Secrets of the perfect handshake

A handshake is part of making a great first impression. Everybody remembers a bad shaker. For instance your aunt or uncle? Maybe their handshake is too firm, or too loose. Both ways aren’t very pleasurable. Hereby I give you my tips for the perfect handshake:


When do you start the handshake? And are you the one who should initiate it? Usually the person with authority starts the handshake, like your employer or a minister. Wait for them to start. When you are the right person to start a handshake, don’t wait too long. Things can get kind of awkward and it gets less natural to start.

Get out of your chair, stand confident and smile when you offer your hand. Make sure you palms don’t feel sweaty. While you handshake it’s the perfect time to say something nice. For instance: ‘It’s great to meet you Jack.’ When repeating the other person’s name you are more likely te remember them.

Nobody likes the feel of a flabby hand. Make your handshake firm, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to hurt people. Is the other person a child or a very old lady? Adjust your grip just a little bit.

It should feel natural when to let go. You don’t have to hang on while you talk. The average handshake will last a few seconds.

Things to keep in mind
There are a few other things you should be aware of while you handshake. Is the other person wounded on their right hand? Offer your left hand. When you shake hands, what do you do with the rest of your body? – Get your left hand out of your pocket! The handshake should be done in an up and down motion. Some people tend to rotate the handshake so their hand is on top, this gives the impression of authority. Other people put their left hand on top of the handshake. In this situation, you could pat the side of the upper arm of the other person.

Good luck!

The art of the first impression

You have only one shot to make a good first impression. In the first few seconds of meeting someone new you decide if you like the person, where they fit in and if you take them seriously. Here are a few tips to make a great first impression:

first impression

Be confident
People will notice when you feel insecure. So relax, smile and make eye contact. Don’t fidget, look at the ground or bite your finger nails. Just be the best version of you!

A firm handshake
You can tell a lot by somebody’s handshake. A good handshake is firm, last a few seconds and is complemented with a smile, saying your name and something like: ‘Hi Bob, how are you?’ ‘Nice to meet you, Sara!’ or ‘My name is Anne, great to finally meet you.’

Proper body language
Slouching is a no-go. As is turning your body away from the conversation, looking away when the other person talks or having a defensive posture. Try to maintain an active, open posture: look at the other person, respond and mirror their behaviour. Usually this means you are interested in the other person.

Remember their names
Most people find it difficult to remember other people’s names. Therefore it’s a good trick to repeat the name directly when someone introduces themselves, you will remember the name once you’ve said it out loud at least once. Try to make it as naturally as possible: ‘Hi, my name is Jack.’ you: ‘Great to meet you. Where are you from Jack?’

Dress appropriately
Dress the part. Smart casual, business, sportive. Every situation asks for proper attire. When you are not sure about the dresscode, ask. There is no shame in making sure you are wearing a suitable outfit, you will feel ashamed when you stand out from the crowd for all the wrong reasons.

Find common ground 
The best and easiest thing is to let the other person speak about themselves and then to find a subject you both have interest in. You can ask them (for example): ‘What do you do for fun?’ ‘Did you always wanted to be a ….?’ ‘Where do you find inspiration for ….?’ From there it’s easy to maintain an interesting conversation.

Be yourself
Don’t try to be funny or witty when you’re not. Don’t mock about people you know or things you’ve done. Don’t talk to much and don’t judge other people. Just try to get to know one another and be sincere. Saying, texting or mailing whilst sending an LinkedIn invite you really liked to meet the person is highly appreciated by many people.

Do you have other tips to make a good first impression? Let me know!