If I could summarize a few basic manners activities to improve elegance – this would be it.
I’ve always been passionate about refinement.
I don’t take myself that seriously, but I’m always inspired by the beauty of grace, elegance and true luxury.
In my findings and self discovery, I’ve realized that some habits are hard to break! So these little lessons of elegance,
or manners activities help to engage my brain and heart for better living.
These manners lesson plans are ‘what elegance is‘ put into practice.
Manners Activities in Speech
What does your words and how you speak say about you?
(Inspirational picture of Michelle Obama, fine example of elegant women)
As Dale Carnegie would call it in his book How to Develop Self-Confidence And Influence People By Public Speaking
, ‘improving your diction’
“By his own words, he stood revealed and placed and classified. His woeful use of the English language
proclaimed to the world continually and unmistakably that he was not a person of culture.”
– Dale Carnegie when he met an English colonial.
Dr Charles W. Eliot, former president of Harvard for a third of a century said, “I
recognize but one mental acquisition as a necessary part of the education of a lady or gentleman,
namely, an accurate and refined use of the mother tongue.”
Apart from having the habits of good manners such as using “please” and “thank you”, speaking properly is something we could take pride in.
How do we get into the habit of speaking properly and improving our speech?
Make effort to speak in complete and perfect sentences AND
Read, read, read. Read good books. Pursue a classical education.
“He who would enrich and enlarge his stock of words must soak and tan his mind constantly in the vats of literature.” – Dale Carnegie.
Let’s not fall into the habit of slang, short-forms and slurring.
Gesture and Manners Activities: Elegant Carriage
Do you know what we first admire about elegant women? Their elegant poised carriage and form. The way they move with grace.
Marcia Cross as Bree Van De Kemp has excellent carriage and form.
Watch her in Desperate Housewives
How do we develop an elegant carriage and deportment?
We first need to recognize it.
We can do this by watching movies or shows with women who have graceful gestures and carriage.
Graceful elegant carriage is not just about posture and poise. It is also about how they speak (as mentioned above), dress and how they respond to situations. They are always punctual and never in a hurry.
After recognizing ‘elegant carriage’, we need to visualize it.
Visualization is creating a little habit in your mind so that it can send signals to our body to move.
We can increase the awareness of our carriage by analyzing our photographs, checking on how we sit or stand and smile.
We can also study ourselves in front of a mirror. If you have a video function on your phone or camera, you can do this self analysis too by recording your movements on video.
When Grace Kelly turned eighteen, she begged her parents for a voice recorder so that she can polish off her country accent. She married royalty shortly after.
Manners Activities – Table Manners
Learning to eat and dine properly is the crux of a social life.
Besides learning which fork to use, the cardinal rules of eating is
Having table manners also means
See the Ten Common Dining Mistakes.
Practice at Home for Self Confidence
If you want to feel completely at home with the table etiquette of a fine dining restaurant,
I suggest you go to the store, get one fine dining set for yourself.
Get one of everything in fine china along with fine silver cutlery.
Set the table properly everyday for yourself. Get used to the luxury of the fine dining set. You may also video yourself for further analysis.
Manners Activities – Learning Etiquette
Engrave Into Your Memory
Many “etiquette rules” can seem overwhelming.
And the list of etiquette is growing and changing at a rapid rate because of increasing globalization and mix of cultures.
How do we learn etiquette and keep track?
Reverse engineer. Let your etiquette be governed by your manners. Actually, manners and etiquette are not the same.
Manners are kindness. Etiquette is an organized code of behavior.
Etiquette is mostly common sense. They are developed with a logical explanation, most of which is because of consideration of others.
Not sure about something? Find what you need from this list of etiquette articles.
For this manners activity, you could keep a journal of bad habits that you want to break.
Manners Activities – Learning Patience
Have you noticed? An elegant woman does not rush. And she is usually patient.
These are elegant patient habits:
I’ve noticed that people who come from or grew up in fast paced societies such as in big cities have a very low tolerance for slow service. (Like me! But I’m slowly changing that.)
Manners Activities – Develop Good Habits
Manners activities are really for developing good habits.
Good habits serve us like good, faithful servants.
One particularly good habit was taught to me as a child in a song.
Do it now, right now! Do it now, right now! Later maybe never, never ever ever. Do it now!
I can’t remember who was this by. It was one of those gospel children music from the USA. If anybody can remember, please let me know!
How to apply the “Do it NOW” principle?
Got an invite? RSVP now.
Replying to emails? Simply hit reply and get committed to it.
Have you finished dinner? Wash dishes immediately.
Do not wait for the perfect moment to practice manners. Say please and thank you to those at home, set the dining table beautifully, make a little effort to look decent when you go to the grocery store.
It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we commit ourselves to “do it now!”