John Rasheed National learning leader, Deloitte China
Presentation skills and business etiquette are equally important and interrelated. They help an individual to create the right impression and reinforce it in work and social situations. Essentially, presenting oneself well is about managing other people's perceptions of you. And by understanding and following the correct etiquette in a business environment, it is much easier to develop new contacts, avoid misunderstandings and ensure others feel comfortable dealing with you.
When recent graduates join our firm, their comprehensive training and orientation programme include a half-day session covering business dress, how to present themselves and accepted etiquette. New hires learn about suitable attire for the workplace and different occasions and proper table manners for formal lunches or dinners. They are also taught the importance of confidentiality and to avoid discussing sensitive business issues in public places. Examples of good etiquette include giving a firm handshake when meeting someone for the first time and looking them in the eye during conversation. Our recruits are told to give the full name and correct title, instead of just first names, when making introductions. Also, when introducing two people, it is always better to mention brief highlights of their respective backgrounds and interests, so they can carry on a conversation more easily when you move away.
Results and feedback
The training has always been well-received and popular among new hires. They find it complements the technical programmes and is relevant for their day-to-day encounters. They also appreciate knowing the importance of how to act in a professional manner as most of them have come across instances of unsuitable etiquette and inappropriate dress.
Elaine Tsui General manager, sky100
Presenting oneself well is particularly important in the tourism and hospitality sector. You must know how to communicate effectively and establish rapport with customers. When open, sky100 (on the 100th floor of the ICC in West Kowloon) will be the only observation deck offering a 360-degree panoramic view of Hong Kong and, as the newest tourist hot spot, will attract thousands of visitors.
Our "ambassadors" will represent the city and must, therefore, give a warm welcome and aim to make a positive impression on every visitor. Business etiquette is equally important in this respect, so our staff are trained to be professional and customer-oriented under all circumstances. They must be dedicated to offer a high level of service to all visitors in a courteous and respectful manner.
To ensure our "ambassadors" meet the required professional service standards, the company has conducted a series of classroom and on-the-job training exercises since August this year. A number of industry experts led the classroom sessions, which helped give our "ambassadors" the essential job-related proficiencies. During the programme, media expert Lawrence Cheng coached our staff in these areas, so that everyone has successfully mastered the skills needed to attract and hold someone's attention, and to explain information and express ideas clearly. Besides that, renowned make-up artist Caroline Sze provided instruction on professional-styling training to ensure our ambassadors project the right image.
Results and feedback
Upon completion of the first six-week training programme, we saw much stronger presentation skills and understanding of what it takes to work in this type of business. Our "ambassadors" are now very confident of providing top-class customer service standards and are ready to greet tourists from around the world.