Christina Hoffmann has covered real estate and homeownership for two decades, including as REALTOR® Magazine managing editor and HouseLogic.com’s content manager, with added expertise as owner of a demanding 100-year-old house. She is currently a senior speech writer at NAR.
Image & Professionalism: Don't Let Your Food Steal the Show
March 1, 1997
You're having a dinner meeting with the investor who might finance your development, and you've ordered onion soup. While the investor is talking about income projections, you're fighting with a long, sticky piece of cheese. If you can't control a soup, the investor is probably wondering whether you can spearhead this deal.
Ann Marie Sabath, founder of At Ease Inc., a business protocol company in Cincinnati, says that when you're dining with clients, customers, or business associates, you should avoid these distracting and rapport-inhibiting foods:
Corn on the cob--You may sound like an exotic bird as you accumulate kernels between your teeth and try to suck them loose.
Olives--Once you put an olive in your mouth, how do you remove the pit? Not with a quick spit, certainly. What goes in with a utensil should come out with one. And you'd have to be extremely dexterous to get the pit onto a fork from your mouth.
Pasta--If you don't know how to twirl it properly or use a spoon to help secure long strands gracefully, avoid it.
Ribs--Not even with your pinkies extended! If you must gnaw your food, you're not really dining. And you'll probably get sauce on your face.
Senior Speech Writer
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