I volunteered to be a mock job interviewer for my eighth grade son’s speech class yesterday. The students were graded on everything from their appearance to their resume. The first thing to grade them on was their handshake. This was a great first item, because a handshake is what makes a first impression. This is why a good handshake is so important.
How to have a good handshake is the first thing that I teach children and young adults in my manners classes. I teach them when meeting someone they need to have a firm handshake, good eye contact, and a clear and loud enough voice. I make fun of different handshakes for the little kids to keep it entertaining, but in reality it is hard to find people who have a solid handshake. Handshakes should be the same no matter what gender you are and no matter what gender you are shaking with. A good handshake should not feel like a death grip to the other person, and your hand should be straight and literally firm.
A lot of men like to use two hands to grip a female’s hand. I think they are trying to give warmer greeting - which is not insulting – just not quite “correct.” Other men seem to tilt your hand up. It always makes me wonder if the man is going to kiss my hand, and that sort of makes me uncomfortable. The worst for me is the limp hand. No male or female makes a good impression with a limp hand.
Do you know what kind of handshake you have? Ask a relative and see what he or she thinks, and try to improve it if necessary. Remember, you can only make a first impression one time.