It’s always fun to reconnect with colleagues from my past. This past weekend, I became reacquainted with Gloria Petersen, a former Chicago resident who now runs her etiquette consultancy Global Protocol, out of Phoenix. Ms. Petersen came to Chicago to present her dining and business etiquette tutorial to a group of about eighty Northwestern University students from their part time MBA program. I took a similar seminar back when I finished my MBA, but since that took place (cough, cough) several years ago, it was probably time for me to receive a refresher course.
What’s that expression “You don’t know what you don’t know? That would definitely apply to me! If you eat by yourself most of the time, it’s hard to keep in practice all the niceties that make an impression, good or bad, when you are dining in public. Those details are certainly noticeable, especially when attending a job interview, networking function or even a date.
Among the many topics covered by Ms. Peterson: How to give a proper handshake, the real purpose of a business meal (hint, it’s not about the food!), the various table settings you might encounter, how to correctly give and receive a toast, and for wallflowers like myself, how to comfortably mingle in a crowd.
Slowing down, thinking before you speak, having a respect and awareness of your fellow diners, can all contribute to making all aspects of a meal more enjoyable. And of course, that includes your wine.
I enthusiastically recommend Ms. Petersen’s seminars, as well as her first etiquette book, due later this year.
Since I interviewed Ms. Petersen in the early days of my blog, she invited me to answer some wine questions from the students after her presentation. I needed a little help from her for the first question! If you watch carefully, you can easily notice the difference between a professional speaker and well, me! You can watch us discussing wine by clicking below.