How To Make The Right Impression
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How To Make The Right Impression

How To Make The Right Impression

The first in a series of etiquette columns from Penny Edge, founder of the Finishing Academy UK.


People use the phrase “common courtesy”, but the sad fact about courtesy today is that it is certainly not common. Yet good manners and proper etiquette cost us nothing and can really make us stand out from the crowd in a very positive way.

Let’s start at the beginning – with introductions.

Step 1
When meeting someone for the first time you say: “How do you do? My name is Ms Penny Edge.” The reply should be: “Fine thank you, how do you do? My name is Mr John Fatoul.”

Sometimes, but rarely, someone will tell you all of their troubles. To be honest, you really don’t want to hear theirs at this stage of the game, and it’s just as likely that they don’t want to hear yours either! So it’s better to stick to a simple “Fine thank you”.

This form of introduction helps you remember people’s names, which is a bugbear for many of us. Some people have an extraordinary ability in that regard. I was once a guest at a corporate table at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships where the host had been taken ill unexpectedly and his deputy had to stand in for him. He knew none of the nine guests and we all introduced ourselves and set down to lunch.

The ninth guest arrived late and the host had to learn his name and then introduce everyone around the table. I held my breath as he forced himself through sheer willpower to remember everyone’s name correctly. He actually received a small round of applause when he got them all right.

Step 2
For the rest of us, here’s how to remember people’s names when being introduced.
a) Introduce yourself as above, remembering to say both your first and second name with Mr, Mrs, Ms, Miss, Dr or the relevant cultural designation
b) Repeat the name by introducing that person to someone else; this helps fix the name in your head: “Mr Jones this is Ms Edge, Ms Edge this is Mr Jones”
c) Associate the person with someone else you already know.

A handshake requires two shakes of the arm: no more, no fewer. Use the formal introduction instructions above. If you feel that “How do you do?” is too formal you could use an alternative of “Good day” or “Hello”; it really depends on the impression you want to give to the other person.

Check in next week for the different types of handshakes:
• Spotting the assertive
• Getting the upper hand
• Wet fish
• Assertive
• The eyes
• The feet

Penny Edge is the Founder of the Finishing Academy UK. She provides corporate etiquette courses in the UAE through SO Famous. For more information, visit, email [email protected] or call 04 451 9160.


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