Helping Professionals and Children Master Etiquette Skills
See Schedule Below

Kathie Martin
The Etiquette School of Birmingham is devoted to helping Alabama's adults and youngsters gain the confidence and build a personal image that will mean success throughout their personal and professional lives.

For adults, business etiquette skills help:
• Get the job
• Earn the promotion
• Win the sale

For youngsters and teens, etiquette training provides:
• Confidence in new situations
• The skills to make positive first impressions
• Insight on the importance of a respectful demeanor

Kathie Martin, APR, is founder and president of the school and a veteran of more than 30 years in the corporate world as a communications professional. The etiquette skills she teaches come from her professional and personal experience. A graduate of The American School of Protocol and the mother of a 19-year-old daughter, she understands that learning etiquette is not a high priority in children's eyes.

The Etiquette School of Birmingham offers training to business professionals and children including social, business and travel etiquette as well as the etiquette of taking tea. Below is a sampling of the courses taught.


A CLASS ACT:  Dates for our Class Act course for children in second through fifth grades will be announced. This course includes instruction in dining etiquette, meeting and greeting skills, writing thank you notes and telephone etiquette. The class ends with a multi-course luncheon at a Birmingham restaurant. Call (205) 222-0932 for additional details.



TEEN ETIQUETTE:  Our Teen Etiquette course for boys and girls in sixth through 12th grade will be held at Liberty Crossings United Methodist Church in Vestavia. Classes will be held Sunday afternoons 2-3 p.m. February 22 through May 17 (no class March 8, April 5 or May 10).  Depending on the number enrolling, a second class may be scheduled from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. The course ($250 per student) ends with a multi-course luncheon at a Birmingham restaurant. Topics covered include making a positive first impression, respect and courtesy, social etiquette, appropriate dress for various occasions,  personal correspondence, skin care and dining etiquette. To enroll in the course go to .

       Please enroll soon. These classes often fill up quickly. Call 222-0932 for additional information.


La TEA Da! 

Tea Parties for the Young & the Not So Young

Think relaxing. Think yummy. Think civilized.

Think of the pleasures of "taking" tea in the British manner, served in real china teacups, with freshly baked scones, elegant tea sandwiches and decadent sweets, all accompanied by fine teas chosen to complement those foods.

The lost art of "taking" tea is becoming more and more popular in the 21st century and The Etiquette School of Birmingham is pleased to bring an afternoon tea fit for The Queen to your home. Hats and gloves optional.

A Birthday Tea Party for your Daughter
We'll prepare a birthday party tea for young ladies ages 6 to 12 that's a far cry from Teddy bear parties. While the youngsters enjoy delicious food prepared by classically trained chef Betty Terry, they'll learn about the history of tea and the proper etiquette of enjoying this afternoon treat from Etiquette School of Birmingham founder Kathie Martin. (Because the younger palate is more finicky, you'll be able to choose the treats served with allowances made for allergies.) We'll also include age-appropriate games and stories and a tea-themed goodie bag for guests. 

For You and Your Friends
When women come together over tea, something magical happens. Whether it's a church group or a gathering of friends, your guests will enjoy this afternoon tea filled with delectable delights, a sampling of teas and fascinating information provided by tea and etiquette professionals. Learn about the origin of tea, the difference between black, green, oolong and white teas, brewing times, etc. Sit back, relax, and let us serve you. We've reserved the antique china for you, and we are committed to making this a wonderful experience for all involved.

Contact us at 205-222-0932 to arrange your next gathering.

21 Frequently Mispronounced Words or Mistaken Phrases

Few things can damage a professional or personal image more quickly than mispronouncing common words or using incorrect phrases. Most of us know that it’s “Alzheimer’s disease” rather than “Old-timer’s disease,” or “mayonnaise” rather than “mannaise,” but how many of the following have you found yourself saying?
INCORRECT                CORRECT
affidavid                       affidavit
Antartic                        Antarctic
athelete                        athlete
chomp at the bit            champ at the bit
dialate                          dilate
diptheria                       diphtheria (“ph” is pronounced as an “f”)
elec’toral                      e’lectoral
excape                         escape
expresso                      espresso
expecially                     especially
Febuary                       February
heighth                         height
irregardless                  regardless
lambast                        lambaste (uses long “a”)
libel                              liable
long-lived                      long-lived (in correct version, the “lived” has a long “i”)
miniture                        miniature
nucular                         nuclear
perculate                      percolate
perogative                    prerogative
persnickety                  pernickety
sherbert                       sherbet
snuck                          sneaked
tenderhooks                 tenterhooks
upmost                        utmost
verbage                        verbiage


Who have we worked with? A partial list

State of Alabama Department of Justice Probation Office
State of Alabama
The Berney Group
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
The Boatright Companies
Capital Strategies Group
Integrated Medical Systems (ims)
Luckie & Company
The Prism Group
The Red Hat Society, Southern Conference
Regions Financial Corporation
Verizon Wireless
Warren, Averett, Kimbrough & Marino (WAKM Companies, LLC)
Whittelsey, Whittelsey & Poole, P.C.

Educational Institutions

Pickens Academy
Birmingham-Southern College School of Business
Samford University, McWhorter School of Pharmacy
Miles College
Springhill College
The University of Alabama
The University of Alabama at Birmingham – Kappa Gamma Chapter
The University of Montevallo – Chi Omega Chapter


Albert L. Scott Library
Growing Kings Program
The Birmingham Bar Association, Women Lawyers Section
The Sweetheart Guild


Programs for Adults

Let’s face it—many of today's adults grew up in a different world than their parents. During the time we were growing up, etiquette seemed less important than it did for previous generations, so we either never received etiquette instruction or ignored it. Only now are we realizing what we missed.

 To make matters worse, we have two types of etiquette to deal with: social and business.

What's Proper? What's Improper?

When you eat out, what’s the proper way to eat bread? Spaghetti? Should you order a drink at lunch if the boss does? Should men open a door for the new female executive? Should they open a door for the boss’ wife? Must a woman wear hose? Just as we get the questions answered, more appear. That's because business etiquette is based on a different code of conduct than social etiquette and changes as business changes. Social etiquette changes much more slowly, but changes nonetheless.

 The Etiquette School of Birmingham can help you fill in the blanks with business training for professionals and social etiquette for a new millennium. 

Training Options Include:

• SEMINARS for busy executives who want to make sure they are projecting the most professional image possible. These seminars can be conducted on-site for several employees of the same company, or outside the company with participants from several different companies.

• ONE-ON-ONE consultations with executives at a time and a location of the executive's choosing.

• IN A COLLEGE SETTING, seminars for soon-to-graduate students who wish to round out their instruction with etiquette skills that will help them project a positive image at job interviews and in social situations as well as give students a heads-up on business etiquette once they land that first job.

• SOCIAL ETIQUETTE instruction for dinner parties and supper club gatherings.

Programs for 
Children and 

Give your child the tools to handle social situations with ease.

In today's fast-paced world, people who are able to handle social situations with poise have a built-in advantage as they achieve their life goals. The training for a child's successful future life begins early. As he or she learns academically and on the sports field, it's important not to miss other skills that are often overlooked.

Our programs increase children's awareness and self-confidence by teaching the crucial dining and social skills that play a large part in their development. 

Training Options Include

• A CLASS ACT, a six-class course for girls and boys in second through fifth grades. This course teaches the children how to make favorable first impressions with adults and other children, basic dining etiquette, conversation skills and telephone etiquette. Includes a multi-course dining experience. Small details make each student feel important.

• GIRLS' BEGINNING ETIQUETTE, a 10-class course for girls in sixth grade through high school. This course also focuses on making positive first impressions, with special attention on personal presentation that includes skin care, posture and clothing choices. A visit to a local department store and a multi-course meal are also part of this course.

• BOYS' ETIQUETTE, a 10-class course for sixth grade through high school that's packed with new information for young men. In addition to covering introductions and new situations, the boys will learn all-important dining skills, telephone etiquette skills, the art of writing thank-you notes and accepting and extending invitations. In addition to learning general social etiquette skills, they will visit a clothing store for information on choosing appropriate clothing for various situations (the father is invited to attend). This course also includes a multi-course meal.

• INTERMEDIATE GIRLS' ETIQUETTE is the second 10-class course for girls in the sixth grade through high school. Posture and walking, skin care and make-up, voice projection, the proper way to accept and extend invitations and  a discussion on what makes someone popular are class topics. Dining skills are continued with a restaurant dining experience and a speech.

• INTERVIEW ETIQUETTE, a class for teens that helps the student prepare for a job interview. Topics include appropriate dress and grooming, conversation skills and making a positive first impression. The course can be extended as needed to cover dining skills and preparation of an effective resume.

• TEA PARTIES for young ladies who want the experience of “taking” tea with all their dear friends. Whether it's a mother-daughter get-together or a child's birthday party, we'd be delighted to help make the experience one to remember.

How to Enroll

E-mail us at

Ask us about additional scheduling opportunities and special etiquette topics.

Inquire about our dining classes for corporate executives. 

Need a speaker for a club, conference or school group?

Call us:



Etiquette certification provided by The American School of Protocol