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Body language speaks louder than words!

Every time we look at a person, whether it be on stage or in the Mall, we make  split-second decisions on whether they are trustworthy, friendly, sophisticated, educated and on and on.  No matter what our role is in life, it is a good idea to study this instinctive/intuitive form of communication and educate oneself in the myriad signals/messages we emit every minute of every day no matter what our situation.  The following is an excellent article on the subject:

Presentation Emphasis & Body Language 

Jan 1, 2015  Gary Robert Blue

Presentation Designer & Editor | PPC Marketing | Graphic Design | Online Publishing

For many years, I’ve watched speakers on a stage delivering presentations. One thing appeared to be universal to all great presenters: the ingredients of motion and expression. None embodies the correct theory and application of integrated experience more than Joel Osteen (in my opinion). This guy is the prime example of powerful stage presence and the rudiments of connecting visual body language to a calculated preconceived story line. I am not an overly religious person but he is not just a pastor, he is a superb motivational speaker and storyteller. That is why Joel can fill a great hall week after week; he has it all going on. Then there is the hair! I couldn’t imagine having that job but it is truly an art form with him. I have omitted his face in the cartoon in an effort to avoid copyright problems. But I thought, what if Joel has his hair trademarked? Knowing him, he just might.

I have done shows with hundreds of CEOs in my career and mostly the same set of occurrences happens. It is 10 pm the night before, almost all the major players on the first day agenda’s speakers are finished rehearsing. The word is given to the crew that the CEO is on the Red Eye or late flight and will be here around midnight. By now the entire tech crew of 10-plus people is in overtime (we get overtime on a daily basis, 13-hour days are normal for large events).

When he or she arrives, they start to rehearse their presentation. Now they know their slides and verbiage near perfect! They have rehearsed these on their patio speaking to the trees in their backyard. What they are doing now is measuring the acoustics in the room and tweaking the choreography in their talk. Walking back and forth, seeing how many steps it takes to cross the stage and visit every row of the audience from right to left. Distributing their pauses, expressions and emphatic hand gestures throughout their slide deck to gain the utmost in audience involvement.

They may have to enlarge a gesture for this particular room or make sure they hit the stage center at a certain moment for a tie-in to the on-screen presentation. This poetic phenomenon is on the level of a customized ballet that is narrated and back dropped by the slide deck. Something wonderful to watch and indicative of great presenters and motivators such as Steve Jobs.

You say many things with your mouth but you say even more with your body language and facial expressions. Most people are unconnected to what their body is doing while they are speaking. How fast you turn, or a twitch or an off-pace glare at an object, tell you a lot about the subtext transpiring in a person’s mind. They might not be saying certain things verbally but the dynamics of their facial and body motion fill in the unintentional blanks.

In my youth, I was looking for a summer job at a bookstore. I walked around assessing the inventory and simultaneously observing the staff. Finally, I narrowed it down to two people who could be the store manager. Luckily they gravitated to the same spot behind the main counter, each involved in an independent task. I walked up and asked, “Which one of you is the alpha?” First, the woman’s eyebrows went up and her eyes widened. Then the man twitched the corner of his mouth and slowly smiled. I extended my hand to the man and said, “I’m Gary and I hear through the grapevine that you are looking to hire an excellent book salesman.” The woman asked, “How did you know?” (It totally could have gone either way). First, both of you portended the type of focus and determination only a manager could have (she was the assistant manager). Second, you showed me surprise, which means usually you are not asked that question. He displayed tension initially and slowly made the facial transition from the word alpha to the concept of pack leader or manager, then smiled at the jibe.

The pervasive takeaway is this: Whether you speak in front of one or 10,000 people, your body language and facial expressions are being absorbed in tandem. In either case, use their ancillary impact wisely. Your mouth may be saying one thing but your actions also have a critical voice in the orchestration of the thoughts you project.

Gary Robert Blue              https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/presentation-emphasis-body-language-gary-robert-blue?trk=object-title

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Time is Money! Maybe not!

Global business success is dependent upon strong relationships, not just in Mexico, but in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe.   It may take many trips to achieve your goals, so be prepared to put the time, money and effort in up front.   It doesn’t end there, the relationship must be nurtured on an ongoing basis, remember birthdays, special holidays and what matters in their culture…it will be noted and much appreciated.

Coming to Terms with Time in Mexico

October 21, 2014

If you want to understand the difference between Mexican business person’s view of time and that of an American, you need look no further than the wristwatch worn by Carlos Slim, the richest man in Mexico and one of the wealthiest men in the world.  A surprised reporter for UK’s Telegraph newspaper noted in a profile of Slim that, “his watch is a very ordinary-looking plain dial with a leather strap.[1]”  Why would a man with a net worth north of $70 billion wear such a simple watch?  If you have done business successfully in Mexico, you will know right away why Slim doesn’t need a Rolex: He doesn’t place that much emphasis on time.

To do business in Mexico, American executives need recognize that the two cultures have completely different perceptions of time.  US business executives who can overcome the Anglo – Saxon perception and moral value of time, will find that this will open many doors and lead to greater chances of business success. Ironically taking the time and effort to do this speeds up the time for doing business.

In the US, business people like to say, “Time is money,” meaning that if you waste time, you’re wasting money.  The question is, of course, what is a waste of time and what isn’t?  Mexican business people also think that time is money – they just have a different idea of the connection between time and money.

Consider this situation:  You arrange to meet someone for lunch. He arrives twenty minutes late and hangs around for an hour after the lunch is “expected” to end. A waste of time?  By American standards, yes!  Now, think about it from the Mexican perspective.  If the lunch was enjoyable and you were able to further a relationship based on trust, that “wasted” 50 minutes could be worth millions of dollars to you over the long term?  Do you still think that “Time is money”?

In Mexico not surprisingly, time is not predictable—it moves in relationship to the environment and/or task at hand. Saying good morning or “Buenos Dias” makes a difference in every interaction. It is about being in the present – You work with the belief that everything will happen eventually…time is figurative versus literal.

Time is an estimate and delays are common. Confirmed doesn’t mean guaranteed. Things can get out of control and off schedule despite the best intentions, or regardless of how powerful a person is. If a meeting is going well and bonding is occurring, it continues…

Mexicans enjoy the process of getting to know the people they might do business with and believe Americans are too mechanical and missing the link which is people before transactions. Doing business in Mexico takes time—Mexicans invest time in getting to know the other party, in fact trust gained through bonding is basis of relationships.  You can expect deals and other negotiations to take several  rounds of conversation; they will never close in the first meeting (or first “date”).  Overall it is a mistake for Americans to value efficiency over personal touch in Mexican business relationships.

Come join our Mexico Business Fluency 101 Workshop!

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/8335604/Carlos-Slim-At-home-with-the-worlds-richest-man.html

Albert Costilo

GlobalBusinessFluency

acostilo@globalbusinessfluency.com

T-301-661-0167

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It’s all in the details and “murphy’s Law!”

Protocol – “To err is human!”  Yes, that applies to us protocol experts too even if we’re clad in black suit, flat shoes and pearls!

 

BREAKING PROTOCOL

BY JOSÉ LUCENA*

I would like to share with our readers the following opinion of breaking protocol. I strongly believe that protocol exists to facilitate the
communication and the adoption of a proper conduct among people when moving in certain professional and social situations.

Protocol can be broken by protocol practitioners or by high dignitaries.protocol breach

Sometimes, as protocol practitioners we must break the proper protocol. Why? Above all, we are managers of sensitivities, therefore to avoid chaos in events where protocol is being used as a key to success, sometimes we have to break it.

This solution should be used with caution, since a protocol breach can destroy the work of a lifetime in a few seconds. However, on several occasions the situation requires a different approach where protocol does not provide the proper solution; the protocol official must therefore use his or her judgment to decide in a few seconds whether breaking the protocol is the solution.

There are several situations in which breaking protocol is indeed the solution to avoid chaos, for example:

When during a ceremony we have to seat the guests by groups according to the list of precedence, if we are run out of time and must speed up to seat everyone at the same time;

When a guest arrives ahead or behind schedule, according to his or her order of precedence, and there is no time to put him or her on standby, waiting to be seating according to precedence.

When a high dignitary breaches protocol it has a different impact and at the same time a different explanation. This can be a deliberate action or a mistake. When done by mistake people tend to crucify the dignitary saying that he or she is not prepared for the post, but when it is done on purpose people applaud and excuse them, because normally this kind of action has a specific meaning: the closeness of the high dignitary to common people. An example of this is when His Holiness Pope Francis breaks protocol to get closer to people or to show that he is just a man performing an earthly mission.

Breaking protocol is sometimes a natural consequence of assuming that “protocol is not about us, it is about the others,” as Inês Pires says.

*About the author

José Lucena is a Portuguese Navy Officer, with the rank of Commander. His present post is Protocol Adviser to the Chief of General Staff of Portuguese Armed Forces. Since 2010 his tasks have been related to protocol, diplomacy (Defence Attachés) and Military Ceremonies.http://ispdnews.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/breaking-protocol/

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The job interview – it’s not just lunch!

How we conduct ourselves in a dining situation is so very telling…it shouldn’t be like that, but it is the reality.  I always insist on meeting my clients, who sign up for the “Executive Presence” program, over lunch.  It helps me design the program that would cover all the bases of their executive image and more.  There are two other points I would like to add…cracking knuckles seems to be very prevalent and the second point is to not become too relaxed and divulge more information than you intended!

 

Hiring over lunch? Valuable Tips.

An instant career killer that may cost you a paycheck? Inappropriate behaviors that may be deal-breakers during an interview lunch.

In a highly competitive job market many job seekers are invited to an interview lunch; the interview is actually conducted over a meal. This tactic separates equally matched candidates from the competition and may come at a high price; getting hired.

Useful tips to kick-start a successful interview lunch:

Show up on time and at the correct location. Be sure to map out your route if going to an unfamiliar location. BE ON TIME. Heads up! Some hiring managers select a difficult location and have used this tactic to challenge and determine the ability of a job seeker to navigate effectively.

Tip: When possible, drive by the restaurant the night before and scope out the area; avoid getting “lost” and have a plan for parking mishaps or construction delays.

Unable to resist that piece of gum? Gum chewing becomes an issue when you do not know what to do with that sticky glob once seated at the table before serious discussion.

Tip: Opt for mints.

Waving, pointing, or flailing the silver? When engaged in conversation do not wield the knife and fork around as you are speaking. This creates a distraction and is unprofessional.

Tip: Never, never, never, lick the last bits of mashed potato or other delight from the blade of the knife, at the table, during the interview lunch.

Do you salt or pepper your meal before taking a bite? Think again. This action has been known to send a non-verbal message of making hasty or rash decisions and could cost you that job. Why? You “assumed” the meal needed salt or pepper prior to tasting.

Tip: Always sample a small bite before adding salt or pepper. In addition, use caution when dousing ketchup, dipping sauces or other condiments to a meal, it may send off a “red flag” and can be seen as an insult to the chef.

Remember, you were not invited to the meal because you are hungry! Avoid ordering expensive menu items, finger foods and difficult to manage items (ribs, lobster, fried chicken, spaghetti, etc.). If a food item is difficult to eat, you spend more effort on eating the meal and less on building rapport with emphasis on the main mission; GETTING HIRED.

Tip: A salad may be cumbersome, not all leafy greens are cut into bite size pieces; opt for the soup instead.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol inhibits the ability to recall important details, impairs the ability to remember names (especially in a networking setting), may cause improper conversations to emerge, and is not advisable when being considered for hire.

Tip: Sparking water and a lime make for a good substitute.

The purpose of the interview lunch? To determine your social savvy. Many times this form of interview is one of THE determining factors in hiring.

Tip: You are an extension of the company brand when hired; demonstrating good manners set you apart from the competition. It is NOT about the food; it is about the relationship building process and “how to be” may determine “cultural fit”depending on the industry and/or position you are seeking.

These are just a few of the fundamentals.

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International Business – Expect the unexpected!

Doing business internationally is all about establishing rapport.   An attitude of curiosity and graciously accepting the hospitality of your host will go a long way towards sealing the deal.   To avoid faux pas, why not try to ameliorate the damage by doing one’s homework prior to departure?  Having said that, not everyone is capable of turning a blind eye on “deep fried mice,” but one of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to not ask what was in the dish and take your Maalox before you go to dinner.

Business Etiquette Abroad: A Look at Those Fatal Faux Pas

Updated Sept. 24, 1998 11:59 p.m. ET

For international business travelers, getting through customs can require more than a passport and a visa — some road warriors find they need a strong stomach, plenty of clean socks and a penchant for singing in public.Indeed, executives’ ability and willingness to conform to foreign social norms can be just as important as the appeal of their business proposals. And while a rudimentary knowledge of the culture can help prepare them for international transactions, the occasional social slip-up is inevitable.The trick is to turn an inexcusable social offense into an opportunity for your host to feel sorry for you. Failing that, keep in mind that making someone laugh can a cover a multitude of missteps.FUMBLING TABLE MANNERS… Taking the initiative at the table can be a bad idea for foreigners. At a business dinner in Beijing, Peter Ax, chairman of Spin Cycle, a national chain of coin-operated laundry facilities, says he took a fish head that was sitting on the table and put it on his plate. “I was about to eat it and I noticed everyone was staring at me, then a man sitting next to me politely said ‘Um, you’re not supposed to eat that,’ ” says Mr. Ax. “I didn’t realize it was suppose to serve as a centerpiece.”SOCKS DON’T LIE. Steve Simpson, director of a customer-service consulting firm in Aberfoyle Park, Australia, had a rush of panic when he arrived at a cocktail party in Singapore and realized he was supposed to leave his shoes in the lobby of his boss’s elegant penthouse apartment. “Our boss greeted us at the elevator and brought us in to introduce us, but after a few minutes he looked around confused, noticing that [my colleague] hadn’t followed us into the apartment. It turned out he was still in the lobby, contemplating whether it would be worse to walk around in socks with holes or go barefoot,” says Mr. Simpson.

LET’S JUST FORGET THE ALAMO. When an American businessman from Dallas began a speech to a group of Mexican hosts with “Even though our two countries in the past have had disagreements…,” Irene Zucker cringed inside. “I felt embarrassed,” says Ms. Zucker, who teaches a course titled “Fundamentals of Mexican Business & Social Etiquette” in Dallas. The perpetrator appeared unaware of his lapse, she adds.

PERSONAL SPACE CULTURAL CLASH. At another conference, Ms. Zucker watched a complex social dance during a conversation between three Spaniards and an American. “They started out three feet apart,” she says. “Then the Spaniards moved in. As they moved closer to the American, he slowly retreated. They eventually crossed about 15 feet.”

LOSING FACE: Paul Lashin, vice president of a Long Island dealer of metal-working machinery, wins the prize for most embarrassing moment. In Tokyo, he had just sat down to dinner with his hosts. He stuck his chopsticks into the rice, sticking them straight up. “We were in the middle of a heavy discussion,” says Mr. Lashin. “It just came to a dead halt.” As Mr. Lashin learned that day, placing chopsticks directly upward facing the sky carries a deep meaning in Asian culture. “It’s a ceremonial goodbye to the dead in a funeral ceremony,” he says. “I took them down and lost my appetite.”

THE STRANGER THE FOOD GETS, THE MORE IT TASTES THE SAME. In Beijing, “A waiter brought live baby mice to my table, cooked them in a vat of cooking oil and proceeded to serve them to me,” says Terri Morrison, president of Getting Through Customs, a software and training company in Malvern, Pa. Nonplused by the local delicacy, she also ate scorpions. “They tasted like chicken,” she says. “Actually, they were very similar to the fried grasshoppers I ate in Mexico.”

MIXED SIGNALS: Female business travelers sometimes must work from a completely different etiquette list. During a late meeting in San Juan, Ms. Morrison suggested to her male counterpart that they continue over dinner. By the end of the meal, it was clear the Brazilian businessman had misinterpreted her invitation to a working dinner, she says. “As we stood up to leave, he had his arm around me.”

WITH A SONG IN YOUR HEART… “Knowing two or three songs and having the courage to stand up and sing them at evening dinner parties is worth more in establishing good relations than hours of negotiating,” says Boye Lafayette DeMente, a foreign-culture consultant and frequent traveler to Asia. “The rush I got from making a valiant effort to belt out ‘I’ve Been Working on the Railroad’ was almost as good as sex!”

RESIST THE DRINKING BINGE. “One of the first things I learned — the hard way — about doing business in Asia is don’t allow yourself to be coerced into going on a drinking spree,” says Mr. DeMente. Tom Craig, president of a Pennsylvania logistics consulting company, had a similar experience at a restaurant in Hong Kong. “I was often invited to dinner with maybe three to seven other people. A custom is for each of them to toast you, meaning you take three to seven more drinks than anyone else,” he says. “After one such dinner, I found myself with a hangover and a hard time getting up the next morning.”

 

 

 

 

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Eating on the job is never appropriate!

Yes, we’ve all felt a “bit peckish” when we have not had time to eat while on the job, not to mention the fall in blood sugar.  However, it is never appropriate to eat on the job.  There have been days, when I’ve given full-day seminars and the participants approach me after the morning session and have so many questions.  Oops! it’s now 1:00 p.m. and the other participants are returning from lunch.  What to do?  I pack protein bars, quickly excuse myself and go to wherever I won’t be observed and enjoy my much-needed sustenance.  It’s not the greatest of situations, but the show must go on!

 

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Flying is still a privilege!

In these times, flying has lost its luxurious glamor and is replaced by the TSA, who keep us safe.  However, it is still a privilege!

This post, by Jim Kim, President at the World Bank, is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers and members share their business travel advice and stories from life on the road.

I travel around the world, and often have long flights, close connections, and multiple stops in a week. Over time, I’ve developed a few rules that help me perform at a higher level despite a grueling schedule.

Never check baggage. There are extremely efficient ways to pack a rollaboard and one smaller bag. I go for weeks with just two bags. Less is more.

Sleeping on the plane is your job. A few tips can help you sleep. One, on cross-country U.S. or trans-Atlantic flights, is not to eat on the flight. Start adjusting to the time of your destination right away, and go to sleep. Another is to use earplugs or noise reduction headphones. A great deal of the tiredness from traveling is related to the noise level that you have to endure while flying.
Drink lots of water, and avoid alcohol. Staying hydrated is critical.
Traveling often is frustrating and it can trigger irritable behavior. Counteract those annoyances by building your mindfulness. Breathing deeply and being upbeat and positive no matter the situation is a workout for the mind and the spirit. Just as in physical exercise, you have to work at it: no pain, no gain. Remind yourself of the opportunity you have to travel, a luxury enjoyed by only a small minority of people in the world.
No matter how busy your schedule, learn something new, inspiring and uplifting about the place you’re going to visit. Every culture has great strengths. Find and embrace them.

Featured on Business Travel

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Diplomatic Dining

Diplomatic dining: What the Queen, Presidents and Prime Minister eat

BARACK OBAMA can’t stand beetroot and the Queen avoids shellfish – the chefs who cook for world leaders and royalty reveal their secrets

By: Anna Pukas     http://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/491611/Diplomatic-dining-What-the-Queen-Presidents-and-Prime-Minister-eat

Royal Chefs, What the Queen eats, The Queen, Margaret Thatcher, Vladimir Putin, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama,The Queen is not keen on garlic and François Hollande would rather leave out the artichokes[AFP/ GETTY]
THIS week one of the most exclusive clubs in the world – the Club des Chefs des Chefs – had its annual meeting in London. Founded in 1977 the club requires only one qualification: you must be personal chef to a head of state.If a member needs advice on what to cook for a foreign head of state, he or she (there are two women members) simply calls the colleague concerned to find out what his boss likes. “The Kremlin has a red phone. We have a blue phone,” says the Queen’s head chef Mark Flanagan.Here we reveal some of the food fads of the world’s most powerful people.

Hillary preferred rack of lamb but daughter Chelsea, who spent her teenage years in the White House, could not be weaned off her Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese ready meals.

BILL CLINTONBorn in Arkansas the former US president has always loved the rich food of his native South. According to former White House head chef Walter Scheib, he would happily have eaten barbecued ribs “every night of the week”. Hillary preferred rack of lamb but daughter Chelsea, who spent her teenage years in the White House, could not be weaned off her Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese (macaroni cheese) ready meals.She wouldn’t even eat homemade versions.GEORGE W BUSH

His instructions for the White House kitchen were firm: no soup, no salads, no greens and no “wet fish”, according to Walter Scheib, which posed a challenge as first lady Laura Bush wanted more organic health foods.

Royal Chefs, What the Queen eats, The Queen, Margaret Thatcher, Vladimir Putin, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama,The President’s favourite meal is Chili from Washington takeaway Ben’s Chili Bowl [GETTY]
BARACK OBAMAThe US President loathes beetroot. He likes to snack on trail mix and always has a bowl of apples in the Oval office but his all-time favourite is chili – not cooked in the White House kitchen but a takeaway from Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington DC. William Yosses, a former executive pastry chef at the White House, eventually left the job as he could not meet Michelle Obama’s demands that he cut down on his use of butter and sugar.THE QUEENHer Majesty likes simple, unfussy food such as Dover sole according to her former head chef Darren McGrady. When at Sandringham, there will be pheasant from the estate for dinner while at Balmoral it’s venison or salmon and white peaches grown in the greenhouses at Windsor for dessert. With roasts she likes a cut from the end of the joint. Like her late mother her preferred predinner tipple is gin and Dubonnet.

Shellfish is out for official dining because she cannot risk illness from a dodgy prawn. However she dislikes potatoes, garlic, paprika and strong onions and insists brown eggs taste better than white.

Teatime is when the Queen indulges in favourite treats such as jam pennies – raspberry jam sandwiches cut into circles – and honey and cream sponge. As a chocolate lover she is also a fan of chocolate biscuit cake, made of crushed digestive biscuits sandwiched together with chocolate cream and melted chocolate. This is possibly why her grandson Prince William requested one for the evening reception at his wedding.

More controversially Her Majesty likes foie gras, the fine p¢t© made by force-feeding geese. When two kinds of foie gras (one from goose liver, the other from duck) were served at a 2004 dinner with then French president Jacques Chirac, the Queen ate the lot.

DUKE OF EDINBURGH

Prince Philip’s favourite dish is Gaelic steaks: fillet steak in a creamy mushroom and whisky sauce. “He would have it on the menu every day if he had his way,” says Darren McGrady who also used to add a quarter teaspoon of Marmite to the sauce. The Duke also has beer with his meals rather than wine, even at official banquets.

NICOLAS SARKOZYCharles de Gaulle famously wondered how one could govern a country with as many cheeses as there are days in the year. Sarkozy decided to ban the cheese course from banquet menus, supposedly to save time, although it was always reinstated whenever the cheeseloving German Chancellor Angela Merkel came to the Elys©e Palace.FRANCOIS HOLLANDEHis chef says the French President is not a fussy eater but he hates artichokes.

PRINCE ALBERT OF MONACO

According to his chef Christian Garcia, the Prince comes into the kitchen every morning to discuss menus and eats produce from the organic vegetable garden at his country home outside Monte Carlo.

ANGELA MERKEL

The Chancellor of Germany grew up in East Germany where food shortages were common so as well as cheese she still loves the simple, cheap foods of her childhood: potato soup, trout, shashlik (a spicy kebab) and lecho, a Hungarian vegetable stew.

VLADIMIR PUTIN

He is one of the few heads of state who still has an official food-taster to ensure his meals have not been poisoned. The Russian President starts the day with porridge, curd and honey. His favourite meat is mutton though he generally prefers fish, especially fish soup and smoked eel. He doesn’t much care for desserts although he loves pistachio ice cream.

Once his taster has passed the food as safe, Putin eats little and fast. His ex-wife Lyudmila once said he was extremely picky and didn’t believe in praising her cooking as it would “spoil” her.

Royal Chefs, What the Queen eats, The Queen, Margaret Thatcher, Vladimir Putin, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama,Thatcher only used a professional chef for special occasions [GETTY]
MARGARET THATCHERBritain’s first female prime minister did not employ a full-time chef, only bringing in a professional for important official occasions. The rest of the time she insisted on cooking for herself and husband Denis. When working late with ministers or advisers she would whip up eggs and bacon in the galley kitchen at No 10 or pull one of her home-cooked lasagnes out of the freezer.In 2010 Mrs Thatcher’s personal diet plan was discovered tucked into her diary for 1979, the year she became PM. It showed she lived on boiled eggs, black coffee, tomatoes, salad, grapefruit and meat.Sometimes chefs play a key role in diplomacy. It was Napoleon’s strategist Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand who told the French leader: “Give me good cooks and I will give you good treaties.”

More recently French President Francois Hollande remarked to the Club des Chefs des Chefs: “If you mess up a dish it is harder to plead a cause.”

With the eurozone in crisis in 2012 devising the menu to celebrate 50 years of Franco-German reconciliation was a challenge. The solution the Elyse Palace chefs came up with was to recreate the meal prepared in 1962 when Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer signed a friendship treaty as leaders of post-war France and Germany. So President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel dined like their predecessors on fillet of beef and raspberry macaroons.

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“Seersucker” at the Del Mar Races!

“Seersucker” at the Del Mar Races

On attending the Del Mar Races today, I noticed many gentlemen were wearing “Seersucker Jackets,” which is the new fabric for San Diegan gentleman!  Of course, the hats and dresses were all over the place and some were outstanding and others eccentric which added to the fun of the event. It appeared to me that “seersucker” which has not been a common American fabric of choice, was in abundance. It looked cool, dignified and many young gentlemen looked superb in it.

The following is the Wipekepedia description: “Seersucker is a thin, puckered, all-cotton fabric, commonly striped or chequered, used to make clothing for spring and summer wear. The word came into English from Hindustani (Urdu and Hindi), and originates from the words “kheer aur shakkar”, literally meaning “rice pudding and sugar”, probably from the resemblance of its smooth and rough stripes to the smooth texture of milk and the bumpy texture of sugar.[1] Seersucker is woven in such a way that some threads bunch together, giving the fabric a wrinkled appearance in places. This feature causes the fabric to be mostly held away from the skin when worn, facilitating heat dissipation and air circulation. It also means that pressing is not necessary.”

International Protocol Institute of California – Solutions to all your protocol challenges
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I-Phone Reprieve!

I-PHONE REPRIEVE!

When did we get addicted to our I-Phones? It is so rude to be in a conversation and the conversee whips out their I-Phone and checks their messages. Yet, it happens all the time. A restaurant was perplexed as to why business was down and people had to wait so long for a table…you guessed it, on closer investigation, it turned out that the diners took longer to eat because they were on their I-Phones! This is yet another shot across the bow of human interaction and communication skills. Who agrees that we should have a national “NO I-Phone Day” to give people a chance to recognize how addicted they’ve become to their little rectangular despots that rule their lives?

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