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3 Tips for the Perfect Handshake

hWhat kind of a first impression do you give colleagues and clients? One of the best ways to convey a confident, professional image in the first moments of meeting someone is with your handshake. But what makes the difference between a memorable, professional handshake and one that leaves the other person cold? When perfecting the art of the handshake, there are three key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Pressure: Everyone knows that a “firm handshake” is considered an asset in the workplace. But how firm should it be? You should always give at least a little squeeze with some light pressure as you make contact; however, in order to make sure the other person doesn’t feel uncomfortable, a good rule of thumb is to roughly match their pressure.
  2. Movement: 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; it may be perceived as overly aggressive.
  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.

One final, but crucial tip: 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.



If you have questions or are interested in improving your communication skills, give me a call at 212-308-7725 or send me an e-mail at info@corporatespeechsolutions.com. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

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