As the founder and owner of Australian Finishing School, Amanda King is the epitome of elegance. With her piercing blue eyes, and long flowing blonde hair, she is not only incredibly glamorous and stylish but also radiates personality, sophistication and intelligence. It won’t surprise you to learn that she happens to be incredibly polite and well-mannered too.
Formally known as Success with Manners, Australian Finishing School was founded in Sydney in 2009, becoming the first ever modern-day finishing school in Australia. Since then, Amanda has helped to grow the business exponentially, gaining global recognition for her work in publications such as; Vogue, The Daily Mail, and Women’s Health.
It seems that Amanda was always destined to help others become more refined and sophisticated in how they speak and act, having been educated at a prestigious private school in Melbourne, before joining the United Kingdom’s most prestigious Etiquette school Minding Manners and IPV worldwide. Not only that, she also completed her etiquette training and education at the Institut Villa Pierrefeu Finishing School in Glion, Switzerland where she received certificates in The European Art of Dining and International Etiquette and Protocol.
Amanda’s experiences in the art of etiquette always stayed with her, and it was whilst working and living in Sydney that she was inspired to bring the art of savoir-vivre and etiquette to the Southern Hemisphere.
“We aim to help you be the best person you can possibly be,” Amanda explains. “By knowing that no matter who you are or what you do, your manners have a direct impact on your professional and social success.”
At the very heart of Australian Finishing School, is the art of Savoir-faire and Savoir-vivre. Now, what exactly is that I hear you cry? Well, it is the knowledge of knowing what to do in any given situation, and the ability to live life well and with intelligent enjoyment, meeting every situation with poise, good manners, and elegance. It is knowing how to make introductions, dress tastefully, or which cutlery to use at the dining table. These are life-long skills that give you the confidence to successfully and confidentially navigate a variety of social settings.
Social and business etiquette is an area that Amanda particularly specialises and excels in. This education offered by the Australian Finishing School aims to give University graduates from Ivy League Institutions and young adults from across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and now Perth’s most prestigious Private schools the best tools to make the right impression. This involves teaching students interview techniques, public speaking, table manners, dressing for success, deportment and posture, written communication and interpersonal skills.
Finishing schools have a long and storied history, of aiming to cultivate grace, refinement, and etiquette in individuals and seeking to enhance their social and professional presence. “All aspects of daily life are subject to refining if one wants to become a sophisticated gentleman or lady,” explains Amanda. “But it is never too late. Etiquette and good manners can be taught and learned.”
In a day and age where image has arguably never been more important in helping you to progress in both your personal and professional career, Australian Finishing School guides individuals through the unspoken rules and what is expected of you in society. It was a pleasure for The Atlantic Dispatch to sit down with Amanda King, as she takes us through the importance of etiquette, social skills, grooming, image, confidence building and etiquette.
How you dress and behave all have a huge impact on your overall perceived image as soon as you leave the house
We were one of the first-ever modern-day finishing schools in Australia. We have seen many competitors come and go while we have excelled forward mostly due to our committed team, our knowledge of the industry and world-renowned accreditation. We are Australia’s leading European Accredited Finishing School and focus on our Austral Asian market.
We specialise in Deportment, Poise, Posture, Elocution, Dining Etiquette, Business Protocol and Social Success with our Art of Conversation Modules. We offer a wide range of etiquette programs for business and social success training. We facilitate our life-changing, confidence-building training workshops for corporations, schools and universities, private individuals, young adults and children across the country.
We help both men and women reinvent themselves. We aim to help you be the best person you can be. By knowing that no matter who you are or what you do, your manners have a direct impact on your professional and social success. We navigate through the unspoken and what is expected of us in society. Become more refined and sophisticated in how you speak and act. How you dress and behave all have a huge impact on your overall perceived image as soon as you leave the house.
Some of our biggest challenges have been reinventing what’s relevant with what matters in traditional contexts. Technology and the ways we communicate have had a huge impact in the last 10 years, especially during a pandemic. We have been expanding our classes to online classes which has been very successful. In turn giving more students access globally, which has been fantastic.
Fast fashion and easy access gratification has somewhat ruined the art of communication and dressing well
I think the art of dressing smart has to an extent been lost. We have a book called The Unspoken which will be published soon. So much of what makes common sense is just not that common anymore. Having access to more clothing and technology has actually reflected poorly on the common man. We dress and speak worse than ever.
Fast fashion and easy access/gratification have somewhat ruined the art of communication, dressing well and consisting ourselves with charisma and respect. All to save time we are not prioritising ourselves in a way that makes a meaningful impact on what we want to be remembered for.
Be kind and gracious, when you greet people look them in the eyes
We teach people the best way with practical skills to introduce themselves and learn the art of conversation, dressing appropriately, the use of proper table manners, elegant poise and speaking are all key skills in being sophisticated and refined.
Our aim is to help you develop these important skills, not only in your individual lives and careers but also to help make you into an elegant woman or confident business executive.
My biggest advice is to read, get educated and spend time with affluent, educated people who are cultured. You will learn most by observations. Dress for the job you want not for the job you have is a good saying.
Appearances matter so give it your best shot. Be kind and gracious, when you greet people look them in the eyes. Learn the art of conversation and end your meetings on a good note. Don’t give up. Some things are out of your control or tragic things may happen in your life like the loss of a family member, partner, home or job but it’s how you respond. That is what counts, never give up. Success mindset. Envisage success daily.
They go through the anxious motions only to leave confident and well-equipped
An ideal day starts with a loving greeting with my little daughter, we practise our table manners and positive words of gratitude. While she is in crèche we prepare a brilliant workshop teaching women and men our most loved and intensive program, ‘Finishing Touch Intensive’ over a beautiful table setting at one of our prestigious venues. The environment is spectacular. Incredibly designed and has an air of elegance and class which lifts the mode for what is to come.
There are so many parts of my job I love, but seeing how some of the timid students come into their own is incredibly rewarding. They go through the anxious motions only to leave confident and well-equipped with an education rare these days, and ready to be successful in their personal and professional lives for many years to come.
With thanks to Amanda King.