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Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith is a dear friend of mine and also a big Think and Grow Rich fan. She also has arthritis and has had a hip replaced and is a Registered Nurse. She has given me valuable advice on managing arthritis and my public image.

The Value of Pleasing Manners by Shannon Smith

“Manners make the fortune of the ambitious man.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

An individual’s manners are the index of his tastes, feelings, temper and usually indicate true character.

Some people assume a kind of conventional manner, a superficial veneer, “a society cloak” on special occasions which is of little importance, no practical value, and as transparent as it is worthless. Artificial politeness is an attempt to deceive, an effort to make others believe that we are what we are not.

True politeness is the outward expression of the natural character, the external signs of the internal being. It must be born of sincerity and be the response of the heart for no amount of “surface polish” can be substituted for honesty and truthfulness. A beautiful character is simply a heart filled with honest intentions.

The “genius” of man, may hide many defects for a time, but the real individual is bound to come to the surface sooner or later, revealing his natural tendencies and personal character.

Good manners are developed through a spirit imbued with unselfishness, kindness, justness and generosity. When we realize that they are the outward expression of inward virtues, (like the hands of a watch indicating that the machinery within is perfect and true), we’ll then understand the power of applying the golden rule.

Unfortunately, we are often compelled to do business with individuals whose very presence is repulsive; who is void of noble qualities, while, on the other hand, we come in contact with those whose personality is like the warm rays of a June sun, warming and gentle.

Today, more than ever, the nobler qualities of mind and heart count.

History is crowned with examples illustrating the power of indefinable charm of style. Among the qualities which contribute to worldly success, true politeness takes first rank. It is the bearing of man towards his fellowman, more than any other circumstance that promotes or obstructs his advancement of success in life. We court and seek the friendship of an individual with genuine character, while shunning the one who is gruff and cold.

Pleasing manners constitute one of the golden keys which turn the bolts of the door leading to success and happiness. Good manners are simply the crowing jewel of a noble character. The great motivating power of our conduct is the heart; it is the foundation of all actions.

Basic Manners Tips for everyday survival:

  1. Please and thank you should be your mantra.
  2. Cover your mouth when you yawn.
  3. An excuse me would be nice, if you walk right in front of me.
  4. Holding the door open for another would be a great gesture.
  5. Elbows off the table shows you are polite. The only part of body that may be placed on the table is the forearm.
  6. It’s gauche to place personal possessions (car keys, cell phone, hand bag)

on the dinner table.

  1. The general rule for using cutlery is to use the cutlery from the outside in.
  2. A large dinner napkin is kept folded in half when placed in the lap, with the fold

facing the waist.

  1. The napkin is placed on the seat of your chair when leaving the table anytime except on the end. Otherwise, the waiter may think you are finished and clear your dishes, your meal and your napkin if it is left on the side of your plate.
  2. Your handshake should be firm and friendly and accompanied by a big smile

and direct eye contact.


“Be aware and be alert…always.’’

It’s a sign of good breeding and a well- manner individual.

Shannon Smith, leading image strategist and President of Premiere Image International based in Toronto and New York. Since 1983 Shannon has helped individuals re invent themselves providing customized personal and corporate training in Personal Brand Training - Image Mastery – executive dress and grooming, presentation skills, manners, etiquette, executive dining and International Protocol and the new e learning programs for Diversity training. Her corporate slogan “from unnoticed to unforgettable” captures the true essence of her business. Her book POWER MANNERS can be purchased through or It’s a great gift for someone special and is available at special rates for bulk orders.

For more information please call Shannon Smith directly at 416 324 8955.

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