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How to Be Smart with Your Smart Phone

By Kimberly Law, AICI CIP


Smart phones are everywhere, and used all the time. Over the past few years, smart phone use and misuse has increased to dangerous levels; they now cause everything from general disturbances to road-rage. When using mobile phones, be courteous and consider the following:

For many, the telephone is still the primary source of communicating with others for business, even if it is portable. With no visual cues to look for, your words and the tone of your voice are extremely important.

* Use the same courtesy and enthusiasm you would on a business landline; when answering the phone, Smile! The caller can hear it in your voice. Greet the caller professionally with your name. Speak slowly and clearly, so your caller can understand you easily.

* Keep the tone of your voice at a moderate level. Cell phones generally have great reception, so there is no need to yell into the phone.

* Keep your distance. Don't disturb people around you while talking. Chat on mobile phones when you are alone, not in public.

* Personal matters are personal. The public doesn't need to hear your discussions with a client or a loved one.

* Speaker phones are only to be used when more than one person needs to be in on the conversation. Always make sure the person on the other end of the phone knows that they are on speaker phone.

* Quirky ring tones can be very annoying. In a business setting, business means business. Set phones on silence, vibrate, or use a traditional ringtone.

For centuries, handwritten letters delivered by messenger or post were the only form of written correspondence. Over time, typewriters became the norm, but the delivery system remained the same. Now, with the explosion of texting and email, correspondence is sent at lightning speed. Even though electronic correspondence can be a real time-saver, it is still a form of written correspondence. Business correspondence should be written with the same formality as a business letter. This makes email a better option than texting.

* The subject in the "subject" box reflects the content of the email. Keep it short, concise and clear. When corresponding over several emails, change the subject as the subject changes.

* Use Salutations, just like a letter 'Hey, bro,' just doesn't cut it.

* It's easy to whip off a quick email, but remember to pay attention to spelling and grammar so that you are clearly understood.

* Your e-mail signature takes the place of the company return address in a letter. Include: your name, title, company name, company telephone number, your direct line and/or mobile number, and fax number. Have your signature attached to a reply as well as the original email. This will keep your contact information at the receivers finger-tips.

* 2:00 am? 2:00 pm? EST? PST? Times and zones can cause confusion. Be clear about dates and times when referring to them.

* Don't have the answer? Don't postpone; respond insteadÂ… Let them know when they can expect your response.

Just because they are portable, doesn't mean you should use them at anytime. Talking, checking and responding to e-mail, text messaging, or planning your day on a portable device Any time you may be disturbing others is just plain rude!

As technology evolves, so must our manners. A little techno-courtesy and a little common sense can make the technology experiences more pleasant for you, the receiver, and the people around you.

Kimberly Law, AICI CIP is a Certified Professional Image and Etiquette Consultant and principal of Personal Impact International founded in 1999. She is an author and a speaker, and works with companies, men and women helping them refine their look from head to toe and enhance professional communication, to help her clients look and act their very best, always! She is one of only 125 image consultants world-wide and was the first in Western Canada to receive international recognition as a 'Certified Image Professional' through the Association of Image Consultants International ( She was elected to serve as AICI's President Elect for the 2010 - 2011 term. And has been has been featured as a personal image expert across Canada through the media. For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Kimberly Law at tel: 604-298-7228, mobile: 604-626-3907, email: visit or see Kimberly's Media Kit.