Manners Matter: Meet etiquette expert Heidi Thomas

Photo by Kate Penn

Welcome, my name is Heidi Thomas. You can read more about me in the Janurary/February issue of Smart magazine, where I was featured as the Smart Woman. I am thrilled to begin this journey in all things manners and etiquette with each of you.

As a new part of the Smart magazine blog, I’ll be contributing posts each Wednesday about common etiquette issues and how to promote good manners in your family.

The whole reason we have manners is to make others feel comfortable and show respect in various social situations. A few things we will discuss in the upcoming weeks are: introductions, tact, apologies, table linens, rudeness, sharing, dealing with teasing and bullying, attending a party and table manners.

My goal is to create an interactive blog where you, the reader, can ask questions, and I will answer them in a future post. To get started, below are the basic fundamentals of a proper introduction.

There are no second chances when it comes to a first impression, which is why you want to get it right!


I started this blog by briefly introducing myself to you. It was a simple way to start a conversation, yet many people find it difficult to walk up to someone whom they’ve never met and simply say “hello”. My challenge to each one of you is to introduce yourself to one new person this week.

Whether at work or the PTA meeting, walk up to someone, make eye contact, smile, say “hello” and shake their hand. It’s a great way to implement good manners and etiquette in the real world while setting a great example for your child about meeting someone new. Just remember the three things listed below and you will do great!

1. Eye contact: Establish eye contact with someone who exhibits body language that invites you to converse with them. Remember to share this information with your child!

2. Break the ice: So you have said hello. Now find a common interest to discuss. If you are at a social function, tell the person who invited you and ask them if they know him or her. That is a fantastic way to get the ball rolling!

3. Listen: This is probably the hardest thing to do of the three. Many times when we are having a conversation, we are thinking about what to say next instead of truly listening to the other person.

Think of how much you appreciate a good listener. If you want to be a better listener, encourage the other person to talk by asking them questions, let him/her know you have heard them by commenting on it and try to avoid switching the subject back to yourself.

Ask a question

If you have an etiquette question for Heidi to answer in a future post, leave a comment below or email Smart Editor April Trotter at

Heidi Thomas is a certified etiquette trainer from Greater York Dance, Sparkle & Shine Modeling and Etiquette. For more information on Thomas and the program, visit Greater York Dance’s website,

Heidi Thomas

Heidi Thomas is a certified etiquette trainer from Sparkle and Shine Modeling and Etiquette program at GYDance. For more information on Thomas and the program, visit Greater York Dance's website,

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9 Responses

  1. Pamela Holt says:

    This a great way to help Children with manners!
    Great idea !! Way to go Heidi!!

  2. Carolina y valeria says:

    Our daughter assist her classes and we can already tell the great improvement she is made in just a few session with Mrs heidi. Its great to have her as our daughter teacher and best wishes for 2013 modeling and charm class!!!

  3. Dave Brown says:

    Heidi, looking forward to learning new teachings opportunities to show our kids how best to behave in social situations. I know you canhelp me and others out there who care about their kids growing up respected by others.

  4. Heidi Thomas says:

    Thank you all for your comments and kind words. Please keep me informed weekly about what Manners Matter to you and your family!

  5. Erin V says:

    Both of my girls (ages 4 and 7) take Heidi’s class at GY Dance and LOVE it. They can’t wait to go each week. Thanks Heidi!

  6. Heidi Thomas says:

    Thank you Erin, it is a joy having both of them each week!

  7. Edna says:

    I was very pleased to find this great site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and i also have you book marked to check out new stuff in your web site.

  8. Heidi Thomas says:

    Thank you Edna, I appreciate your kind words and enthusiasm! Happy reading!

  1. March 13, 2013

    […] Manners Matter: Consistency key for managing manners Posted on March 13, 2013 by Heidi Thomas TweetConsistency is key in teaching your kids manners that matter — such as how to eat at the table. (Photo by flickr user Rachel Lynne Smith)Welcome back, readers! First of all, thank you to everyone who commented, shared and “liked” my first Manners Matter post. […]

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