Etiquette expert and author Anna Post

Who she is: Emily Post’s great-great-granddaughter and an author and spokesperson for The Emily Post Institute

What she does: Offers modern-day advice to today’s woman. In addition to writing several books on the topic of etiquette, Anna is a popular presenter of Emily Post Business Etiquette Seminars and has presented them at the University of Michigan, Ivy Funds, the University of Vermont, The Special Event 2008, ISP Sports and many other corporations, organizations and universities.

Why she does it: Being graceful, authentic, and polite is the key to having the etiquette advantage in business, Anna insists. “As today’s workplace becomes increasingly competitive, knowing how to behave can make the difference between getting ahead and getting left behind.”

DO YOU HAVE TO WEAR WHITE?

By Hope Katz Gibbs

You probably have heard of her famous great-great-grandmother Emily Post, whose 1922 book, “Etiquette”, topped the nonfiction bestseller list. The phrase “according to Emily Post” soon entered our language as the last word on the subject of social conduct.

Today, her Anna has taken up the charge. She is the author of “Do I Have to Wear White?” which answers America’s top wedding questions (January 2009, Collins), “Emily Post’s Wedding Parties: Smart Ideas for Stylish Parties, From Engagement to Reception and Everything in Between.” She also shares her wisdom on Brides.com and Inside Weddings magazine, and she speaks at bridal shows and other venues providing wedding etiquette advice and tips.

Giving advice on modern etiquette dilemmas is Anna’s specialty. She is a popular source for media outlets such as USA Today, The New York Times, the Associated Press, Weekend Today, Fox & Friends, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Forbes.com, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Real Simple.

Anna is also a contributor to The Huffington Post and writes about etiquette in the 21st century at her blog, “What Would Emily Post Do?”:http://annapost.typepad.com/ She covers topics ranging from green weddings and business etiquette to politics and pop culture.

Anna worked previously for the Motion Picture Association of America and in the Washington, D.C. office of Senator Patrick Leahy. Raised in Charlotte, Vermont, she is a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Vermont. Anna currently lives in Burlington, VT.

Emily Post’s The Etiquette Advantage in Business: Personal Skills for Professional Success

When it comes to behaving properly during a business function, Anna takes tips from the book by her parents, Peter and Peggy Post.

7 Best Business Social Practices:

1. Arrive on time.
2. Avoid the temptation to socialize only with colleagues.
3. Commit to introducing yourself to at least three people at an event.
4. Don’t stuff your plate or over-imbibe (know your limit: follow the one drink rule, or don’t drink at all).
5. Include others who join your conversation. This is a Golden Rule.
6. Avoid dirty laundry and controversial topics.
7. Send a thank you note to the host within 24 hours of the event, if possible. Be gracious and be brief (3 to 5 sentences is appropriate).

Other useful tidbits on Proper Table Manners:

1. What do you do with your napkin when you are finished? Leave them on the left of your plate, not your chair. Why? “If the napkin is stained with lipstick or gravy and you are wearing light-colored pants the possibility of having a stain increases).

2. When do you start eating? “When the host begins, or when the host nods to you to begin.”

3. When do you start talking business? If it’s a social event, wait until after you order. If it’s a business dinner meeting, wait until the entrees have been cleared. “The goal of a business meeting is usually to get to know each other,” Anna explained. “But let the host be your guide. If he or she launches into a business discussion over the salad, go with it.”

4. Chew with your mouth closed. Period.

5. Who pays? The host, or the one who did the inviting. “But if you insist on treating the host to the meal, make it clear that this is your intention — before the check arrives.”

Other tips:

Anna also advised us to spend one night each year in our own guest room. “This allows you to test the box springs, see if there is a draft in the room, and basically get a real feel for what your guests are experiencing.”

And when you bump into a work colleague on personal time, be a 24/7 professional.

“You always need to be prepared to switch gears, so don’t ignore your family to attend to your colleague — simply make warm, polite introductions. Your public life and work life are bound to collide, so handle the situation with grace.”

For more information Anna Post, visit The Emily Post Institute: www.emilypost.com.


The Women