Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stockbroker Teaches Others Social Graces
BY SCOTT PASKE, Eagle correspondent

There's virtually no age limit to the applications of social graces, a fact enhanced by the classes Lynda Tyler offers at Impressions.

From her Macaroni and Please class for children ages 3 to 7 to an Advanced Professional Development course for adults, Tyler, a longtime stockbroker, has been assisting people with etiquette fundamentals since launching Impressions in 2007.

"It's kind of like looking at the world through a photographer's eyes," said Tyler, who teaches in her west Wichita home and wherever her services are summoned. "If somebody uses the wrong fork at the dinner table, we're not going to laugh at them.

"If somebody could do something a little better, we'll point that out."

A graduate of the Patricia Stevens Finishing School and Barbizon International School of Modeling, Tyler uses her extensive pageant background to help girls and women prepare for competitions. Interview, public speaking, walking and standing skills are taught in classes, camps and private lessons. Tyler contracts with local pageant veterans to assist with instruction.

Impressions conducted a three-day pageant camp for seven girls in June.

"We assess where a girl is right now," Tyler said. "Some are newbies, some have been competing for a while. We work a lot on the interview because that's where a lot pageants are won and lost, plus it's a skill that can serve them later in life.

"If they can't walk in heels, we're going to walk a lot. We're trying to weaken their weaknesses and make the positives stronger."

Impressions also offers courses that deal with faux pas in the business world. Personal grooming, poise and oratory skills are part of the focus.

"We teach a lot of interview skills, how to carry yourself, how to walk into a formal dinner and not embarrass yourself," Tyler said. "These are things that can make you a far better employee or a far better executive. We've all had employees who might be hard workers, but you wouldn't want to take them to a corporate event."

While a tough economy presents challenges for those who offer self-improvement courses, Tyler is adjusting. She is finalizing plans to offer fall courses for all ages through the city of Wichita's Parks and Recreation Department.

"At any age level, it's about teaching people self-respect," Tyler said. "If you respect yourself, you're going to have confidence to deal with others."

2009 Wichita Eagle and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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