Etiquette, manners, poise, elegance and clear speech… most of us are lacking some or all these things! Gargi Bansod & Rhea Dhanbhoora tell you how to get the finishing school touch and enhance your life and personality
W hat do Princess Diana and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis have in common? Well, they both went to finishing schools in their respective countries. So, it’s no wonder the world is still raving about the grace and poise with which they held themselves in social settings and there’s no doubt about how incredibly ladylike they were. While finishing schools remind you of private schools in Switzerland, globalisation has brought them closer home, as women in Mumbai turn to them to become the ‘perfect lady.’ The trend may be limited to the rich, famous and corporate sector of our city — but there’s no need not to dress, sit and behave like a lady if you can! Being ladylike is necessary even if you’re not a socialite, model or trophy wife, contrary to popular belief. It’s essential to make a strong impression at work, in a social setting and, well, it’ll just make you a well turned out person. Thankfully, you don't have to go to an extensive, modern day charm and finishing school to learn how to entertain or how to set a table properly. We’ve broken down some of the most popular courses offered in finishing schools and given you a course for each of them so you can pick what you need or want most and get the finesse and perfection that’s synonymous with the word lady.
Finishing schools usually include courses based on personality and image development. Most of them also include communication skills, classes on beauty and wellness and even classes on image management, poise and grace. Modern finishing schools have begun to incorporate corporate training into the mix because women are so much more than stay-at-home ladies now. Take a look at a class you can opt for in each category if you don’t want the rigorous training:
Brush up your Communication Skills at the BM English Speaking Institute
To polish your English, master your communication skills and enhance your voice, head to the BM English Speaking Institute. From letter writing, improving your English, face interviews to grammar practice, email drafting and effective communication, you are sure to be polished and furbished to take over the world with utmost confidence. They also offer body language training, voice and accent coaching and a number of voice quality improvement courses. They have four centres across Mumbai.
Where #210, Super Shopping Center, Kandivali (W)
Contact 26824243/ www.bmconsultantsindia.com
Get professional with a little Corporate Training at Life Image Consulting
For a one stop image improvement training and corporate training, we recommend the Life Image Consulting. They offer individual as well as corporate solutions to all your problems. We suggest enrolling for their one-on-one coaching solutions. Under this format they offer tailor made solutions for every woman. These packages are customised to suit the needs of an entity based on their prerequisites. From a CEO to an entry level executive, this course, which involves exhaustive coaching and high level of participation with essential demonstration, will benefit everyone. They also offer a one day workshop on creating a powerful first impression. Complete knowledge on image related topics is provided along with guidelines on creating lasting first impressions. Every workshop participant is also provided a personal consultation session within 15 days of the workshop.
Get the scoop on Beauty & Wellness with the Christine Valmy Institute
Christine Valmy Inc. is renowned worldwide for its natural skin care products and Esthetic Education Institutes. They offer beauty and grooming courses with hands-on training. You can enroll yourself for their basic makeup course, hair and styling course or basic manicure and pedicure course. We suggest you opt for their Personal Enhancement Course, which is designed for you to learn how to keep your skin, body and spirit in perfect shape, without the help of a beautician.
Topics include self skin analysis, how to select your own personalised makeup and skin care products, your makeup product's description, how to apply a basic day makeup without needing a makeup artist, your own home skin care regimen, how to treat your skin at home, basic manicure and pedicure and personal hair styling. They even give you a certificate at the three day course, so you can flaunt that you’ve part been to a finishing school.
Where 2nd Floor, Land Mark, Pali Naka Road, Bandra (W)
A good dose of Image Management at the Image Consulting Business Institute
MBA and Certified Image Consultant Greeshma Thampi has successfully conducted corporate training programs for all levels of employees from media and banking to finance, education and consulting. She also takes one-on-one classes and combines management education, professional experience and her people skills to encourage you to reach your potential through image management. Her Image Consulting Business Institute (ICBI) offers various programs in image management and you can opt for a diploma or advanced diploma in image management or even an image consulting partner program! Get in touch to find out how she can help you.
Where www.avance-imagemanagement.com/ www.imageconsultinginstitute.com
Contact [email protected] management.com/ 9820877497
Learn Poise and Grace at The Personification of Elegance with Chhaya Momaya
When you hear the name Chhaya Momaya, you instantly think of poise and grace. She conducts individual training and works with corporates about conducting classes within their organisations. She is an image consultant and a life coach and from body language to diction, she’s the backbone you need to nurture your personality. She has worked with models, actors, beauty pageant contestants and airlines for grooming, etiquette and image transformations and also hosts her own show on grooming tips for All India Radio. To get a rounded image that oozes poise and grace, contact her and see what services you can opt for.
Contact Chhaya’s secretary Dimple at 9819718179
The entire package
Just in case you’d like the entire package, here’s two finishing schools you could opt for without traveling across the globe:
Anooradha Patels Finishing School Classes
The director of Dynamic Finishing School and Designer Celebration helps you groom yourself to become the perfect lady. The former model has experience in her kitty and takes individual as well as group classes.
Where 1, Vihang Raj Niketan, N Duttha Marg, Andheri (W)
Florina Finishing School
If you’re willing to travel outside the city, this Bangalore based school was the first of its kind in India and is a great starting spot to get a little lady into your life. The course provides a healthy blend of Indian values and Western culture and helps you acquire the perfect ladylike grace.
Where Indiranagar, Bangalore
Contact www.florinafinishing school.com/ 9845496161
The perfect image
So, why is getting the perfect image so important? According to image consultant Greeshma Thampi, “People form their opinion of a stranger within three seconds of setting their eyes on the person. The image you project is the force that influences people’s perception.” In order to be a perfect lady, you have to portray the perfect image.
Image consultant and life coach Chhaya Momaya adds, “Image consultancy is integral to every personality, field and brand. It creates a form of personal branding.
People recognise you and every personality, brand, product, company and person has an image that they must main with integrity. For example, when you visit a doctor, and he is warm, gentle and kind, you will go back repeatedly courtesy the image he/she has created. Image consultancy is all about the perception you create about yourself in the minds of others.” Greeshma tells us what that includes:
- The way you look, care for yourself and carry yourself is all included in your image. It’s everything that you as an individual project consciously as well as unconsciously.
- If a picture can speak a thousand words, a person can speak much more with their appearance. People listen with their eyes, so we need to speak with our appearance.
- Image management provides a framework to address aspects such as clothing, communication skills, grooming practices, etiquette, body language and behavioural skills. These elements contribute towards creating the right image for each role that one undertakes in their professional, social and personal life.
Lovely & ladylike
Classes and courses aside, we give you a few tips you can follow to be the charming woman everyone gets mesmerised by. Chhaya Momaya helps us out:
- The most important thing to keep in mind is that your language must be impeccable. Refrain from using diluted words. Use alternate words to soften your language. Say “please” and “thank you” and introduce yourself and others in the right way.
- Create warmth on your face. There is a difference in being friendly and being warm. Warmth is visible on the face and exudes humanity. One need not be friendly to be warm; a sweet smile radiates warmth.
- Be a goddess in the kitchen. It may be clichéd and old fashioned, but a lady must be a good host and cook. Also, know and sharpen your table manners.
- Always carry yourself well — suitable attire, ideal attitude and most of all, exude confidence.
- Saying pleasant and complimentary things to acquaintances always works.
- Thank your host/ hostess, graciously.
- Learn to say something beyond yes and no, even if the subject of discussion is Greek and Latin to you. A good thing to do is to ask questions.
- You could even respond to someone else's question by saying, “I really don't know much about it, but you've made me tremendously interested.”
- Be well-informed about current affairs and topics. All over the world, modern and sophisticated woman are taking more of an interest in national and international affairs. Read the newspapers and good books.
- When a great amount of repartee, joking and nonsense is filling the air, and you can't think of a single amusing thing to say, just laugh (albeit a little coyly) at what the others have to say.
- If you're bored, don't show it. If you disapprove of the subject matter, don't show that either. A truly poised, graceful and sophisticated woman never lets social annoyances get under her skin.
- The overall way you carry yourself from your hair to your nails to your choice of clothes matters. Showing too much skin is a strict no-no.
- A few annoying mannerisms that you should avoid include frowning, grimacing, a lip/nose twitching, cracking your knuckles and picking little shreds off your clothes. You need to keep these in check.
- Listen to every word that's being said to you instead of wondering how you look, what the other person thinks about you, or what kind of an impression you're making.
- A lady epitomises sensuality. Again, there is a vast difference in being sexy and being sensual. One can be sensual at 19 or 90. Some ways to make sure that you are radiating sensuality are voice modulation, poise, graceful gestures; all this makes a lady sensual in the correct fashion.