Whether you regularly attend your local chamber of commerce's breakfast, your professional association's networking cocktail, or like me, meet other solopreneurs at Ladies Who Lunch, fall is the season to get out into the community to build mutually beneficial relationships.
To get you into the swing of things, I invite you to do the following 12-question quiz.
1. The networking activity is on a Friday at lunch, at a local hall, in honour of your association's incoming president. Right after, you are heading to your cottage. Which dress code should you wear?
B) Casual Friday.
2. You are in line for the coat check. You take this opportunity to:
A) Get in the mood, by calling your best friend to rehearse your elevator pitch.
B) Introduce yourself to the person in front and the one behind.
3. Your name tag goes on which side?
4. You are between your boss and your client. How will you introduce them?
A) "Mrs. Boss, may I present you to Mr. Client."
B) "Mr. Client, I'd like to introduce Ms. Boss."
5. When meeting a new person, you must state your first name, plus:
A) Say, "Nice to meet you."
B) Your last name and say, "How are you?"
6. You enter the room. Notice a trio that seems to be having fun. You head over to the group:
A) Slowly, try to make eye contact with one person and introduce yourself.
B) Quickly, enter the edge of the circle and hand out a business card to each and every one.
7. Someone seems to have adopted you. He goes on and on. He is completely fixated on you. To exit, you:
A) Wait for a break and say something like "Best of luck this season".
B) Excuse yourself to go freshen up.
8. A colleague introduces you to his assistant. He coughs into his right hand and then offers it to you. You:
A) Tell him that you have been feverish all day and it probably is best not to shake hands.
B) Shake his hand, chat a little and then excuse yourself. Go to wash your hands and come back out ready to keep networking.
9. You are a woman. You notice that a man's zipper is undone. You:
A) Discreetly look at the area with a gentle rise of the eyebrow, or an ever so soft clearing of the throat.
B) Find another man to tell him.
10. You are really excited about being in attendance at this networking activity. The decor is fabulous and everybody who is anybody is here! You want to share the moment on social media. Is it appropriate, or not, to:
A) Take a few selfies?
B) Take random pictures of people?
11. You are the guest of honour and are being "toasted". You
A) Raise your glass and take a sip.
B) Do not raise your glass and do not drink a sip.
12. Every time you meet someone you must give them your elevator pitch.
Plus, here's the party trick that will help you keep your right hand free at all times.
Start by placing a cocktail napkin over your left pinkie.
Then balance your appetizer plate between your ring and middle finger.
Hold your glass between your thumb and your index.
You are ready to shake hands or hand out your business card.
1. A) No matter what day of the week it is, when soliciting business, dress for the client you want to attract.
2. B) Every opportunity counts. Plus, when you will get to the front of the line you may politely part ways.
3. A) When shaking hands. It will be easy for someone to read your name. Also, the left side is reserved for matters of the heart, like a corsage or a medal.
4. B) Always name the person of importance first. In business that is your client. Business is gender neutral. Mrs. is no longer used in business.
5. B) By using your last name you become more memorable. You could also add your title and the name of your company.
6. A) Don't distribute business cards like a black jack dealer. Business cards should only be offered when there is interest.
7. A) is the answer. If you choose B), the person may just choose to accompany you to the washroom. Yikes!
8. Both answers are acceptable.
9. B) Oh la la...It is always best to address these awkward wardrobe malfunctions with members of the same sex.
10. A) A couple of discreet selfies, away from the main event, may be appropriate. Never take pictures of people you don't know.
11. B) Just like one does not applaud for oneself, one does not drink to oneself.
12. B) An elevator pitch is not "one size fits all." It may need to be adapted to the needs of the other person.
You have a sticky situation at work or at home? This is your forum. Write to Julie and she will reply promptly. Want more solutions to sticky situations? Go to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or order your autographed copy of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. Planning a conference? Julie happily travels coast to coast and beyond, to present customized activities. With Julie's help, farewell faux pas and embarrassment. Hello confidence & credibility!
MORE ON HUFFPOST:
Etiquette Tips: It's always rude to pay more attention to a phone than a person in the flesh, and they should always be put away when transacting other business – for example, when you're paying for something in a shop. They should be switched off in theatres, cinemas (including during the trailers!), art galleries, or any space where silence is desired.
Etiquette Tips: E-cigarettes should never be used in a work environment. Vaping shows that you’re not focused on your work and may also be a distraction to your colleagues.
Etiquette Tips: Many people are unclear on the subject of social kissing. Kissing is not appropriate in many professional situations. On the whole it should only be used among friends, but not on first meeting. An air kiss, without contact, may seem rude or impersonal, so very slight contact is best but no sound effects are needed.
Etiquette Tips: You should avoid both. It’s inconsiderate to eat smelly food in a confined environment, and applying make-up on public transport can jeopardise that all-important first impression and make you appear disorganised.
Etiquette Tips: This is a common bugbear. It's selfish to recline your seat back during short daytime flights. When travelling by plane always stay within your own designated space and don't hog the armrest. Also avoid kicking the back of the seat in front of you or using it as an aid to standing-up.
Etiquette Tips: In a recent university experiment only 20% of London tube passengers offered to give up their seat to a visibly pregnant woman. Passengers should always offer to give up their seat to any individual that is pregnant, elderly, or clearly in need. It is important to remember, however, that it is just as rude to aggressively decline the offer of a seat as it is to not offer a seat.
Etiquette Tips: Blind copying should be used discerningly as it is deceptive to the primary recipient. Instead, the email should be forwarded on to the third party, with a short note explaining any confidentiality, after its distribution. If blind copying is essential – i.e. for a confidential document where all recipients must remain anonymous – then the sender should address the email to themselves, and everyone else as ‘bcc’ recipients.
Etiquette Tips: Is it rude to start eating at the table before everyone else has been served? The simple answer is yes, unless the host or hostess gives their permission for diners to start.
Follow Julie Blais Comeau on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EtiquetteJulie