Business Manners – Always Be Polite

By Angela Marshall, 18th Sep 2014


Depositphotos 40855399 s Business Manners   Always Be Polite

Business Etiquette 

More companies are finding their staff need advice on how to be better mannered. This is a key part to having a good personal image. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we have come from we can always be well mannered and considerate to others. It may not be something a client, colleague or boss comments on but it does get noticed.

Whether in business for yourself, employed in a company or looking for a job we all need to be seen, how we come across is very important.  Remember this can be either face to face or through social media, both are very important. Head-hunters looking for a prospective candidate will look at your profile. Make sure your photo is a good representation of you and do update it. It is no good going for an interview looking years older. It’s always a shock when you see a journalist on TV, expecting a similarity with the photo you see each day in the newspaper and realising it was obviously taken several years ago.

Points to think of:

  1. Respect other people’s space, time, privacy and priorities.
  2. Always return telephone calls, if necessary leave a message on voicemail. Speak slowly and clearly. How good is your voicemail message?
  3. Where possible avoid loud rings/conversation on mobiles in public places, especially if they are business. Think about the kind of confidential conversations you may be having in public and how identifiable the information is, because you can’t be sure that the competition isn’t listening!
  4. Remember to be courteous to people at all times, including colleagues and visitors e.g. offer a drink, take a coat.
  5. Keep your promises or at least go back and update people.
  6. Introductions, general rule of thumb – juniors to seniors.
  7. Table manners can ruin your image, make sure you look and act the part.

Good Manners includes Communicating with People

Often people think good manners and etiquette are about using the correct utensils when eating and knowing what and where your plates and glasses are. Good manners are about being considerate and thoughtful to others. When we are polite it influences all working relationships whether it is with our bosses, colleagues or our clients. Being polite and having good manners makes a positive image and gives a wonderful first impression.


 Depositphotos 7766721 s Sorting Your Wardrobe   Putting Away Your Summer Items

The autumn winter season will soon begin so consider sending your summer jackets and coats and key items you are not wearing to the cleaners and then putting them in breathable, non-woven garment covers, so that they are free from moths and dust proof. Make room for your warmer clothes and cosy jumpers.

5 Tips on storing your summer items:-

  1. Get rid of items you don’t wear – if you can’t remember when you last wore an item then you don’t need it. Donate it to charity or consider selling on ebay or swapping with your friends.
  2. Launder items that have been worn before you store them.
  3. Check your items to see if any need mending. Make any repairs or add new buttons or zips.
  4. Consider purchasing storage containers but first decide where the items will be stored and what container will be suitable.
  5. Clean the wardrobes, drawers and other areas where clothes are stored.

Change the clothes for the season and make sure everything is clean before hanging them up. Hang or lay the new season clothes in open spaces so fresh air will circulate around them to let them have a fresh odour and to ensure they do not smell of mothballs.





Depositphotos 20228783 s When you Have a Change of Lifestyle then Adapt Your WardrobeSeptember means a start to a new academic year, whether the start of a new school, university, evening classes, or back to business for many. It may also mean you have now finished work as you have become a Mum, a housewife or recently retired. So it is a good time to consider your new lifestyle and what clothes you need to suit it. This doesn’t mean you need to buy all new clothes but it may well mean purchasing some new items to help adapt your existing wardrobe to your new way of life.

When you dress the part, you look the part, feel the part and you think the part.

Plan what you need for the various events in your life and look out for bargains where you have gaps and need new items.

7 tips for a great wardrobe to suit your lifestyle and budget:

  1. Take time to sort your wardrobe. Try mixing and matching items, to give your outfits a different look and make a change.
  2. Ensure your clothes are clean, neat and tidy at ALL times.
  3. Mend items when they need it or take them to a tailor or dressmaker. They will last longer and look better. This includes wearing trousers at the correct length so that they do not fray.
  4. Ensure your clothes fit you well, consider alterations where necessary. It will pay dividends when your clothes look like they belong to you and show your figure at its best.
  5. Have layered items for the changeable weather, wear a vest or thick cardigan in the cold, light weight tops work well in the warmer weather or can be worn underneath on cold days.
  6. Colours should mix and match, so choose three or four shades of colours that suit you and that go with one another. Have key items in neutral shades e.g. black, navy, grey or camel.
  7. Add accessories to your clothes to update them, adapt them for various occasions and to change your look.

The cost of living constantly increases so it is a good time to ensure you do not waste money on clothes you do not need or wear.  Sorting, organising and planning is key. A little time spent on your wardrobe will pay dividends and will give you extra money for holidays or for saving. For your key items that need to last and are worn the most try to buy the best quality you can afford so they last longer.

Think organise, plan and then shop.

Good Service and the Right Attitude

By Angela Marshall, 15th Jul 2014

Depositphotos 40154137 xs Good Service and the Right Attitude

Businesses across different sectors can be brilliant at providing good services that people want and need, whilst others are absolutely dreadful. I never quite understand why employees of companies think it is ok not to engage with their customer or client and expect their business to do well. Businesses that train their staff well on customer service reap the rewards, whilst others that don’t provide a good service lose out on the potential of the business. Poor customer service is very harmful to a company’s brand.

Great Service and Great Attitude

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My husband and I enjoy eating in good restaurants, particularly  as my husband loves cooking and having food he knows takes great skill, plus I study wine so I love to learn from the sommeliers. A great restaurant is a great example of demonstrating how to treat customers. The staff make you feel special, ensure you are pleased with your food and wine and show great attention to detail. When they are enthusiastic about their business it shows. There are some great places all over the world but near to me I always enjoy Pollen Street Social and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons who are prime examples of this.

Poor Service and Bad Attitude

We are thinking of buying a new car and every time this happens we are always amazed how variable the service is, some sales people seem completely disinterested whilst others are most helpful and explain the benefits and offer a test drive. Sometimes it may be down to the local garage. As a rule, I don’t like to mention specific brands, but after having a conversation with some friends, I realised we all came up with the same brands. For example each Audi garage I have visited in the south east of England has made me feel they have no care in what I want or do.  On the other hand my local Jaguar and Volvo garages have spent a lot of time explaining their cars as well as offering me a test drive. We are still looking for the most appropriate car for our needs and it will be interesting to see the service that other garages provide during our search.

Some tips:

  1. Greet your customer when they arrive - make them feel welcome
  2. Ask questions – obtain some information and anticipate their requirements
  3. Be a good listener – take the time to recognise your customer’s needs
  4. Treat the customer as an individual – make key notes about them and treat them as special
  5. Give more than expected – treat them as you wish to be treated and give them something extra above what they will expect
  6. Keep in touch – follow up, when appropriate, by contacting them but do not be a nuisance
  7. Say thank you – show you appreciate their business


Whether you speak to clients face to face or on the telephone always smile. It fosters good will in business, shows a sign of friendship and enriches those who receive it.


Network Professionally

By Angela Marshall, 8th Jul 2014

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Networking is a way of establishing new relationships and is not about selling.  It is an opportunity to advertise yourself, plus increase your knowledge and share ideas.

The world has become smaller and life has become fast-paced, therefore strong relationships are more important than ever. We are all in the business of selling and how well we connect with other people will form the basis of our success. “People buy people” and they will interact with people they like and trust. Customers must have confidence in your ability to meet their needs.

Decisions in a company are made by people not computers therefore your success and the success of your company will rely on how well you communicate and interact with other people. Conversation is a skill and like most things it improves with experience and practice. Listening is important and a good listener is the one that will inspire others. Don’t stay with the same person, move on, but do it in a polite way.

Organising Your Networking

Organise how you are going to keep people’s business cards and contact details.  Set aside time and prepare what you want from an event. Consider preparing a one-minute speech or presentation, on yourself and think about information you want to ask or get from the other attendees.

Dress to Suit Your Business and Personality

Dress in a style that represents your personality, your company’s brand and your personal brand.

Attending an Event

Many people feel uncomfortable walking into a room full of strangers and some will avoid it. However, it is something we all must do to broaden our business relationships. Whenever you are invited to an event approach it as a good time to network and get to know new people.

Some general Tips:

  1. Walk in with confidence – Good posture, smile, eye contact, firm handshake and don’t stand so close to a person that you invade their personal space.
  2. Speak to people you know – Talk to them for a few moments to get a feel of the environment; ask for introductions.
  3. Introduce yourself to people – give a firm handshake, a smile and a greeting or remark reassures the other person.
  4. Importance of Giving and Receiving – the easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.  In return you will receive advice, knowledge, contacts or information. “Pursue the relationship not the sale”
  5. Think positively – Know what you want to achieve from the event. Commit the time and make things happen!
  6. Working the Room – Occasionally you can get a prior list of attendees, identify any people you particularly want to meet, but keep in mind you never know whom other people may know.
  7.  Always be polite and conscious of others in the room and their awareness.

Finally – smile, look happy, socialise and enjoy.

Watch and Learn

By Angela Marshall, 1st Jul 2014

043 1024x768 Watch and Learn

I recently listened to Bruce Forsthye on the Paul O”Grady show who made the comment it is important to watch and learn from other people. As an all round performer who can dance, crack jokes, present quiz shows culminating in the well known “Strictly Come Dancing” he said in his youth he watched Sammy Davis Jnr.

Whatever we want to achieve in life we can learn from a variety of people by picking up ideas, the way they move, dress or even walk and talk. When you admire someone it is good to “watch and learn” but then to practise and practise and achieve your own interpretation.

I had a boss who had a wonderful manner and great time keeping. He always managed to close a meeting or interview very politely without coming across as rude or cutting people off abruptly. It was a skill that took practise and like all things looks and appears easy when perfected.

Professional sports people and musicians only get to the top of their game by practising and practising. Often a top musician will mention someone in the past who inspired them to work hard.

Watching the world cup football will no doubt inspire some young children to work hard and practise and no doubt we will hear about them in years to come.

Wimbledon Tennis – Players Manners

By Angela Marshall, 27th Jun 2014


1024px Centre Court Wimbledon 2009 Wimbledon Tennis   Players Manners

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis 2014

I have loved watching players and going to Wimbledon  since I was a little girl. It is a great place to feel British as people are dressed smart without having to be overdressed. Plus most corporate entertainment is about watching the tennis players and not about boozing!!

There are strict rules about players wearing white and this year they have even needed to include rules on underwear, so as to avoid the tangerine experiences of last year.

Tennis Players and Good Manners

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My biggest complaint is that when a match is finished the loser often leaves court before the other player. However, yesterday, Germany’s Angelique Kerber played the British player Heather Watson and was courteous to wait to leave the court with Heather. Plus she then spent sometime signing autographs, including to Chelsea Pensioners, ensuring she returned the pen to the appropriate person. This is a great example of politeness, being courteous and considerate to your opponent.  Bring back players waiting for each other to leave the court!

From a positive note, the BBC commentary team are universally positive, humorous and polite!

Picture credit: BBC Sport


Sale Time – Only buy a Bargain You will Wear

By Angela Marshall, 24th Jun 2014

Make the Most of the Sales

Depositphotos 6858270 s Sale Time   Only buy a Bargain You will Wear


Buying Clothes in the Sales

It’s sale time and the time of year when lots of items are on offer. Don’t be tempted to buy something you will only wear once or will be left at the back of the wardrobe. It’s easy to be tempted by a low price tag and end up with clothes that you will probably never wear.It is an ideal time to purchase an item you loved prior to the sales but could not afford, however when reduced you can and will wear it a lot. It’s good to stock up on key items e.g. quality shoes, bags, neutral colour tops, skirts or trousers. It’s also ideal, in the sales, to purchase quality accessories particularly for business e.g. belt, shoes, jewellery or scarves.

Remember C.P.W. – cost per wear

It’s no good buying an item for £50 you only wear once – it will cost £50, whereas a jacket for £150 worn 100 times will cost £1.50 per wear.

Some top tips to consider when shopping in the Sales:

  1. End of sales – you can  pick up a great bargain at the end of the sale e.g. end of January/early February or end of July/early August in the UK and get a month or two’s worth of wear before it’s time to change your wardrobe.
  2. Dress appropriately – Wear sensible shoes and in cooler weather wear a light weight coat.
  3. Plan – think what you need in your wardrobe before you go, have some ideas.
  4. Shop early – avoid the rush; the internet is a great way to check items out early. Sign up to newsletters during sale time to get the latest offers.
  5. Mix and Match – think of at least three different occasions you can wear the item; how often and with what clothes you already have that it will go with.
  6. Price influenced – Do you really like it or are you tempted by the reduction in price? Love it madly, need it badly or do not buy it!
  7. Keep receipts – Carefully store the receipt when you purchase, you may need to return the item.

Wardrobe Personality

Ensure you feel comfortable in the item and are not influenced by a family or friend who is with you. The material may not be your personality e.g. your friend may like linen whereas you don’t like the feel and hate it creasing.


Ensure the item fits you well or if you need alterations allow for the extra cost, if you cannot do it yourself.

Happy Shopping! Have fun, get a great bargain and enjoy!

The Social Season – Have Good Style and Good Manners

By Angela Marshall, 17th Jun 2014


1996 Jun Royal Ascot Queen arriving 1024x726 The Social Season – Have Good Style and Good Manners

The summer social season has arrived with Royal Ascot starting this week and it is always pleasurable to attend many of the events, whether for personal or business reasons.  However, it’s important to know the dress code rules for each event and to wear something you feel comfortable and confident in. Ensure you give sufficient thought and allow sufficient time when choosing what to wear for the day.

Mixing with people can be intimidating, if you are not used to it, but having good manners can go a long way. Good manners stand out and get noticed particularly at social events, people may not comment but you will be remembered in a decisive way for being polite and caring.

Good Style tips to consider:

  1. Rules – ensure you know the dress code for the event - the website will advise you
  2. Outfits – avoid too tight, too short or all items too bright
  3. Hats – for a plain outfit choose an elaborate hat, for a patterned outfit choose a plain hat, choose one to suit your size and face shape  and ensure your hat is securely fastened on your head.
  4. Wear suitable shoes – choose comfort as well as style to suit the outfit; avoid high stiletto heels on grass
  5. Dress rehearsal – try on the whole of your outfit with accessories before the day
  6. Jewellery – less is more, look elegant and avoid too much bling!
  7. Weather – the British weather is unpredictable, review the forecast and be prepared

Manners tips to remember:

  1. Ps and Qs – please and thank you
  2. Listen when people are talking, avoid interrupting
  3. Consider other people’s feelings; treat others as you wish to be treated
  4. Don’t speak loudly in public or use poor language to anyone
  5. Say “excuse me, please” when you need to pass someone
  6. Table manners can ruin your image; make sure you look and act the part.
  7.  Be well dressed, well groomed and appropriate for the occasion

What to avoid:

One of the biggest faux pas, in a social event, is drinking too much and leaving late, a common but deadly occurrence. We can all make mistakes but if you are rude it is a key thing to apologise and remember to avoid doing it again.

Finally  Smile – look happy, socialise and enjoy, a smile is welcoming and friendly and helps socially as well as professionally.

Smiling and Its Importance

By Angela Marshall, 8th May 2014

Dating iStock 000021050714Small Smiling and Its Importance


When I am out shopping or travelling into London I always feel so much better when I smile or when people smile at me. Too often people look miserable and have a habit of blanking you as if you don’t exist.

A smile can make all the difference in the world. It has the power to release stress, calm you down, make you look more attractive, as well as make you and other people happy.

A smile has many benefits:


A smile is welcoming and friendly and helps socially as well as professionally.

Helps You to De-Stress

When you feel stressed a smile is the cheapest and fastest cure, just take a minute or two to breathe in and out and smile. Smiling helps to reduce symptoms associated with anxiety. Just think of something that makes you happy as there is always something to smile about in life!

Makes you more Attractive

When a person smiles at you they always look more attractive whether it is a man, woman or child. You can get away with a lot when you smile at people as well as get better service!

Be Happy

A smile makes you feel good and look happy and will encourage you to feel happy as well as helping other people feel happy too. It can be contagious.

Good for the Health

Studies have shown that when people make different emotional expressions, their bodies produce physiological changes that reflect the emotion, such as changes in heart and breathing rate. The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. When you’re happy, your body releases all kinds of feel-good endorphins.

Influences People

A smile given to the right person at the right time will influence what that person does next and the choices they make.

It doesn’t hurt to smile! As Louis Armstrong sang “When you’re smilin’, the whole world smiles with you.”


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