Manners go high-tech

You're at a business luncheon and the person you're meeting with suddenly answers her cell phone and starts gabbing away.

Annoying? Yes. Rude? Absolutely.

Such behavior can be a deal-breaker, says Marjorie Brody an executive coach and trainer with Brody Communications Ltd. of Elkins Park, Pa.

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Technology-related etiquette skills, she adds, are crucial for keeping clients and maintaining accounts.

Some of her high-tech manners:

Don't use cell phones in public places. They disturb others.

During conference calls, identify yourself when speaking.

Don't use a speaker phone to retrieve your voice mail if others can overhear it.

Change your outgoing message regularly so people know when and how to reach you.

Don't use antagonistic words or critical comments in e-mails. They are easily misconstrued and may cause awkward situations.

Avoid sending "spam" - junk e-mail that is unsolicited.

Keep e-mail attachments to a minimum. They take time and memory to download.

Speak and write carefully. Most technology-based communication isn't private.

Don't assume everyone knows Internet jargon, such as LOL (laughing out loud).

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