Protocol / Diplomatic /International Relations & Business Training Courses


Small talk is big business!

Who has time to make small talk?  Why bother?  Small talk is “Conversation 101,” and is a lost art for business professionals, who were weaned on immersion in the alternate reality of technology and acute individualism.

However, this critical “soft” skill is essential for life-success.  According to research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center, it was concluded that…Read more:



Executive Presence

Executive Presence are the buzz words for recent trends in career development circles. Recently, on being invited by a group of high-level executives to speak on this topic, it became apparent that few, if any, are born with this enviable trait, which then begged the question as to whether it can be learned or can one graduate from…Read more:



Protocol Matters!

Delayed business decisions, breakdowns in negotiations, offended business partners, missed opportunities, misunderstandings in communications, at a loss for what went wrong, wasted time and effort and financial consequences.

These are but a few of the outcomes experienced from breakdowns in the business of protocol. 

In an ideal world, it would be optimal to have a “Protocol Specialist” in every corporation or organization, that may not be realistic.  The International Protocol Institute has developed…Read more:



Saudi Gazette – Protocol helps build business relationships  BUSINESS

By Layan Damanhouri – JEDDAH – Adopting international protocols can play a long way in building relationships between two parties, according to international protocol specialist Marie Betts-Johnson who directs the International Protocol Institute of California and carries more than 30 years of expertise in international relations. “Protocol helps you to build relationships,” she said in…Read more:


Impact the World of Diplomacy!

Train to be an International Protocol Specialist: 5- Day Certification Program

You are invited to join the International Protocol Institute of California’s power-packed 5-Day Certification Program: Train to be an International Protocol Specialist.  You will be trained…Read more:



The Perfect Gift

What was the most memorable gift you ever received?  Was it the most expensive?  Sometimes people give expensive gifts and that is fine.  However, you run the risk of embarrassing the “giftee” if, when it comes to returning the favor, they cannot rise to that level of investment.  Therefore, the best gift is…Read more:




I-Phone Reprieve Please!!!

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…Read more:




Manners Matter!

The students arrived dressed in their “Sunday best.”  Anticipation and let’s face it, abject fear of the Etiquette Guru, was written all over their faces.  This was a courageous lot as the table next to the podium filled up quickly.    I assured them that I don’t eat my young…Read more:




Isolation in a Connected World!

As a parent, I constantly listen to what millennials are saying because their futures cause me great concern. Extreme competition, lack of human interaction and the endless barrage of electronic communication…hence distraction and isolation, (hundreds of friends on Facebook is not a sign of popularity), leads to a world where…Read more:



man holding Earth high up

We are all Diplomats!

Young people all over the world feeling disillusioned, disenfranchised and frustrated with the status quo.  They ask if diplomacy is still the most effective way to solve the multitude of today’s global issues.

Diplomacy is the place to start.  When we think of diplomacy, we see secluded embassies surrounded by high walls of multi-layered security defenses.  Yes, this is where global…Read more:




Business Card Presentation

Have you noticed in Networking situations, that “Gorilla Networkers” come up to you and almost, immediately hand you their Business Card and in short order, proceed onwards to the next unsuspecting target. Is this effective networking strategy?

Business Cards are part of your Protocol Package and should be given out only...Read more:




First Impressions!

Seems like this information has been around for so long, but it is as crucial now as ever.  Theories have ranged from seven seconds to four seconds to create a good first impression…not very long is it?  However, we all make an impression one way or the other.   Sit in a restaurant or in the local Mall and watch other people going by.  What is the first thing that comes to mind?  Are they confident, sad, glad, happy or…Read more:



Grammer Gaffes!

Have you noticed that the latest slang is “Hello…ah!”  Or, “how exciting…ah!”  Other current favorite abominations of the english language are” I’m gonna,” or “How you doin?”  A further culprit is, “You did good girl!”  What is this phenomenon where educated young people (and some not so young) tend to sabotage that critical first impression.  Dare I say that they have either become lazy or are unaware of how important the use of proper grammar, avoidance of jargon and proper enunciation are…Read more:





World leaders of industry – Highest level of respect is protocol

The highest form of etiquette in business or otherwise is respect!  When we come from a place of mutual respect, respect for all humanity and nature, etiquette is the natural conduit to transmit that message. Business Etiquette encompasses every aspect of leadership from meeting, greeting and social skills to…Read more:



Del Mar Times

Carmel Valley resident leads InternationalProtocol Institute of California

By Lois Alter Mark

“In many ways, ‘protocol’ is just another word for ‘hospitality,’” said Marie Betts-Johnson, founder and director of the International Protocol Institute of California. “Diplomacy would be a much more daunting…Read more:



The Ten Secrets of being a Good Conversationalist

Being a good conversationalist is the first step in establishing rapport either in the United States or internationally.  Mastery of this skill was required before the age of the I-Phone and social media.  Spending time actually conversing with people is the exception rather than the rule for…Read more:



Signing off Etiquette –

“Thanks for having me is a no-no!”

When celebrities, government officials and successful business people are being interviewed on T.V.  Most are articulate, prepared and are on message.  However, when the interview concludes, the guests frequently have not prepared to conclude in a smooth way and sometimes…Read more:




To remove or not remove…that is the question?

What do you do when the Server comes to your table and whisks your plate away (as there is nothing left on it) while your guest is still enjoying his/her dinner?…Read more:




“Our Speaker needs NO introduction!”

When introducing a Speaker, it is rarely a good idea (with the exception of introducing world-renowned leaders whom everyone knows) to miss the…Read more:




Business Etiquette and International Protocol, based in San Diego, California

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Mastery of  business etiquette is essential in this service-based economy, when interacting with clients (especially international clients), prospects, or coworkers.  The benefits gained from business etiquette training are practically limitless, whether it’s winning business, ameliorating the high costs of employee turnover or, increased workplace morale and productivity. In short – etiquette is a business strategy.   Research shows that first impressions are based on…Read more:


“The Eyes are the Mirrors of the Soul!”

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In my protocol and etiquette coaching and training seminars, there are three reasons why people don’t want to make eye contact:

  1. People are shy and lack confidence to look you in the eye.
  2. Cultural differences: It is well known that Asians may not look you in the eye as a sign of respect.
  3. Younger generations, who spend so much time on their computers, I-Phones etc., just don’t see the importance of this as a powerful communications / relationship building tool. As mentioned in the article, they don’t want to miss something. It is actually a struggle for many of them to learn this discipline.


One solution is to “pretend that the person whom you are speaking with, has a red dot (resembling a Bindi) between the eyes and to look at that spot while in conversation. Even if one is shy, it will still appear to the other person that you are looking them in the eye.

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