You might not think shaking hands is a vital business skill, but communications consultant Mark Jeffries used it as the basis for an entire book (called, predictably enough, What's Up With Your Handshake? Speaking at the Cognos Forum on the Gold Coast today, Jeffries argued that the handshake creates a vital first impression: "We notice handshakes that go wrong. If your first impression is off a little bit, you'll feel it and your game goes down, and they'll feel it and your perception goes down." A damp handshake is always unpleasant, and people who shake for too long might be better avoided, warns Jeffries: "They don't care that you've finished shaking hands. They have no interest in your agenda. This means potentially that this person likes to do business their way. They may not be a good partner for your business." So how do you get it right? Here's Jeffries' simple advice; "What is the ideal duration of a normal handshake? The answer: Two seconds. One, two, then let go." And have a firm grip that extends fully into the other person's hand, but don't inflict injury in the process. If you constantly sweat, wash your hands with cold water in the bathroom before hitting a networking event -- the lower temperature will reduce clamminess.
How to shake hands properly
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