By Chanda Temple
Earlier this year, I met a man running for public offie. I don’t remember his name nor the office he wanted. What I do remember is his handshake. It was clammy and sweaty.
After shaking hands, I couldn’t wait to wipe my hand. It was left kinda wet.
As I walked away, I wondered if the man knew what his handshake said about him. He may have been the best man for the job, but all I could focus on was that handshake.
Though it may seem small, a handshake is a big thing in politics and business.
Here are a few tips to master the perfect handshake:
- Maintain eye contact
When meeting someone and shaking hands, look them in the eye. It shows you are serious and engaged. When you finish shaking hands, maintain good eye contact during the conversation.
- Don’t hang on
When shaking hands, don’t hang onto the person’s hand for a long time. Do a two-shake motion and then release. A handshake should be made in one up motion, one down motion and then release. After you go up one time and go down one time, you are done.
- Don’t be such a lady
Ladies, it’s OK to give a firm handshake. Gone are the days to offer a dainty or limp handshake. Show you mean business and shake hands like you mean it. Do this with women and men.
- Don’t be a bone crusher
Fellas, save flexing your muscles for the gym. You don’t have to show how much you can bench press by pressing someone’s hand into a pancake. Apply just enough pressure to leave a good impression, not a debilitating one.
- Practice, practice, practice
Unsure what your handshake says about you? Practice with a someone in the know about networking and handshakes. Ask for honest feedback.
- Wipe those hands
If you have sweaty palms, wipe them before you meet someone. The same goes for if you have been holding a cold drink or just finished eating. No one wants what’s on your hands, on theirs. It’s just good etiquette.
- Have something to say
Once you’ve mastered a good handshake, what’s your opening line like? Have something interesting to say to go with that impressive handshake.
Chanda Temple worked as a reporter for 20 years before becoming a public relations professional. She blogs about being better in business and more at http://www.chandatemplewrites.com. Follow her on Twitter at @chandatemple. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.