First Tri-Chapter Meeting is a Sucess!

We have had an exciting week as a chapter and learned some incredibly helpful new information we cannot wait to share from our “Tri-Chapter PRSSA Meeting” earlier in the week! Our St. Edward’s PRSSA Chapter, the Texas State, and The University of Texas chapters, all gathered Tuesday evening on UT’s campus for our first ever Tri-Chapter Meeting. We came together for an opportunity to meet each other’s members and network groups of students with similar interests and goals. The added bonus was the experienced speaker we had the privilege of hearing from regarding business etiquette. Jan Goss, CEO and Founder of Civility Consulting, provided our meeting with some eye opening tips into the intricate details of business etiquette, as well as the opportunity to purchase her latest book entitled Protocol Power: 21 Days to Professional Polish.
Jan discussed several particular tips worth sharing that our chapter found insightful and eye-opening. Jan’s philosophy on the purpose of etiquette and nit picking at these minute details is to put people at ease in your presence, allowing all interactions in the business arena to run that much smoother, which benefits you in the end. Some of these behavior adjustments may seem awkward and uncomfortable to you, but again her philosophy is that it is not intended to make you more comfortable or at ease, but to allow you to create a space of comfort and ease for all those interacting with you.

Her first tip looks at how you stand or approach someone in a first impression and in all business settings. Jan says that it is incredibly important to stand with your hands by your side because this creates an “open body position” making you vulnerable, in turn, showing your strength. Hands in front of your body can signal insecurity or “something to hide,” and hands behind the back signals similar perceptions. Try doing this all day without resting your hands across your body or anywhere other than your side. You will find this feels awkward, but when observing yourself in a mirror will understand the power of the “open body position.”

Her second tip I found particularly intuitive was about introductions. Jan said to always make an effort to extend your hand first as a gesture of being in control and having the upper hand. Regarding handshakes, she mentioned to never shake someone’s hand over an obstacle, like a table or desk. Make an effort to move around the obstacle so there is a more intimate connection as well as a gesture of respect and self awareness on your part. The last tip we want to share from Jan is to replace Hi or Hey with Hello, when greeting someone. She also encourages you to add, instead of the insincere “how are you doing?” A simple, “good morning, afternoon, or evening,” will work even better.

After we heard all of Jan’s incredibly helpful wisdom, the three chapters had an opportunity to get to know each other’s members while enjoying some snacks and beautiful weather on the UT campus. The event was a huge success and St. Edward’s PRSSA looks forward to many more opportunities to partner with Texas State and UT’s PRSSA!

Our chapter is looking ahead at wrapping up the spring semester with one last co-hosted speaker event, a portfolio party for our graduating seniors, and 2011-2012 officer elections! Stay tuned for more news and updates on St. Edward’s PRSSA or follow us at

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