As an image and etiquette consultant, I am often asked to do corporate and group workshops, on the topics of dining etiquette and table manners.
A long time ago etiquette and table manners were established as a way of keeping the peace and domesticating our behaviour. Over time, these rituals were handed down from generation to generation eventually becoming tradition.
However, as the guest, the most important way to conduct yourself at the dining table is not always the way it is described in the etiquette books. And in most cases, manners and politeness will always override the rules. When in doubt, ‘show respect to your host’ and ‘follow their lead’. With this in mind, you will be the perfect dinner party guest.
- Don’t chew with your mouth open
- Don’t pick your teeth at the table. If something gets stuck in your teeth, excuse yourself and go to the restroom.
- Don’t talk with food in your mouth.
- Don’t reach across the table or across another person to get something. Ask the closest diner to pass it.
- Don’t put your elbows on the table until the meal is finished and all the plates and cutlery are removed.
- Don’t leave your hat on your head, while at the dining table.
Wear shiny finishes on areas of your body that you want to accentuate and appear bigger