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Place setting at a dinner table

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Firm handshake ready? Check.

Nicely tailored suit, neat hair? Check.

Let’s say you’re getting ready for a networking dinner or maybe an interview at a restaurant. Yes, you know those basic moves. But do you feel fully confident? Be honest: Would you think ahead about how you could carry a plate of appetizers and a drink, and still manage to politely shake hands during the cocktail hour — or would you just hope to get to the mini crab cakes or your favorite cocktail weenies before everyone else does?

Students had a chance to brush up on table manners and much more at the annual Etiquette Dinner presented November 28 by Student Affairs and emceed by Harmony Stanger, assistant director of student development and leadership. Guest speaker Kristin Williams, executive director of Career Exploration and Development at Kent State University, delivered a running commentary and advice during the evening. She began with how to tackle those appetizers in the lobby outside the Grand Ballroom (take small bites, so you can quickly respond when someone greets you) through a sit-down dinner with the faculty and staff who served as assistant etiquette coaches for the evening.

Those tricky questions

What do you do if you have dietary restrictions? (Contact the host ahead of time if they are serious.)

How should you respond if offered alcohol? (Feel free to politely decline if you don’t drink or don’t want to.  You can take a glass and just hold it; but drink no more than one glass — slowly!)

The finale of the evening was a videotape of fashion do’s and don’ts featuring student models, including the current cohort of College of Pharmacy learners from Anhui Medical University in China, dressed for class, interviews and special events.

How does your fashion judgment rate? Watch the videotape and find out!