How do I Choose the Best Etiquette Course?

Tara Barnett

The purpose of an etiquette course is to prepare a person so that he or she can act in a manner that is culturally appropriate in a particular situation. Many people receive informal etiquette training from parents during childhood in the form of household rules at the dinner table and reprimands in a variety of social settings. An etiquette course typically teaches more elaborate rules than basic cultural etiquette, although courses intended to teach the etiquette of another culture may be more basic. In order to choose the best etiquette course, one should look at the syllabus, the way in which the course is taught, and how long the course lasts. Despite what many people think, it is not easy to learn etiquette, and so a longer course with role-playing experiences is often the best route.

Any online training relevant to email etiquette should be free.
Any online training relevant to email etiquette should be free.

If one is looking for a course that will teach etiquette for a particular occasion, such as a wedding, formal dinner, or dance, then it may be best to look at the course offerings of a local etiquette academy. A wedding planner may also be useful when attempting to refine wedding etiquette. It can be difficult to find an appropriate etiquette course for adults, so one may have to resort to a book or an online course.

Courses that teach foreign etiquette are especially useful for business people.
Courses that teach foreign etiquette are especially useful for business people.

For children, a local etiquette academy or school program is often the best route when choosing an etiquette course. Many etiquette academies genuinely value teaching children etiquette and make the lessons fun. When considering etiquette courses for children and teens, it is important to choose a facility that will integrate fun into the lessons and has a good philosophy about why etiquette is important. Children and teens often have difficulty learning etiquette when they view the lessons as a punishment.

Foreign etiquette courses are particularly useful for business people, and it is simplest to find good courses through business schools and cultural institutes. If these are unavailable, one can often find an etiquette course online. For those who frequently do business in foreign countries, it may be best to seek an intensive etiquette course in that foreign country, as this will often be the most detailed option available and will provide the most experience using the etiquette learned.

Etiquette is difficult to learn conceptually for many people because socialized humans embody etiquette rather than thinking consciously about it. As such, the best etiquette courses will provide lots of physical experience with etiquette. Actually practicing how to eat is essential if one is practicing table manners because so many small things must be controlled. The same is true of speaking, dancing, or even just standing properly. When choosing an etiquette course, the most important thing to look for are opportunities to practice the etiquette learned with people who are experts in the subject.

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