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Five Day Finishing Touch

Diana Mather with a groupThis course is ideal for those who wish to add that extra bit of polish to their lives, brushing up on essential social skills for the new academic year or to pick up new tricks and tips to enhance years of life experience. It’s also highly useful for those who wish to get ahead of their peers and ready themselves for a new stage: their first home, or another new, exciting chapter. It covers essential life skills that are often forgotten, which will give the students the competitive social and professional edge.

The course comes with a student workbook, which you will be able to take away directly after the course. Notes and further reading will be provided following your week with The English Manner.

Day One

Welcome and introduction to the course

Social Networking… The Old Fashioned Way
We begin with a warm welcome to the programme followed by going back to basics for the first part of the course as the tutors discuss and explain social interaction. During the morning, students will be asked to role-play different social scenarios using their new or relearned knowledge. Some of the topics you will cover include:

  1. The perfect introduction and handshake

  2. Social kissing explained

  3. What to do when you have forgotten someone's name

  4. Small talk to big talk

  5. Getting rid of the social bore!

  6. Cultural differences in introductions and social greetings

Dining Etiquette
The second part of the day focuses in great depth on the table, food and how to eat it. Western dining is very much focused on minimising the awareness that one is eating, and the many rules and protocols that come with the dining room can confuse many people, but once explained, the myriad of cutlery and glasses is demystified forever.

  1. The tools of the table

  2. Napkin placement

  3. Introduction to the British place setting

  4. Cultural differences

  5. Handling tricky and foreign food

  6. The fundamentals to understanding wine

  7. ...and more

Day Two

Business Protocol
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, knowing how to behave in the professional world has never been more important. Having the extra polish to back up your brilliant business brain is a smart way to make you invaluable to your company. This module will equip students with the tools to ensure they get the upper hand in business situations.

  1. A businessman’s props

  2. The boardroom: seating positions of power

  3. Dealing with awkward clients

  4. Office politics

  5. Receiving lines

A Formal Luncheon
To practice what was learned the previous day in Dining Etiquette, students and tutors will enjoy a formal three course luncheon in The Sloane Club’s Linley-designed dining room where the theory explained in Day One’s session will be put into full practice and finely tuned.

Flowers for Entertaining
Award winning florists Judith Blacklock (July) and Nicky Llewellyn (August) will give students a hands-on, practical demonstration on inspirational techniques and tips for party flowers with a view to entertaining at home.

Day Three

We are firmly in the digital age, and many of us spend too much time hunched over our computers, slaving away at hot keyboards. Understandably, our posture has deteriorated and if not corrected then we’ll be very familiar with the chiropractor in later life!

  1. How to sit like The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

  2. Walking (the book on the head!)

  3. Getting in and out of a car

  4. Body language: reading the silent signals

  5. ...and more

Your Voice and How to Use It
Aside from the prospect of having to entertain guests, the other great fear we have found people have is public speaking. We all have to do it at some point in our lives and it need not be such a worry if you know the tricks of the trade. Some of the areas your tutor will cover include:

  1. What makes a good speaker?

  2. Finding your voice

  3. Writing the speech & understanding your objective

  4. Performance & props

Effortless Entertaining
Thanks to various television shows, plus the recent recession, staying in is the new going out. Entertaining at home is now the preferred option when it comes to getting a group of friends together and is key for enhancing friendships and conducting business in a more relaxed setting. Yet many are unaware of how to do it properly and the very thought of having people for dinner can induce a mild panic and cold sweats. Fear no longer as we school you in how to put on that 10/10 dinner, cocktail soirée and buffet lunch for 12!

  1. From buffets to banquets: the different types of parties

  2. The role of the host: guest lists, seating plans, menus and more!

  3. Duties as a guest: replying to invitations, hostess gifts and timekeeping!

  4. ...and more

Day Four

Interview Technique
Earlier in the week, students will be set the task of preparing for a mock interview. This could be for a new job, promotion within an existing job, university or college place, or even a media interview. Each interview will be recorded and played back for analysis and group discussion.

Dressing for Success
We will look at the numerous formal and semi-formal dress codes and what these really mean for men and women, as well as discussing how to carry your designer handbag and wear those sunglasses on the shores of Saint-Tropez. Our clothes can say a lot about us and many do not think enough about what they pick out to wear in the morning and the connotations and silent messages that they give out. Just some of the information in this module:

  1. From White Tie to Smart Casual: Dress codes explained

  2. Shoes, socks & hosiery

  3. Knowing what time to remove your hat

  4. Hair & grooming

The Art of Makeup (for the ladies)
We are thrilled to be working with a leading TV & modelling makeup artist, who will give students a tutorial in the art and science of makeup and skincare. This session is always highly popular and students are encouraged to bring their current make-up and tools in order for our expert tutor to help give personalised advice and styling tips.

A Cut Above (for the gentlemen)

Visiting the Royal barber and grooming salon, George Trumper & Sons, our male students will learn essential tips for grooming to ensure social and corporate success. Facial hair maintenance, from beards to razor choice; trimming and washing hair and scalp; and dressing the part with cologne and aftershave choices, will all be covered, giving confidence and charisma.

Day Five

For this module we are joined by leading calligrapher and penmanship expert Cherrell Avery, whose skills have been used for an impressive array of private residences, exhibitions and displays, including her work being used at Kensington Palace. Cherrell will discuss how to improve your handwriting and how to design and produce elegant name cards for the dining table.

Pens, Paper & Parchment
Whilst many will now be invited to a party via Facebook rather than a postal invitation, knowing the correct form and done thing helps any guest or wannabe host negotiate the social minefield that is correspondence.

  1. Pens, paper & parchment: your correspondence props

  2. Thank you letters to letters of condolence: the art of letter writing

  3. Social invitations: stiff white & online. How to interpret and reply

  4. Wedding invitations & save the date cards

  5. ...and more

The English Social Season Today
In an informal setting, William Hanson will interview The English Manner’s Founder, Alexandra Messervy, formerly of The Royal Household of Her Majesty The Queen, and with years of experience of the key events of the British social season, who will advise how to steer your way through the minefield of potential social faux pas and how elements have changed as key events have become more easily accessed.  She will also let students into the secrets of how to get the best tickets, the best restaurant bookings and the top clothes and hat providers for the season.

Presentation of Certificates
Students who have successfully completed the course will be presented with a certificate by Alexandra Messervy FRSA.

The History & Customs of Afternoon Tea
The course ends with a lesson in the social history and etiquette of this most English of pastimes, once again returning to the bastion of fine living, Fortnum & Mason in their Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. Learn about the changing shape and taste of the scone, how an unhealthy love of gambling invented the sandwich, and how to correctly stir your tea and hold your cup.


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Office hours: 9am – 5pm [UK TIME]

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