Professional Development Training


At Strictly Manners we offer a variety of programs like Interviewing Techniques, Formal Dining Etiquette, Dressing for Success, and more! Each of our programs can be customized to fit your group, family, or event. From classroom training to large lecture presentations we can do it all, even one-on-one training is available.


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Strictly Manners is a passion for owner Mary John Boswell. She is devoted to her students and is always willing to go that extra mile to make them successful. She truly feels that empowering young people with the social skills and confidence they need is the key to their future.


Strictly Manners is founded on the principle that proper etiquette in every situation gives people the power they need to succeed.

First Impressions set the tone for EVERY future interaction. Make yours count!


Learning how to interview well can lead to being offered a better job faster. We offer both a classroom and a lecture hall version of our program on interviewing and both provide basic through advanced level information on how to set yourself apart and make a favorable impression during even the toughest interviews.


Formal Dining

Sitting down in front of a formal table setting can be daunting to those who have not been exposed to formal dining etiquette. Mary John has many programs that introduce dining topics from what to order to how to alert your wait person that you are finished with your meal. Strictly Manners can get you through that next formal business dinner with ease.


Family Instruction

Almost all of Strictly Manners' programs can be scaled down to fit your family's needs. Mary John even offers a dinner program where she dines with your family for formal dining instruction. She has helped moms, dads, and countless children become refined dinner guests comfortable in a formal setting and graceful enough for royalty.


Etiquette Dinner Program Praise

"Mary John, it was so nice to meet you the other night while doing our etiquette dinner for students. I've been to many such presentations over the years and you were simply the best! The students are still talking about your engaging approach, which means they have really learned. We look forward to when you will be able to return."

Frank P. Ardaiolo, Ed. D.

Vice President for Student Life

Winthrop University

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University has had the pleasure to welcome Mary John Boswell on campus for over 5 years to present our Business Etiquette Luncheon. The feedback from students is always positive and there is no better satisfaction than seeing genuine smiles from our students and compliments paid at the conclusion of an event. Students who have not attended before are always surprised at the considerable amount of information she shares and its relavency to their lives. I am always impressed when I see a long line of excited students stay behind after the conclusion of our luncheon to say thank you to Mary John.

Heidi Ragan

Walker College of Business Career Services

Appalachian State University

First Impression Program Praise

"I’ve worked in the business community for over 30 years and  I’ve learned you only make one first impression.  In business it better be a good one because you may never  get a second chance.  Your program helps ensure success by creating a positive experience.  I believe your program can help those just entering the business world as well as those that have forgotten the small details that can make a big difference. Thank you for making us  better!"

Mark Gregson

Territory Manager - Eastern NC

Liberty Mutual

Mary John Boswell has spoken to several Principles of Marketing classes at Winthrop University. She did an excellent job engaging the students and teaching them about how to act professionally. The students were excited to learn how to properly introduce themselves and shake hands with a potential client in a business context. We would love to have Ms. Boswell come speak to our students every year, as they truly value and learn from such professional development experiences.

Dr. Cara Peters

Development and Associate Professor of Marketing

College of Business Administration Winthrop University

About Strictly Manners

Many professionals and young people today are struggling in school and in the work force. Some are having trouble keeping a job or even finding one. At Strictly manners we truly feel that much of this is due to a lack of formal training.


Certainly young people today are bright, they constantly interact with new and developing technologies, they communicate with each other almost constantly, yet something is missing. The same can be said of many of todays professionals. It is not a lack of technical training, rather it stems from a lack of professional development. Most people today often lack exposure to concepts like formal manners, dining etiquette, and even basic interviewing skills. Please check out our programs page to see a list of the topics we cover.