How to Display Impeccable Manners

You’ll probably never have to greet the Queen, but everyone should know some basic etiquette rules.


Up next in Manners & Etiquette (35 videos)

Minding your P's and Q's just got easier with these Howcast videos about how to have good manners. You'll learn how to follow proper etiquette on Twitter and Foursquare; how to improve your telephone manner; how to avoid the most common etiquette mistakes; how to follow proper gym and health club etiquette; how to be a good houseguest; and much more. We respectfully ask the guys to watch "How to Be a Gentleman" and "How to Be Chivalrous."

You Will Need

  • An appreciation for social niceties
  • A good memory


  1. Step 1

    Respect authority

    Respect authority by always introducing a subordinate to a superior, not vice versa.

  2. Step 2

    Don’t celebrate yourself

    Do not take so much as a sip of your cocktail when everyone else is drinking theirs in your honor. Drinking during your own toast is like giving yourself a hearty round of applause.

  3. Step 3

    Know left from right

    Know the rules regarding left and right. If you’re handed a name tag, slap it on your right lapel. Then hold your drink in your left hand, so your right is free for handshakes. And don’t eat the dinner roll on your right or drink the water on your left.

  4. An easy way to recognize what’s yours at the table is to think BMW: Bread, Meal, Water/Wine.

  5. Step 4

    Know the codes

    Know the codes: If you must leave mid-meal to use the powder room, place your napkin on your chair. When you leave for good, put it beside your plate. If you’re 'resting' between bites, cross your knife and fork on your plate, with the knife on the right. If you’re done, place knife and fork side by side, pointing at the 11 o’clock position.

  6. Step 5

    Know when to say when

    Know when to say when: When everyone is done eating, so are you.

  7. Step 6

    Know how to sneeze

    Try to sneeze and cough into a tissue, then throw it away immediately. If there’s no time for a tissue, direct your nose into your upper arm. While this may sound like the equivalent of wiping your runny nose on your sleeve, it is not. It’s meant to keep germs off your hands, where they will infect others.

  8. Oscar Wilde once said, 'The world was my oyster. But I used the wrong fork.'