National Cellphone Courtesy Month is an event I founded in 2002 with the intent to encourage the increasingly unmindful corps of cellphone users to be more respectful of their surroundings by using some simple cellphone etiquette principles! Here are some tips you'll want to mention on the show:
1. Be all there. When you're in a meeting, performance, courtroom or other busy area, let calls go to voicemail to avoid a disruption. In some instances, turning your phone off may be the best solution.
2. Keep it private. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid discussing private or confidential information in public. You never know who may be in hearing range.
3. Keep your cool. Don't display anger during a public call. Conversations that are likely to be emotional should be held where they will not embarrass or intrude on others.
4. Learn to vibe. Use your wireless phone's silent or vibration settings in public places such as business meetings, religious services, schools, restaurants, theaters or sporting events so that you do not disrupt your surroundings.
5. Avoid "cell yell." Remember to use your regular conversational tone when speaking on your wireless phone. People tend to speak more loudly than normal and often don't recognize how distracting they can be to others.
6. Follow the rules. Some places, such as hospitals or airplanes, restrict or prohibit the use of mobile phones, so adhere to posted signs and instructions. Some jurisdictions may also restrict mobile phone use in public places.
7. Excuse yourself. If you are expecting a call that can't be postponed, alert your companions ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in; the people you are with should take precedence over calls you want to make or receive.
8. Send a message. Use Text Messaging to send and receive messages without saying a single word.
9. Watch and listen discreetly. New multimedia applications such as streaming video and music are great ways to stay informed and access the latest entertainment. However, adjust the volume based on your surroundings in much the same way that you would adjust your ringer volume. Earphones are a great way to avoid distracting others in public areas.
10. Alert silently. When using your phone's walkie-talkie feature, send the person you're trying to reach a Call Alert before starting to speak. If you're around other people, turn off your phone's external speaker and use the vibration setting to minimize any disturbance and to respect your contact's privacy.
Jacqueline Whitmore has established herself as a prominent presence in the etiquette industry and is a frequent guest on television and radio talk shows. In addition to being the author of “Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work,” Jacqueline is the founder of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month and the founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. You can learn more about Jacqueline by visiting her website at www.etiquetteexpert.com