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Rules for a Proper Handshake

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Wed, Aug 01, 2012 @ 07:58 PM

inspirational speaker for insurance companyI was an inspirational speaker for an insurance company recently where one of the board members showed us how to execute a proper handshake.

It was very interesting information because apparently I have been doing it wrong all these years. As an inspirational speaker, I attend alot of networking events and I shake lots of hands. Although my handshake wasn't shameful, I learned that all this time (with a few tips) I could have been establishing a stronger first impression.

The speaker for the insurance company suggested a good handshake has the following qualities:

  • Make eye contact. Make sure your eyes meet first so you can get an accurate reading of the person. Smile. It reduces tension and avoids mixed messages.
  • Extend an open hand with palm tilted upwards with your thumb up. Tilting your hand downwards may prompt people to kiss it!
  • Establish a firm grip with the space between your thumb and forefinger touching. Don't crush fingers but avoid the limp shake. Firm means confident but not overpowering.
  • Pump the hand once or twice.
  • Hold the handshake for a few seconds while maintaining eye contact. Shifting your eyes makes you seem untrustworthy and holding a handshake for too long becomes awkward.
  • Listen for the person's name and repeat it


The other inspirational speakers for the insurance company included sales guest speakers with more etiquette tips like how to brag about yourself. I will save this for another blog!

Check out sales guest speakers here



Tags: guest speakers, inspirational speaker for insurance company, proper handshake

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