Make no mistake: You are judged by your handshake. A firm, friendly handshake with good eye contact shows self-confidence. And far more than you realize, you unconsciously judge others by the way they shake your hand. When a person shakes your hand easily and earnestly, he or she creates a favorable impression. It's a simple gesture that not only says "I'm happy to make your acquaintance" but also "You interest me more than anyone else at this moment." These are powerful messages that shows respect. Following are some tips to help you shake hands confidently.
• Be the first to extend your hand.
• Always smile when you extend your hand.
• Look the other person in the eyes when you shake his or her hand.
• Even if the other person gives you a limp, wet-noodle handshake, shake his or her hand firmly.
• A proper handshake is done from the elbow, not the shoulder.
• Be relaxed when you shake hands, not stiff and rigid.
• A handshake should last just a couple of seconds, three at the most. Avoid holding on too long, or you will be known as a "pumper" or "gripper."
• To avoid having clammy hands, spray a little antiperspirant on a cloth (not Kleenex) and rub it on your palms. [Is this what you meant? Don't spray your palms directly?]
• To avoid having cold, wet hands at parties, carry your drink in your left hand so that your right hand is free.
• To escape a gripping or pumping handshake, simply release your hand so the other person will do the same.
Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert, an on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (www.lisagrotts.com), certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on www.Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and www.Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.