Special Presentation – Key Class

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A comprehensive yet simple guide to business etiquette and job readiness skills that gives participants the competitive edge to obtain jobs or gain entrance to college.


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What Do Key Class Participants Learn?

  1. How to make a great first impression
  2. The steps to a successful job search and interview
  3. Dressing for Success
  4. How to write a resume
  5. How to complete an application
  6. How to prepare for an interview
  7. Table and meal etiquette during an interview through role playing
Watch this 5-minute video to learn more about The Key Class.


Requirements · Must be a high school senior

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Class 1 – First Impressions

Time: 50 minutes KeyClass_image03

What Happens before an Interview?

  • Communication Technology
  • Cell Phones
  • Out-going Messages
  • Text Messaging
  • E-Mail Addresses and Etiquette
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Researching Potential Employers
  • Using a mission statement to your advantage

How to Create a Great First Impression at an Interview

  • The First 20 Seconds are Critical
  • How to Shake the Hand that Will Feed you
  • Evolution of the Hand Shake
  • Standing vs. Sitting
  • Meet and Greet
  • How to Choose a Salutation
  • Example of Self-Introduction
  • Introducing People
  • Body Language
  • How to sit
  • Eye Contact
  • Practice Exercises

Class 2 – Interview Time

Time: 50 minutes

  • Be on time
  • Map a route; do a practice trip; allow extra time
  • Having a conversation
  • Listening and repeating what has been heard
  • Asking questions – what kinds of questions to ask – no “yes” or “no” answers
  • Speaking clearly
  • Practice Exercise
  • Making Business small talk
  • Ten top global fears
  • Public speaking – feared more than death
  • Mock interviews

When It’s Over, What Next?

  • Thank you Notes
  • Samples
  • Email Thank you notes
  • Phone manners

Class 3 – What to Wear

Time: 2 hoursKeyClass_image04

  • Dress to impress
  • Working around a tight budget
  • Conservative vs. flashy
  • Over-vs. under-dressing
  • What not to wear
  • How to make an outfit
  • Suggested male outfits
  • Suggested female outfits
  • Visit to The Gap or Macy’s at Paseo Nuevo to select and try on interview outfits
  • Securing the interview exercise

Class 4 – Resumes

Time: 50 minutes

  • Using activities as hiring benefits
  • Brainstorming for attributes
  • Translating interests and personality as desirable attributes for the job
  • How to get letters of recommendation from teachers and authority figures
  • Writing the resume
  • Preparing thank you notes

Class 5 – Applications

Time: 50 minutes

  • Review/discuss resumes
  • Applications – how to complete them
  • Research on potential employers

Class 6 – Dining at an Interview

Time: 50 minutes

  • Typical American Semi-Formal table setup
  • Typical American Family Dinner vs. American Semi-Formal Business Dinner
  • How to be seated and use a napkin
  • Getting ready to order
  • How to order
  • What to order
  • How to ask how food is prepared
  • How to make dietary requests
  • Acceptable dining conversation
  • What to do while dining
  • How to leave the table during a meal and at the end
  • Various cultural dining habits not used in America
  • How to handle the bill
  • American tipping customs
  • Student questionnaires

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About the Instructor John Daly, a trail-blazing, award-winning event designer and member of the event industry Hall of Fame, became an instructor of his peers in the mid-1980s. Subsequently, he was dubbed the “Guru of Special Events Design” by Special Events magazine as a result of teaching thousands of others. According to the magazine’s founding publisher, Carol McKibben, “John’s dynamic and creative teaching style is fascinating to anyone who watches him. He could teach the phone book to others and make them beg for more!”

Daly’s journey to creating The Key Class began in the early 1970s when, as a young man, he researched etiquette first in the U.S. and then for other countries to which he traveled. Then, as he began to work with his Fortune 100 clients, traveling with them throughout the U.S. and internationally, he began to advise them on etiquette and protocol. He credits his business success working with international governments and corporations to the extensive research he conducted throughout the years. He was asked to teach etiquette and protocol internationally in such countries as South Africa, Korea, France and Spain.

John Daly’s experience working with the best of the best and advising them about etiquette and protocol is extensive and impressive. A few of his clients include: Citicorp, Land Rover, Gillette, Johnson & Johnson, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Porsche, Rolls Royce, MasterCard, American Express, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, King World, CBS, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks., Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, David and Victoria Beckham, Will and Jada Smith, Oprah, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, the State Department, the Smithsonian Institute and Pope John Paul II.

And, while all this was happening, John was running six companies simultaneously and hiring and managing hundreds of employees. A master of Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, John brings a world of knowledge and experience to his students. So, not just as a teacher, but a practitioner, John speaks from first-hand experience in hiring employees and working in the corporate world.

About 15 years ago, John became a mentor, working with at-risk teens. It was there he saw a great need to help educate students and provide them the tools they would need to successfully secure a job or college entrance. His work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), an Advisory Board Member of the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA), and Board Member and Member of the President’s Council for Santa Barbara Partners in Education made it clear to him that The Key Class was critical to helping students learn the tools of what would be expected of them in everyday life.

The Key Class is the go-to-guide for mastering business etiquette and job readiness skills. It is a rare and unique program customized to fit the needs of its students. It teaches the tools of successful social skills for anyone who wants to succeed in securing educational or professional opportunities. The Key Class provides the interviewing skills necessary to achieve university entrance, a successful job search, and helps students be a “cut-above” others. The tools provided will make a difference in how students are perceived in their future endeavors. John’s energy, passion and unique personality make him the one who can get this material across to students who always walk away from it excited to implement it into their lives.

“I can truly say I have learned great skills that will help me in interviews that could help me get a job. I have also learned proper etiquette. What you are doing is a great thing, and it is helping students like myself prepare for the future.” –Jenny Valdez, El Puente High School Senior

“Whether it is attending a job interview or just going out to a nice dinner, I now have proper manners. I have learned how to act appropriately, how to dress for a job interview and that the first 20 seconds of meeting someone is the most important. I will utilize these skills throughout my life. My favorite part was when we went off campus to Macys. That day I learned how to dress and act for an interview. Then we did mock interviews with our new clothes! It surprised me that some of the things Mr. Daly told us not to do were things I would have normally done! So I am glad to have learned the difference. I can say this class has not only improved my behavior but my regular day-to day life as well.” –Jacob Escobar, El Puente High School Senior

“You have been an amazing teacher and role model to all of us. I strongly believe that you have made a great impact on our community.” –Alex Pascua, El Puente High School Senior “With all the skills I have learned, I now have a better opportunity to get a better job.” – Marcos Carlos, El Puente High School Senior

“Mr. Daly has a wonderful presentation set up each Friday in which I actually learn techniques and skills. Applying these skills in a job setting will develop a better manager-to-employee relationship. Also, it can help increase faster and easier work tactics with a proficient finish. I couldn’t be more thankful to have this successful living materials given to me first hand.” – Joseph Jimenez, El Puente High School Senior

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