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Never Underestimate the Handshake

Posted on December 21, 2006

The second step of a successful introduction is shaking hands.  Shaking hands is probably the most common gesture people use on a daily basis.  Men and women alike use it constantly in business and social situations. It is typically the first contact between two people and the first chance to establish a connection and a relationship. Your handshake conveys an impressive, non-verbal message, many times before you speak verbally. 

Many times our handshake forms the first impression … an impression that speaks very loudly about who and what we are… what is your handshake saying about you?

Here are 5 tips to help you ensure a powerful and confident handshake in business:

1. Always stand up - whether you are a man or a woman, you should rise.
2. Face the person squarely, not at an angle.

3. The handshake should be a "web to web": contact between your thumb and index finger. By

shaking hands web to web, this avoids the dead fish or fingertip only handshake.

4. Thumbs should be straight up. Avoid rolling one hand over or under for this may often denote a power struggle.

5. Make direct eye contact and hold the gaze through the introduction.

(Thank you to Cynthia Grasso from the Charleston School of Protocal)

By Dave Sherman

Never Underestimate the Handshake!


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