Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 9:20 EDT

Business Etiquette Expert Lydia Ramsey Offers Tips for Successful Company Barbecues and Picnics

June 12, 2012

SAVANNAH, Ga., June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — If your company is planning a barbecue, now’s the time to revisit your business manners.

“If barbeque etiquette sounds like an oxymoron, it isn’t,” says Business Etiquette Expert Lydia Ramsey, a Savannah, Ga.-based protocol expert and president of Manners That Sell (www.mannersthatsell.com).

“There are indeed rules for properly conducting yourself as either host or guest. Just because these events are casual in nature does not mean anything goes. There are standards to follow – especially at a company barbecue,” advises Ramsey, who conducts seminars on business etiquette to corporations throughout the Southeastern US as well as around the world.

Etiquette tips for hosts:

  1. Be prepared. Have enough of everything from charcoal or propane to food and beverages. Don’t forget the cups, plates and napkins. Grandma’s china and crystal are not appropriate substitutes when you run out of serving items.
  2. Have a rain plan. Either arrange for tents or know how you will handle an indoor picnic.
  3. Provide all the food and beverage. Unless you are hosting a family reunion or the neighborhood party, don’t ask people to bring things.
  4. Have plenty of insect repellent. Your guests should be the ones eating, not being eaten. If you live in a “buggy” environment, have food domes on hand to keep certain items warm and flying pests out.

Etiquette ideas for guests:

  1. Keep your grilling advice to yourself. Your host is in charge. You may have a better way of doing of things, but unless you see that he is about to set the place on fire, keep your mouth shut. Open it only for conversation and food.
  2. Leave your legendary potato salad at home. Unless you are asked to bring a dish, don’t. It would be an insult to your host.
  3. Volunteer to help. That’s good etiquette. Offer assistance in case it is needed.
  4. Use your napkin to clean your sticky fingers. Tempting as it may be to lick them, it is simply not good manners. Neither is using your fingernail or toothpick to pick the corn from between your teeth. Be sure to have dental floss on hand, but excuse yourself to use it.

Ramsey adds words of caution for a business event, which carries its own set of etiquette rules:

  1. Maintain your professionalism. While you are there to have fun, be mindful of your actions and your words.
  2. Dress like a professional. Business attire is not expected, but make sure that your casual dress is conservative. Avoid anything that is sloppy, shabby, sexy or revealing.
  3. Hold back when serving yourself. Piling on as much food as your plate will hold makes you look like you only came to eat. You can go back for more once everyone has been served.
  4. Play it safe with the drinks. If alcohol is being served, limit your intake. Warm weather, alcoholic beverages and a company barbecue can be a dangerous combination.

“Barbecues and picnics provide a relaxed way for family, friends and co-workers to gather together, to catch up and to know each other better,” Ramsey says. “Enjoy yourself and others but always be mindful of your manners. Demonstrate your best barbecue etiquette so you will be invited back and you will still have a job on the next working day.”

About Lydia Ramsey:

Lydia Ramsey is an international business etiquette expert with three decades of experience. She is the president and founder of Manners That Sell, a firm based in Savannah, Ga., offering seminars, keynote speeches and executive coaching to corporations, associations and universities.

Lydia is the author of several books including “Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits,” and “Lydia Ramsey’s Little Book of Table Manners” as well as the co-author of “Success Tweets for Creating Positive Personal Impact.”

She has produced four training videos, including “Dining for Profit” which was featured in the Wall Street Journal as one of the top four training videos on business dining. She served for seven years as the business etiquette columnist for The Savannah Morning and was hired by The Voice of America China Department to write scripts on business etiquette which are broadcast to China, Thailand and other countries in the Far East. Her business travels have taken her as far as India and the Middle East. She brings a global perspective to business etiquette while preserving Southern traditions.

Lydia is a popular media figure and has been quoted in numerous national television and radio media outlets.

For more information about Lydia and her expertise, please visit: mannersthatsell.com.

SOURCE Manners That Sell

Source: PR Newswire