The Finishing Touch programme is our flagship course. It is ideal for those wishing to add that extra bit of polish to their lives, brushing up on essential social and professional skills for the new academic year or to pick up new tricks and tips to enhance years of life experience.
It’s highly useful for those wishing to get ahead of their peers and prepare themselves for a new stage in life, whilst gaining the advantages of learning in a supportive, group environment.
Over five days participants will cover life skills that are often forgotten, giving the them the competitive edge, as well as increasing their confidence.
Monday 16th - Friday 20th July 2018
Monday 15th - Friday 19th October 2018
Previous course dates:
Monday 5th - Friday 9th March 2018
Early bird rate: £1,620 (inclusive of VAT)
Standard rate: £1,740 (inclusive of VAT)
Group, public course
Chelsea & Mayfair, London
Five day training (30 hours of training)
Group or couple rates available
Lead tutors: William Hanson & Diana Mather
Early bird rate ends 20th April for July course and 1st August for October course.
Social Networking… The Old Fashioned Way
We begin with a warm welcome to the programme followed by going back to basics for the first part of the course as the tutors discuss and explain social interaction. During the morning, students will be asked to role-play different social scenarios using their new or relearned knowledge.
The perfect introduction
Avoiding the limp lettuce or bone crusher: the handshaking masterclass
Social kissing explained
Introducing other people
What to do when you’ve forgotten someone’s name
Taking and receiving coats
Small talk and topics to avoid
Cultural differences in introductions and social greetings
The art of good conversation
Working the room
Moving in and out of a group
Getting rid of the social bore!
The second part of the day focuses in great depth on the table, food and how to eat it. Western dining is very much focused on minimising the awareness that one is eating, and the many rules and protocols that come with the dining room can confuse many people, but once explained, the myriad of cutlery and glasses is demystified forever.
The tools of the trade: crockery, glassware, cutlery & linens
How to hold cutlery
British and Western mealtimes and expectations
An introduction to the British place setting
Cultural differences in place settings
Setting an elegant table
Polite table talk
Handling tricky foods
Toasts and speeches
“What’s that?!” Coping with unfamiliar cuisine
The different styles of table service
The fundamentals to understanding wine
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, knowing how to behave in the professional world has never been more important. Having the extra polish to back up your brilliant business brain is a smart way to make you invaluable to your company. This module will equip students with the tools to ensure they get the upper hand in business situations.
Thanks to various popular television shows, staying in is the new going out. Entertaining at home is now the preferred option when it comes to getting a group of friends together and is key for enhancing friendships and conducting business in a more relaxed setting. Yet many are unaware of how to do it properly and the very thought of having people for dinner can induce a mild panic and cold sweats. Fear no longer as we school you in how to put on that 10/10 dinner, cocktail soirée and buffet lunch for 12!
To practice what was learned in Dining Etiquette, students and tutors will enjoy a formal three course luncheon in The Sloane Club’s Linley-designed dining room where the theory explained in Day One’s session will be put into full practice and finely tuned.
We are firmly in the digital age, and many of us spend too much time hunched over our computers, slaving away at hot keyboards. Understandably, our posture has deteriorated and if not corrected then we’ll be very familiar with the chiropractor in later life!
How to sit like the Duchess of Cambridge
Standing tall and knowing your space
Entering and leaving a room with style
Body language: reading silent signals
Getting in and out of a car
Dressing for Success
We will look at the numerous formal and semi-formal dress codes and what these really mean for men and women, as well as discussing how to carry your designer handbag and wear those sunglasses on the shores of Saint-Tropez. Our clothes can say a lot about us and many do not think enough about what they pick out to wear in the morning and the connotations and silent messages that they give out.
From white tie to smart casual: dress codes explained
Shoes, socks and hosiery
Sunglasses, accessories and jewellery
Knowing what time to remove your hat
Hair and grooming
Your Voice and How to Use It
Aside from the prospect of having to entertain guests, the other great fear many people have is public speaking. We all have to do it at some point in our lives and it need not be such a worry if you know the tricks of the trade.
What makes a good speaker?
Finding your voice
Writing the speech and understanding your objective
Performance and props
Don’t forget to breathe!
Flowers for Entertaining
Award winning florists will give students a hands-on, practice demonstration on inspirational techniques and tips for party flowers with a view to entertaining at home.
For this module we are joined by leading calligrapher and penmanship expert Cherrell Avery, whose skills have been used for an impressive array of private residences, exhibitions and displays, including her work being used at Kensington Palace. Cherrell will discuss how to improve your handwriting and how to design and produce elegant name cards for the dining table.
Pens, Paper and Parchment
While many will now be invited to a party via Facebook rather than a postal invitation, knowing the correct form and done thing helps any guest or wannabe host negotiate the social minefield that is correspondence.
Pens, paper and parchment: your correspondence props
Thank you letters to letters of condolence: the art of letter writing
Business letters versus social letters
Social invitations: stiff white & online. How to interpret and reply
The correct use of the ‘At Home’ card
Change of address cards
Wedding invitations and save the date cards
A Visit to a Royal Palace
For our 2018 Finishing Touch courses, we are delighted to include a very special visit to a Royal Palace. Accompanied by former Member of The Royal Household of Her Majesty The Queen, Alexandra Messervy FRSA, and Founder of The English Manner, you will learn about the traditions and routines of Royal life. Alexandra will share first-hand anecdotes and memories of Royal occasions.
The Art of Makeup
We are thrilled to be working with a leading TV & modelling makeup artist, who will give students a tutorial in the art and science of makeup and skincare. This session is always highly popular and students are encouraged to bring their current make-up and tools in order for our expert tutor to help give personalised advice and styling tips.
The History and Customs of Afternoon Tea
The course formally ends with a lesson in the social history and etiquette of this most English of pastimes, once again returning to the bastion of fine living, Fortnum & Mason in their Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. Learn about the changing shape and taste of the scone, how an unhealthy love of gambling invented the sandwich, and how to correctly stir your tea and hold your cup.
Programme order may vary.
“The programme was a superb and an informative five- day course where I learnt everything from sartorial etiquette to differentiating cutlery. Under the watchful eyes of William Hanson and Diana Mather the group got a solid taste of the origins of etiquette and the relevance it has in the modern world. Through interactive group activities such as interview training, elocution, networking and afternoon tea and restaurant etiquette, I was able to successfully implement these skills during the formal luncheon and tea at Fortnum and Mason at the end of the week and beyond. I?m so pleased to have taken part in the programme, not only do I have newly found love of etiquette; I have been able to practise my skills in my social life and even at a recent and successful job interview in London. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to improve their personal branding and create a significant and impactful impression.” | Mark, 2016