Joanne and Terry will be attending the AICI Conference (Association of Image Consultants International) for a week mid May for some professional development and fun.  We haven't been to Tampa before so if you have any fun sights or restaurants to suggest, please let us know.


"HR: Measuring Up" is the Theme

Terry will be presenting Savy Networking at the IPMA

International Personnel Management Association Canada

National Conference at West Edmonton Mall June 1-4. Great opportunities to learn and network. Visit our booth at the trade show. We hope to see some of you there.


Joanne is speaking in the "HAT"

June 7th Joanne will be speaking at the Conference for Women Entrepreneurs in Medicine Hat.

Business women in southern Alberta call 403-528-2824
or toll free: 1-888-528-2824 for more information

or visit


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 Online Training Program.
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