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Hilka Klinkenberg is the founder and managing director of Etiquette International, and author of At Ease…Professionally. She is a certified coach, Emotional Intelligence practitioner, and a recognized expert in the field of business etiquette and international protocol, who contributes to a variety of publications and web sites. Major publications such as Business Week, Investor’s Business Daily, The Wall Street Journal, and Crain’s have all featured Hilka’s advice on the ins-and-outs of business etiquette.

For more than twenty years Hilka has coached executives and professionals, both one-on-one and in teams at all levels of business— from the boardroom to the back room, as well as large audiences at conferences and conventions. Her advice has helped business executives to objectively assess their strengths and weaknesses, and improve their international relations by helping them understand the delicate nuances of interacting with colleagues from different cultures.

She is an active member of numerous professional associations, including the International Coaching Federation, the National Speakers Association, the American Society for Training and Development, the Americas Society, the Global Business Association, Women in Communications and Toastmasters. She has served on the board of the local chapters of a number of these associations. She is a member of the Global Business Committee of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

Hilka holds a Masters in Policy Administration and a concentration in International Policy and Finance from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She has lived in six countries, and has worked with clients in and from several more. When not travelling for work or pleasure, she resides in New York City.

Full Profile

Hilka Klinkenberg, founder and managing director of Etiquette International, is the author of At Ease… Professionally (Bonus Books). As a recognized expert in the field of business etiquette and international protocol she contributes to a variety of publications and web sites around the world and is quoted frequently in major magazines and newspapers such as Business Week, Investor’s Business Daily, The Wall Street Journal, and Crain’s. Hilka has also been a regular guest on hundreds of radio and television programs.

For 20 years, Hilka has coached executives and professionals one-on-one, worked with teams at all levels from the boardroom to the back room, and has addressed large audiences at conferences and conventions. She has helped business executives objectively assess their strengths and weaknesses, and she has tactfully suggested concrete, proven methods for improvement in specific areas to help them understand the nuances of interacting with colleagues from different cultures. Then she has supported them in implementing these techniques until their desired results are achieved.

Hilka is a certified coach, Emotional Intelligence practitioner, and a recognized expert in the field of international protocol and business etiquette. She holds a Masters in Policy Administration with a concentration in International Policy and Finance from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Her broad international exposure includes having lived in six countries and having worked with clients in and from several more.

Hilka has been an active member of numerous professional associations, including the International Coaching Federation, the National Speakers Association, the American Society for Training and Development, the Americas Society, the Global Business Association, Women in Communications and Toastmasters. She has served on the board of the local chapters of a number of these associations. She is a member of the Global Business Committee of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

When not traveling for business or pleasure, Hilka lives in New York City.


Hilka Klinkenberg Speaker Videos Back to top

Hilka Klinkenberg: Interview - The Woman's Connection w/Barrie-Louise Switzen


In this interview, Klinka discuses how she came to start her company, Etiquette Inc. “I write about business etiquette, but I also go into companies and I work with individuals or with groups of people on proper business etiquette. We go over American business etiquette, or international etiquette if they’re going to be traveling.”

“Every culture is different. It doesn’t matter whether they’re neighboring countries; there are differences in the ways the country came together. The people in the country and their attitudes towards time and space are some of the biggest conflicts in business. Our style of communication, the way we talk, the speed at which we talk, the amount of information we give all causes so much annoyance and grievance and confusion with one another. You just have to learn that it’s a different style of behavior.”

“America is the most individualistic country in the world. We’re very concerned with our own individual freedoms. We want to do things our way, we think our way is the right way, and we’re not particularly concerned about how effective we’re being with other people, how we’re being received.”


Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Hilka’s passion is etiquette: the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. That said, her programs have all the know-how of twenty years of professional etiquette, and your audiences will come out of her talk prepared with the knowledge of how to act like true professionals.

She addresses nearly every nuance of how to act the consummate professional: from business lunches to the proper cell phone etiquette in the office, there’s a training program tailored to your organization’s needs.

The 3 A′s of a Winner
First impressions are made within a matter of seconds, and they are lasting. But, being "dressed for success" and "colored beautiful" won′t make you a winner if your attitude and actions don′t reinforce a positive visual appearance. Being a superachiever won′t win you kudos if a new client pays a surprise visit on "dress-down Friday" and you or your staff look like slobs. To be a winner, your appearance, your attitude and your actions must all reinforce a positive message.

Manners Mom Never Taught You
The do′s and don′ts of gender etiquette are one of the most confusing aspects of dealing with peers in today′s business arena. Because men and women do not understand the acceptable behavior for interacting with peers of the opposite sex, mixed messages are sent that too often can be perceived as mild forms of harassment. This tape covers the do′s and don′ts ... and their consequences!

F*I*R*S*T*G*E*T*G*O*O*D
The basics of global business etiquette for any executives who want to appear as savvy and feel as in control abroad as they do on their home turf.

Mastering the Art of Mingling
The nuances of effective mingling at any event where business may be conducted.

The Power of Lunch
...or breakfast or dinner. The average American spends between 700 - 800 hours annually eating. Many of those hours are spent in the company of business associates. Since revisions to the tax laws have made business dining more costly, it behooves all executives to ensure that their meals are as effective as possible.

Improve Your P&L by Minding Your P′s & Q’s
An overview of the importance of business etiquette in getting and keeping clients in the current economic climate.

Appointment Etiquette to Keep You Ahead of the Game
You may have the greatest product or service in your industry, you may be the most suitable person for the job, but you can undermine yourself on appointments and interviews with inappropriate behaviors. A "how-to" on gracious guesting in someone else′s office and hosting visitors on your turf.

Etiquette for the Electronic Age
How to handle telephones, cellular phones, answering machines, voice mail and e-mail with style and grace.

Business Etiquette for the Aughts: Outclassing the Competition
A primer on etiquette for the business arena, tailored to the specifics of your industry, association, or corporation.



Hilka Klinkenberg Speaker Testimonials Back to top

"Hilka was right on target with her training. Her workshop made an outstanding impression on our employees and made a solid contribution to our overall program."
    Janet Crawford, Senior Specialist—Training, Con Edison

"Poised, knows of what she speaks."
    Merle Clark, Cooney/Waters Group

"Participants raved about your session, and used words such as class act, great topic, excellent information, fascinating, would like to see more of this topic, knowledgeable presenter, fabulous presentation."
    Sharon Bar-Sakay, Chair Fall Conference, NY Metro ASTD

"Our members have very high expectations and, based on the comments I have received following your presentation, you not only met but clearly exceeded them."
    Bernie Eisenberg, President, SHRM Western Connecticut Chapter

"Extremely interesting and informative. I learned a lot to take back to the office."
    Susan Powell, Training Specialist, People's Westchester Bank

"Clean, to the point, with good humor... her own best example. Nicely done."
    Harry Moore, NYIMS

"I will be sure to look for opportunities to recommend this program."
    Denise Carroll, The Training Annex

"Based on written and verbal evaluations your talk was outstanding."
    Steven Protass, KPMG Peat Marwick, New York

"Thank you for your outstanding performance and for making the program such a success."
    Richard H. Sullenger, 1993 Divisional Vice Chair, Million Dollar Round Table
    Lyle L. Blessman, President-Elect, 1994 Million Dollar Round Table

"Personable—flexible—patient. Q&A's were handled very well. Nice adult to adult style—professional but not stiff."
    Tim Kidman, VP Human Resources, Reuters America, Inc.

"Excellent—most advantageous to those of us who either travel abroad or entertain international guests."
    Jeff Young, President, Lexington Furniture Industry


"Hilka Klinkenberg is an expert on the rules of practical protocol. Her advice immediately puts you in a position of power when you entertain for business."
    Pamela Von Nostitz, Editor-in-Chief, Agenda, New York

Clients Include

Corporate:

    • AlliedSignal
    • American Express
    • Audio Book Club of America
    • Brielle Executive Gifts
    • Cologne Life Reinsurance
    • Con Edison
    • Continental Airlines
    • Coopers & Lybrand
    • Creamer Dickson Basford Public Relations
    • DowBrands LP
    • Fleishman Hillard Public Relations
    • Furman Selz LLC
    • KPMG Peat Marwick
    • Lehman Brothers
    • Masco Home Furnishings
    • Merrill Lynch
    • OCP America
    • Porter/Novelli Public Relations
    • PHH Real Estate Services
    • Prudential Insurance Company of America
    • Prudential Securities
    • Red Lobster
    • Reuters
    • Sony

Government:

    • Department of Commerce (OTEXA Division)

Associations:

    • Amalgamated Apparel Manufacturers of America (AAMA)
    • American Council of Life Insurance (ACLI)
    • American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)
    • American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)
    • Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)
    • Chicago Society of Association Executives
    • Council of Protocol Executives
    • Executive Women International
    • The Fashion Group
    • Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association
    • International Association of Business Communicators (IABC/LI)
    • Million Dollar Round Table
    • Public Relations Office Managers of America (PROMA)
    • Society for Human Resource Management
    • Women In Communication, Inc. (WICI)

Education:

    • International House
    • New York University
    • Parsons School of Design
    • Stern School of Business




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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"Hilka was right on target with her training. Her workshop made an outstanding impression on our employees and made a solid contribution to our overall program."
    Janet Crawford, Senior Specialist—Training, Con Edison

"Poised, knows of what she speaks."
    Merle Clark, Cooney/Waters Group

"Participants raved about your session, and used words such as class act, great topic, excellent information, fascinating, would like to see more of this topic, knowledgeable presenter, fabulous presentation."
    Sharon Bar-Sakay, Chair Fall Conference, NY Metro ASTD

"Our members have very high expectations and, based on the comments I have received following your presentation, you not only met but clearly exceeded them."
    Bernie Eisenberg, President, SHRM Western Connecticut Chapter

"Extremely interesting and informative. I learned a lot to take back to the office."
    Susan Powell, Training Specialist, People's Westchester Bank

"Clean, to the point, with good humor... her own best example. Nicely done."
    Harry Moore, NYIMS

"I will be sure to look for opportunities to recommend this program."
    Denise Carroll, The Training Annex

"Based on written and verbal evaluations your talk was outstanding."
    Steven Protass, KPMG Peat Marwick, New York

"Thank you for your outstanding performance and for making the program such a success."
    Richard H. Sullenger, 1993 Divisional Vice Chair, Million Dollar Round Table
    Lyle L. Blessman, President-Elect, 1994 Million Dollar Round Table

"Personable—flexible—patient. Q&A's were handled very well. Nice adult to adult style—professional but not stiff."
    Tim Kidman, VP Human Resources, Reuters America, Inc.

"Excellent—most advantageous to those of us who either travel abroad or entertain international guests."
    Jeff Young, President, Lexington Furniture Industry


"Hilka Klinkenberg is an expert on the rules of practical protocol. Her advice immediately puts you in a position of power when you entertain for business."
    Pamela Von Nostitz, Editor-in-Chief, Agenda, New York

Clients Include

Corporate:

    • AlliedSignal
    • American Express
    • Audio Book Club of America
    • Brielle Executive Gifts
    • Cologne Life Reinsurance
    • Con Edison
    • Continental Airlines
    • Coopers & Lybrand
    • Creamer Dickson Basford Public Relations
    • DowBrands LP
    • Fleishman Hillard Public Relations
    • Furman Selz LLC
    • KPMG Peat Marwick
    • Lehman Brothers
    • Masco Home Furnishings
    • Merrill Lynch
    • OCP America
    • Porter/Novelli Public Relations
    • PHH Real Estate Services
    • Prudential Insurance Company of America
    • Prudential Securities
    • Red Lobster
    • Reuters
    • Sony

Government:

    • Department of Commerce (OTEXA Division)

Associations:

    • Amalgamated Apparel Manufacturers of America (AAMA)
    • American Council of Life Insurance (ACLI)
    • American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)
    • American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)
    • Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)
    • Chicago Society of Association Executives
    • Council of Protocol Executives
    • Executive Women International
    • The Fashion Group
    • Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association
    • International Association of Business Communicators (IABC/LI)
    • Million Dollar Round Table
    • Public Relations Office Managers of America (PROMA)
    • Society for Human Resource Management
    • Women In Communication, Inc. (WICI)

Education:

    • International House
    • New York University
    • Parsons School of Design
    • Stern School of Business


At Ease Professionally An Etiquette Guide for the Business Arena

At Ease... Professionally
An Etiquette Guide for the Business Arena

This wonderful resource contains everything professionals need to know to feel polished and self-assured in any business situation.


The 3 A′s of a Winner
First impressions are made within a matter of seconds, and they are lasting. But, being "dressed for success" and "colored beautiful" won′t make you a winner if your attitude and actions don′t reinforce a positive visual appearance. Being a superachiever won′t win you kudos if a new client pays a surprise visit on "dress-down Friday" and you or your staff look like slobs. To be a winner, your appearance, your attitude and your actions must all reinforce a positive message.

Manners Mom Never Taught You
The do′s and don′ts of gender etiquette are one of the most confusing aspects of dealing with peers in today′s business arena. Because men and women do not understand the acceptable behavior for interacting with peers of the opposite sex, mixed messages are sent that too often can be perceived as mild forms of harassment. This tape covers the do′s and don′ts ... and their consequences!

F*I*R*S*T*G*E*T*G*O*O*D
The basics of global business etiquette for any executives who want to appear as savvy and feel as in control abroad as they do on their home turf.

Mastering the Art of Mingling
The nuances of effective mingling at any event where business may be conducted.

The Power of Lunch
...or breakfast or dinner. The average American spends between 700 - 800 hours annually eating. Many of those hours are spent in the company of business associates. Since revisions to the tax laws have made business dining more costly, it behooves all executives to ensure that their meals are as effective as possible.

Improve Your P&L by Minding Your P′s & Q’s
An overview of the importance of business etiquette in getting and keeping clients in the current economic climate.

Appointment Etiquette to Keep You Ahead of the Game
You may have the greatest product or service in your industry, you may be the most suitable person for the job, but you can undermine yourself on appointments and interviews with inappropriate behaviors. A "how-to" on gracious guesting in someone else′s office and hosting visitors on your turf.

Etiquette for the Electronic Age
How to handle telephones, cellular phones, answering machines, voice mail and e-mail with style and grace.

Business Etiquette for the Aughts: Outclassing the Competition
A primer on etiquette for the business arena, tailored to the specifics of your industry, association, or corporation.


Hilka Klinkenberg: Interview - The Woman's Connection w/Barrie-Louise Switzen


In this interview, Klinka discuses how she came to start her company, Etiquette Inc. “I write about business etiquette, but I also go into companies and I work with individuals or with groups of people on proper business etiquette. We go over American business etiquette, or international etiquette if they’re going to be traveling.”

“Every culture is different. It doesn’t matter whether they’re neighboring countries; there are differences in the ways the country came together. The people in the country and their attitudes towards time and space are some of the biggest conflicts in business. Our style of communication, the way we talk, the speed at which we talk, the amount of information we give all causes so much annoyance and grievance and confusion with one another. You just have to learn that it’s a different style of behavior.”

“America is the most individualistic country in the world. We’re very concerned with our own individual freedoms. We want to do things our way, we think our way is the right way, and we’re not particularly concerned about how effective we’re being with other people, how we’re being received.”