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How to Relay Confidence with Your Handshake

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: It only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression.


Whether you're at an interview, networking event, or a business meeting, what can you possibly say in 7 seconds to make sure the right qualities are relayed? Nothing. Focus instead on what you can do to quietly, yet powerfully, communicate the perception you want in so little time. Focus on:

  • Your attire
  • Your physical presence
  • Your handshake

Attire is the easiest bit - we take the financial and mental stress out of that decision for you. Physical presence takes a little more practice, but it’s all about finding a small routine that makes you feel confident (and paying attention to our quick tips!). If you feel confident, you’ll project confidence.  

Now, about that handshake:

  • Make eye contact.
  • Smile.
  • If you’re sitting (i.e. in the waiting room) stand to be closer to eye-level before holding out your hand.
  • Have a firm grip.
  • If you’re holding a jacket, briefcase, tablet, etc. hold it in your left hand to keep your right hand free for the introduction.
  • Relay confidence with your handshake

In all of the business greetings below, everyone is making eye contact and smiling - great! Let’s assess the rest of the details to see who is delivering the best business handshake:

Extra Handshake Quick Tips:

  • Don’t wear big rings on your right hand
  • Use the person’s name in your greeting “Great to meet you, Judy” - it adds personal connection to the already impactful combination of eye contact + your smile + a confident handshake.

*Handshake guidance summarized from Monster, Mental Floss, and direct professional experience.


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