The Art of the Handshake

The Handshake is one of the most important acts of business etiquette but it’s importance often gets overlooked. After many years in business and with some many things to remember at a Networking event – business cards, dress, overall etiquette – the handshake is still part of the vital first impression when meeting new people. Here are a few tips to refresh your memory and remember for your next event:

  1. The handshake is part of the oral introduction. The business handshake should be short and sweet, lasting about 2-3 pumps while the conversation continues.
  2. Maintain eye contact. Look the other person in the eye and engage them with your handshake and overall poise.
  3. Offer a strong, confident hand and shake from the elbow. Avoid a limp “fish hand” and if you are worried about “sweaty palms”, carry a tissue or napkin in your pocket to wipe your fingers before an important business introduction.
  4. One hand is better than two. Use only one hand – your right hand – to avoid being too personal or intrusive in new business situations.
  5. Cover your mistakes. Even if your handshake comes off uncomfortably, keep the conversation going and don’t falter. Continue with a question or compliment.
  6. Always stand up to handshake as long as it’s physically possible.

Practice proper business handshake etiquette when meeting new contacts – whether it’s clients in the office or at an event. Your proper professional handshake will become second nature and you will be always be prepare and at ease at your next Networking event.

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