5 Etiquette Rules for Attending a Seminar

Don’t stand out for the wrong reasons.

Anyone that has attended a workshop or seminar is aware that potential business connections can be waiting for you.  Or, even an unexpected love connection.

We’ve all had the displeasure of sitting next to a jerk. Their rude comments or annoying sounds make it difficult to focus on the presentation. Sometimes the best choice is to find a new seat–preferably during one of the breaks. 

Here are 5 etiquette rules to keep in mind when attending a seminar. 

  1. A grand entrance:  Entering after the start time as though you are the main attraction is rude and inconsiderate.  As is swaggering in, giving everyone a “Wassup?”nod as you take your time selecting the perfect spot.  Do: If you arrive late, quickly and discreetly take the first available seat; you can change seats during the next break.
  2. Appearance:   Avoid workout attire, faded or worn embellished or message sweatshirts, or shorts and flip-flops.  Do:  Keep your shoes on! Shower, please!  Wear something professional and clean.
  3. Sounds of boredom or disapproval:  Loud sighs, grunts, whispered comments to whomever will listen to you, opening and closing your notebook, or getting up and down every 10 minutes are all annoying, rude, and unprofessional. Do:  If you’re bored, quietly leave.
  4. Eating:  Depending on your choice of snack, it can be distracting to everyone around you; from the munching sounds to the aroma.  Don’t lick your fingers–you will no doubt be shaking hands later.   Do:  If you must snack during the seminar, open the snack bag in advance. Please chew with your mouth closed.
  5. The know-it-all:  Even if you find that you are just as knowledgeable as the presenter, please note, they didn’t ask you to be the presenter. Asking random questions, challenging the presenter, or adding unnecessary points only makes you look silly.  Do:  Listen, there’s always a chance that you’ll learn something new or see things from a different perspective. 

Final thoughts:  Whether the seminar is during work hours or after, maintain a professional appearance and demeanor, if not for yourself, do it for others.  If the seminar is not what you expected, leave. If you were dissatisfied, write a note, send an email, or make call, later.

Helping Businesses and Individuals Find Success Through Better Communication and Social Skills

having lunch with a CEO, business dining etiquetteRosalinda Oropeza Randall, Social Skills and Civility Presenter, Media Source, and author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.”

Presentations are available to support HR policies, sales teams, up and coming managers, millennials & new-hire orientation process, service technicians, professional development events, conferences, college/university students, interns. For more information, please contact me, 650.871.6200.