Hilka Klinkenberg, the founder and
director of New York City-based Etiquette International (www.etiquetteinternational.com), advises individuals
and companies on social graces. Her tips for good behavior at
Dress appropriately. If jackets and ties are
required, wear them. If you’re not sure, wear them anyway.
Don’t dare...talk with your mouth full or
answer your cell phone during a meal. Both are astonishingly common
offenses. Also, don’t be the first to reach for the bread; wait
patiently for the host’s cue or for the first course to arrive.
Chat well. Avoid discussing touchy subjects
such as religion, or boring topics like the weather.
Take cards. When someone hands you a business
card, take a moment to read it. And don’t write on it. “That
suggests you will not otherwise remember who they are,” explains
Follow up. Always write a thank-you note to
your host. E-mail is fine, but a handwritten letter is far