What Strictly Manners has to Offer

From explaining formal dining to negotiating the best job offer Strictly Manners offers a wide range of workshops, lectures, presentations, and seminars that can be customized Just For You.

Below you will find a list of some of our more popular course topics. Any of our topics can be included in a custom presentation tailored to you. Whether you need classroom instruction, a business presentation, or individual help Strictly Manners can develop a program to fit your needs.

First Impressions

From the classroom to your career make your first impression - your BEST impression. In this program we cover making the first 30 seconds count, name tag protocol, why handshakes can make or break you, strong eye contact, greetings and introductions, personal space considerations and much more.


Formal Dining

At Strictly Manners our Dining for Success program is one of the most popular programs we offer. In it we cover topics like what you should NEVER order, which utensil to use throughout the meal, the ABCs of eating and drinking, dining with style and grace, and mastering the art of table talk.



In our Interviewing Program we cover a range of topics including know where you are going and why, how to create instant rapport, putting the power of body language to use, creating your 60 second commercial, the steps in the interview process, and following up for success.


Family Programs

Maja's Manners

Dress to Impress

Strictly Manners can tailor any of our programs to meet the needs of your family. Often our Formal Dining Program is a starting point to help "bring home" the concepts of etiquette, manners, civility, and style in the comfort of a restaurant setting. We can also quite literally bring this program to your door.

If you're looking for someone to interact with younger children, we have programs designed especially for them based on their age group. Maja's Manners is a program especially designed to teach younger children the importance of manners, poise, and confidence. Young people, now more than ever, need these skills to set themselves apart from their peers.

The Dress to Impress Program covers topics including how to build a professional wardrobe, knowing your body type and how to dress it, learning the power of color, accessories that complete your look, and grooming for true professionals. This course can be targeted toward new graduates, sales staff, or anyone seeking to "look the part."

From Our Clients:

"Mary John was a pleasure to work with in creating a custom dining etiquette course for my family and me. It was a breeze in coordinating the restaurant, the dishes to be served, and even the exact table we were to be seated in! The course taught was both informative and thoughtful; all the details were covered from the table clothes to the scullery. Mary John also provided clear, concise and succinct notes for us to take back to use in case we wanted to review anything. I would highly recommend her to anyone wanting to learn the art of fine dining."

Rob Chang


"I want to thank you for your teaching the etiquette dinner at the Martha Guy Summer Institute. Not only did I learn proper manners, but I also learned values that I can carry with me through life. and I am so thankful for that.


Thank you again for sharing your kindness and wisdom."

Jessica Lama


Appalachian State University

"I STILL have the advertisement flyer for the September 30 event displayed in my office….just for me! It is there so that I can continue to remember the GRAND time we experienced. It was a JOY to witness and participate in your training session. The students here at York Technical College have written AWESOME reflections of their experiences. Our students LOVED the presentation and thoroughly enjoyed LEARNING your "Tips to Make the Right First Impression."


It is my hope that our students will not "overwhelm" you with their calls and e-mail messages. I am not at all surprised that they have communicated with you. They are "Like That!"


Your "handwritten" thank you note arrived this week. It was a joy to read it and reminisce. Again, we so very much appreciate your coming and presenting such valuable information to our students. I know that "I" will remember the experience for a lifetime!!!


I hope we will see you again very soon!"

Gwendolyn C. Wilson

Department Chair

Administrative Office Technology

York Technical College

"My three children (ages 17, 15 and 12) were not exactly thrilled about the idea of a Saturday night etiquette dinner but their reluctance quickly turned to curiosity and then enthusiasm as Mary John put them at ease with her warm, easy going manner and then began reeling them in with great stories, all the while imparting a wealth of information on the art of dining. They quickly realized it was not going to be a painful exercise in strict do's and don'ts but a much richer evening of how to be comfortable and make others comfortable in any social or business setting."

Pat Reddin


"Having good manners is really important so you don't embarrass yourself or others and Mary John has given me confidence to handle social situations."

Thea Reddin


Jane Boyd Thomas, Ph.D.

Professor of Marketing

Winthrop University

"As expected your presentation to the faculty was wonderful. All of us enjoyed your style and the audience participation truly explained the message. Thank you for taking the time to share with our faculty and students."

"I would like to thank you for allowing me to participate in the Martha Guy Dinner last night. You have a tremendous gift in teaching our youth."

Dennis Huggins

Director of Development

Wilkes County Schools

"I attended your presentation yesterday. I just wanted to let you know that you did a great job, and I learned a lot from you. I want to thank you again on behalfof all my peers, because your tips really, really improved my interviewing and professional skills."

Velma Tahsoh


Winthrop University

"I quickly want to thank you for your time and advice today. I was at your seminar and appreciate all the information you shared with us. I recently got out of the military and have no knowledge on interviewing, so I will use this material and definitly practice. Thank you very much."

Adam Ghazal


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.