As the official Master of Ceremonies of the inaugural Gentlemen's Expo this weekend, radio host Todd Shapiro (formerly of The Dean Blundell Show) spoke with us to offer his timeless advice about what, exactly, makes a man a gentleman.
Known for giving nuggets of golden wisdom, Todd shared some of his experiences and a few tips on what ungentlemanly qualities guys should avoid in these times when, as he feels, being a gentleman tends to be a lost art.
Take heed in his word and be sure to can catch him at the Mentro Toronto Convention Centre as The Gentlemen's Expo makes its debut this November 22 - 24.
The Gentlemen's Expo 2013 Ticket Contest Giveaway
We're giving away a pair of tickets. All you have to do is visit our Facebook page and share this post for your chance to win two tickets to the event this Friday, November 22. Tickets include admission and six drink tickets each. The winner will be randomly selected this Thursday at 3pm.
UPDATE: Contest now closed.
Todd Shapiro's Top 5
Todd on Being Gentle, Man
First and foremost, being a gentleman deals with the terms in which you treat people. It's about treating people with kindness, respect, courtesy, being truthful and the true definition of the term “gentle man.” I think that's one thing that's lost – the ability of being gentle these days. Generally when people picture a gentleman, they picture the old boys network or boys clubs with cigar-smoking, scotch-sipping, and planning to take over the world. I believe that being a gentleman includes working fairly, working honestly and with a team of people that you respect despite diversity in terms of race, religion or ethnicity. In some ways, I think being a gentleman is sort of a lost art. It's not about being a frat boy, and I think that's what's confusing people.
Todd on Picking Your Spots
There's a time and a place for everything, and that's the truth. You wouldn't pass gas at the table of a dinner party. That's not to say a gentleman doesn't pass gas, but there are certain times and usually comical places to do things. In terms of being ungentlemanly, you wouldn't shoulder someone at a nightclub because you're walking by and want to show your manliness. You wouldn't give someone the finger on the road if they cut you off. There are just ways to pay it forward in terms of kindness and respect and I think that's what being gentlemanly is, as opposed to having to show aggression. That's not to say that you can't be a man. Think of a hockey fighter. Off-ice, he treats everyone with respect, he's a family man, he's charitable and he's a humanitarian. But he recognizes his roles and the time and place to perform those roles, so when he has a job to do he performs it well.
Todd on Style
I don't believe in the conservative style of a shirt, tie and khakis. We can all have unique styles and acceptance doesn't come from how someone looks but from their brain, what they put forth towards an idea and what their work ethic involves. When it comes to men's clothing stores in Toronto, I would recommend Gotstyle which happens to be at The Gentlemen's Expo. The reason why I suggest Gotstyle as opposed to old, dated men's stores is because they're funky, cool and have traditional clothing but they also have a lot of unique, eclectic clothing. In this day and age, we're not all suit and tie guys. We're not just vanilla in terms of what we wear and the types of business suits we put on. There are a lot of artists and creative nine-to-fivers at companies now where it's acceptable to dress a little bit differently. I always say put on the outfit that you love, but own it. Wear it with confidence and people will notice. I'm not saying go around in your underwear here, but if you want to wear sneakers and a t-shirt with suit pants and a vest, do it. You can throw on a wicked tie with jeans and a shirt. You can wear running shoes with a more formal look on top. You can wear cool hats when you're going out for dinner. Just own it and wear it with confidence.
Todd on Speaking to Women
Just get to know her and give her the hint that you like her. Ask appropriate questions, be kind to her, and you always have to be funny. You always have to be comical - especially in the early stages of just getting to know her because that's what will set you apart from other dudes. Don't be too serious. Don't talk about money. Don't talk about what great car you drive. Don't talk about your big investment that you just doubled your money on in the stock market. Just make her laugh. It's always good to memorize a few Jim Carrey lines.
Todd on First Dates
I'm fortunate enough now that I'm engaged and I can say that our first date involved just getting to know each other through friends and hanging out in that sort of environment. First dates will always be awkward and I recommend doing it in group settings. It takes the pressure off and allows you to be free and easy to get to know each other without having to pretend you're something you're not. When you're with your friends it's usually when you're the most yourself and I think that's a great place for a first date. Just do it with a bunch of people and then after that have her over, order in some sushi and watch a movie and you'll get to know her pretty quick.