They say that people form an impression of another person within the first 30 seconds of meeting. One of the critical activities that take place during this time is the handshake. You only have one chance to make a first impression; make sure your handshake reflects your professionalism and confidence. Not all handshakes are created equal; what makes a handshake stand out from the crowd?
There are three key ingredients to the perfect handshake: pressure, movement, and timing.
1. Pressure: Everyone knows that a “firm handshake” is considered an asset in the workplace. But how firm should it be? I good rule of thumb is to match the handshake of the other person. However, you should always give at least a little squeeze with some light pressure as you make contact. To see what feels comfortable, try grasping your forearm with your hand and applying pressure as if you were shaking hands.
2. Movement: It’s called a handshake for a reason. Don’t just hold the other person’s hand for a moment and then let go; lightly pump their hand up and down two to three times. To project confidence, lead the movement, but take care not to be too forceful.
3. Timing: The handshake should last long enough to establish a connection with your partner without lingering for an awkward amount of time. Typically three to four seconds is appropriate.
In addition to perfecting your pressure, motion, and timing, always make eye contact during the handshake and verbally acknowledge the exchange (e.g. by saying “Nice to meet you” or providing your name).
Want to learn more? Click on the video below to hear Corporate Speech Solutions’ Founder and President, Jayne Latz answer questions about how to perfect the art of the handshake.
For information on the New York Based Speech and Accent Reduction services offered by Corporate Speech Solutions please give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com. Not in NYC? No problem! We also provide Skype and video conferencing services.
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