Nine keys to a solid handshake

  • Hold your hand in an “L”: the L of your hand, the angle where your thumb and forefinger meet, should lock into the L of the other person’s hand, allowing you a complete grip, palm to palm, with your fingers wrapped around the other person’s hand.
  • Assess your own strength: practice, and ask more experienced people if your handshake is too weak or strong.
  • No slumping:¬†AKA stand up straight.
  • Direct your eyes to theirs and smile: look at your partner’s face before you shake hands with them, not at their nametag, or worse, their hands.
  • Sustain eye contact: stay focused on your partner.
  • Have pockets, use them: cold or damp hands? Keep your hand in your pocket before shaking hands. Keep a handkerchief (a tissue may shred), which also comes in handy if you’ve just washed your hands. Sweaty palms? Consider spraying one hand with antiperspirant (non-stick or roll-on).
  • Avoid pain: if you’re doing a lot of hand shaking, avoid wearing rings on your right hand.
  • Keep it simple: no double handshakes, handshakes with elbow grabs, etc. Fancy handshakes can appear overly friendly. This holds for excessive pumping too, or holding onto someone’s hand well after they have loosened their grip.
  • Evaluate: ask others how you did and what you can improve.