A good handshake matters. Whether you are meeting someone for the first time or meeting them for the hundredth time for business, an interview or just anything else, it is important. If you get it wrong it can create awkward moments and prevent you from making a valuable first impression.

A good handshake conveys many character traits.

  • Confidence
  • Honesty
  • Warmth
  • Strength

Giving the perfect handshake is not difficult. All it takes is a little bit of practice and a touch of effort in learning what it takes to make a lasting impression on anyone.

Guide to a Perfect Handshake – Things to Do 

  • One of the most important things that you need to do is to ensure that your handshake is firm. The web touch is considered ideal. The webbing between your index finger and thumb needs to meet the same spot on the other person’s hand.
  • When you offer your hand, look the other individual in the eye and smile.
  • Ensure that your hands are clean and not messy when you shake hands. If you have sweaty hands, it is best to dry them before shaking hands.
  • A perfect handshake requires good timing. If you are at an event or party, ensure that you shake the hosts hand. Remember to shake hands with everyone you meet or introduced at social events.
  • Avoid offering a handshake if the other individual is engrossed in conversation with someone else. Wait till they finish and then offer your hand.
  • It is important to be aware of social norms and cultures when shaking hands. Some cultures may have different customs when it comes to shaking hands and you need to be aware of them especially when you travel.

Mistakes to Avoid 

  • Limp Fish – When you don’t grip the other person’s hand firmly and shake from the wrist, it is known as a dead fish grip. This shows lack of confidence in yourself.
  • Sweaty Hands – Some individuals tend to have sweaty hands and this may be because they are nervous. Even though this is normal, this can be tricky in situations like the interview. Remember to dry them before you shake hands with others.
  • Crushing Grip – This happens when you are shaking hands with someone and it feels as if they are crushing all bones in your hand. A firm grip is welcome but a crushing grip that causes pain is not.
  • Hand Holder – Let go of the hands after three shakes. If you continue holding it for prolonged period of time, it becomes more of holding hands rather than shaking hands.
  • Avoider – Most people make the mistake of avoiding eye contact during a handshake or withdraw their hands too quickly. This could be due to lack of confidence.

You achieve the perfect handshake when you stand up with a good posture and shake hands firmly with a confident attitude and a smile on your face. If you do get it wrong for whatever reason, don’t be disheartened and use this guide to learn and practice the techniques for that perfect handshake. Do remember that it takes a little bit of practice to get it right each time.

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