10 Tips on How to Shake Hands With Confidence
A handshake is more than just a greeting. It is also a message about your personality and confidence level. In business, a handshake is an important tool in making the right first impression.
While the art of handshaking does vary within cultures, in the United States the “rules” are pretty universal.
Begin With an Oral Introduction of Yourself
Before extending your hand, introduce yourself. Extending your hand should be part of a business introduction, not a replacement for using your voice. Extending your hand without a voice greeting may make you appear nervous or overly aggressive.
Forget “Lady Fingers”
It is not a Southern cotillion; this is business. Offering only your fingers to shake may be appropriate in some social settings, but in business settings, you are an equal, not a “lady.” Extend your entire hand, and be sure to grasp using your entire hand as well.
One Hand Is Better Than Two
Avoid the urge to handshake with two hands. It is always better in business introductions to only use one hand—your right hand—for the shake. The use of two hands with strangers is seen as intrusive, and too personal. In fact, a two-handed shake is called the “politician’s shake,” because it appears artificially friendly when used on people you barely know.
Shaking a Sweaty Hand
If you shake hands with someone who has sweaty palms, do not immediately wipe your hands on your clothing, handkerchief, or tissue. It will further embarrass the other person, who is probably already aware they have sweaty hands. You can discretely wipe them on something after you are out of sight and wash them later.
Covering Your Mistakes
Even if you make a mistake, do not panic. There are many ways to save the moment. If you are worried that your handshake did not convey the right message about yourself, simply change the focus of the moment by offering a quick compliment or asking the other person a question.