12 Tips To Improve Your Professional Handshake

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Business Tips – How to Give a Proper Handshake

When to use a professional handshake

A professional handshake establishes access and rapport between people. An expert handshake can start a respectable conversation, whether you are meeting a friend or a complete stranger.

Here are situations where you can use a professional handshake:

How to build a professional handshake

The following 12 steps will assist you in developing a strong business handshake:

1. Keep your hands ready for a handshake

Get your hands prepared for the occasion if you feel the need to shake someone’s hand. Keep your right hand clean and free of grime, perspiration, grease, and other contaminants as a first step. If you need to quickly clean your hands, wipe them on your pants to make sure they’re dry and ready to shake.

2. Know when to extend your hand

Often, the senior person should initiate the handshake. Allow the senior manager to extend their hand first when you are meeting them for the first time. Wait for the interviewer to extend a handshake when you attend an interview.

Do not apologise or remove your hand if you are the one to initiate the handshake. Some professionals advise making eye contact during an interview because some employers view the action as a sign of self-assurance and interpersonal skills.

From four to six feet away, you can reach out your hand, but you should do so only when the other person is looking at you. Although it’s customary to extend the right hand, you can do so if the other person’s hand is hurt or otherwise occupied.

3. Stand and make eye contact

Etiquette requires you to stand before shaking a persons hand. Keep your distance from the other person while standing up to show that you respect their personal space. Standing puts you two on an equal footing and conveys respect.

Make eye contact with the person and smile genuinely to convey your excitement about meeting them. You can even say hello and mention the person’s name before and during the handshaking to add more emphasis. Building rapport and trust with the other person during the handshake, for instance, by saying something like “It’s nice to meet you, Angela,”

4. Aim for the web

Aim for the web of the other person’s hand when shaking hands. As a result, the web between your thumb and forefinger and the other person’s thumb and forefinger will become locked. The action creates a palm-to-palm contact that enables you to forcefully pump their hand.

5. Keep the pressure moderate

Your handshake needs to be firm, but not overly so. Dont pinch or squeeze the other persons palms. The ideal handshake should be relaxed yet firm, and it should convey your confidence.

Give the other person a firmer handshake if their hand is limp to get them to tighten their grip. When possible, try to match the other person’s grip pressure.

6. Pump it once or twice

Give the other person’s hand a few pumps before releasing your hold on them. Before raising and lowering your hand once or twice, slightly bend your elbow. Keep the movement small and measured to avoid swinging the person’s hand or making the gesture too pronounced in order to achieve the ideal pump gesture. Additionally, it’s best to keep the pump to three to avoid making the other person uncomfortable.

7. Make it brief

The ideal handshake lasts about two to five seconds. To avoid making the other person uncomfortable if you initiated the handshake, it is best to end it after five seconds. Follow the other persons lead if they initiated the handshake.

After five seconds, if they still have your hand in theirs, gently pull away. However, make an effort to maintain a positive attitude, make eye contact, and stand tall. Do not wipe your hands after releasing your hold as many people find this offensive.

8. Show confidence

In a business setting, it’s crucial to convey your confidence to the other person while shaking hands. If the circumstances allow it, extend your hand first to demonstrate your confidence. Other signs of your level of confidence include the firmness of your grip, the tone of your voice, your poise, and how long you can keep the other person’s eyes locked on you.

9. Keep your other hand visible

Your other hand must be exposed to the other person during a handshake. Your free hand may appear defensive if you clench it or put it in your pocket, which could give the other person the wrong impression. The best practice is to avoid touching anyone with your other hand, unless you are shaking hands with a friend or acquaintance.

10. Have a conversation starter ready

It’s common practice to begin a conversation between two people with a handshake. It is best to have an opener prepared before beginning the handshake to avoid awkward pauses between you and the other person. Even though the handshake might not result in a lengthy conversation, saying hello or introducing yourself can help establish rapport and make it simpler to talk later.

11. Repeat before leaving

Exchange a handshake with the person before departing. Repeat the steps above to make the moment memorable.

12. Practice your handshake

Because a firm handshake is crucial when meeting new people, practice it beforehand. Before important events, you can practice your posture, grip strength, timing, and conversation starters at home. You’ll be able to shake hands more fluidly and confidently when it counts.


What is professional handshake?

Your handshake needs to be firm, but not overly so. Don’t pinch or squeeze the other person’s palms. The ideal handshake should be relaxed yet firm, and it should convey your confidence. Give the other person a firmer handshake to encourage them to tighten their grip if their hand is limp.

What are the 3 rules of the handshake?

  • Make sure your right hand is always available to shake hands so that you are always ready for a handshake.
  • Never shake hands with your left hand in your pocket.
  • Always stand for a handshake—man or woman.
  • Make eye contact and smile warmly. …
  • Face the other person shoulder-to-shoulder and heart-to-heart while maintaining your posture.

How do you shake hands formally?

You should give your business partner or client a firm handshake when you’re in a professional setting. A firm handshake with good eye contact communicates self-confidence. The act of shaking hands is a nonverbal communication technique that conveys a lot about a person.

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