Bob Lowry (


AUBURN -- True or False?

	** When men and women are dining together, social and business etiquette
today dictates that a woman order for herself.
	** As you enter the room at a business reception where you probably won't
know anyone, head for the bar or food tables.
	** "Yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" are always correct business responses.
	** There are exceptions, but one usually doesn't give out his/her business
card unless another asks for it.
	** Men, a button-down collar is always appropriate for after 5 p.m. business
and social occasions. Women, white heels, can be worn with any spring or summer
business attire.

About 40 Auburn University MBA students hope to learn the correct answer to those and many more questions concerning business etiquette and communications, dining skills and professional dress during a day-long seminar on Friday, Jan. 16.

The seminar, "Power, Presence & Style," will be presented by Peggy Newfield of Atlanta-based Personal Best, Inc., which conducts seminars for corporate clients and other university MBA programs.

"We're giving them the theoretical business skills and some practical application of that theory in the classroom," says Kimberly Kuerten, assistant director of the AU MBA program. "This (skills taught at the seminar) rounds out their education.

"It makes the students feel more comfortable operating in the business environment. It makes you more confident and secure and able to focus on why you're there. You're not worried about whether you're dressed inappropriately or which fork to use -- you can focus on the conversation and the issues being discussed."

Kuerten says even her attire was critiqued at last year's session.

"I had a suit on that was really inappropriate for my body type," she said. "In the real world, it looked OK, but she (Newfield) pointed out some things -- that as short as I am you shouldn't wear a double-breasted jacket. For the guys, she looks at the socks, the belts, the length of the cuffs, the break on their pants, when it's appropriate to wear french cuffs . . . It was a lot of fun. The students had a great time."

Kuerten says the seminar stresses that the first seven seconds are the most important in building a relationship. "If you have yourself together, shake hands properly and make proper eye contact in that first seven seconds, then you're a step ahead . . . " she said.

The seminar is free to Auburn MBA students, but it's optional.

From 8:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m., the seminar will focus on self presentation skills. The session will discuss direct eye contact, proper handshakes, posture, public perceptions, habits that detract and verbal and nonverbal communication.

From 11:15 a.m. until noon, the topic will be effective networking. Newfield will discuss how to handle food and beverages at business cocktail parties and receptions, how to "work a room," when to give you business card and how to "pull away" from others.

From noon until 2 p.m., students will be treated to a five-course formal lunch at the AU Hotel and Conference Center during which Newfield will discuss continental dining, cues in ordering, paying and tipping, business lunch strategies, appropriate conversation and handling difficult foods and situations.

From 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m., Newfield will present an overview on professional dress for men and women. She will specifically discuss clothing turn-offs and turn-ons, problem areas, grooming, appropriate accesories and clothes for business occasions you should never buy.

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CONTACT: Kuerten, 844-5403 (

MEDIA NOTE: The seminar at the AU Hotel and Conference (Rooms E, F,G and Ballrom B right)will be open to media interested in covering it. Contact Bob Lowry at 334/844-9999.