PASS Summit 2013: Quick Networking Tips for Introverts #1

The HandshakeDeadFish_Handshake

The handshake is very important. It is the first step in meeting someone and as we all know, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. You can generally tell a lot about a person from the way they shake your hand. We have all been there before, the awkward handshake. Whether it was the dead fish in your hand, the fingertip grab or the over shoot, they all have a certain sense of weirdness. A weak handshake is showing a certain lack of confidence or nervousness. A good, strong handshake shows a genuine interest in meeting someone.

There is one very easy tip to help you have that strong, good grip handshake that make people realize you mean business. I have used these in the past and they have helped me a lot.

Look at the hand that you are about to shake  Most people focus on the person and not the hand. You must respect the hand. You only get one shot at shaking it and the rest of the conversation to focus on the person. When you come in for a hand focus on the webbing between the thumb and the pointer finger. You should get the webbing of your hand to meet theirs. Yes, this does sound corny, but it works. Once you get that webbing, take a firm grasp of their hand. This almost always assures a good tight handshake. Keep in mind that you are not trying to break the other persons hand and it is not a contest to see who can squeeze the hardest.

I will guarantee you that it will be awkward at first to look at someone’s hand during a handshake, but you will get over it. A moment of awkwardness is way better that delivering a dead-fish handshake onto someone you are trying to impress. Who know, it could be your next boss…

I have to give credit to Don Gabor (LinkedIn|Blog) for his handshaking recommendations. I had the privilege of attending one of his networking sessions and learned a ton. If you have the chance, definitely look him up and connect with him on LinkedIn.

If you see me at PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte, come shake my hand and introduce yourself!

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