How To Properly Shake Hands

How to Shake Hands

Your handshake is a part of your first impression. Whether you’re shaking hands with a friend or meeting a potential client, you want your handshake to say good things about you. Luckily, it’s easy to master the perfect handshake!

Mastering the Handshake


Stand near the person you want to shake hands with. Leave three or four feet (1-1.25 meters) between the two of you. You should both be able to comfortably extend your arms to shake hands. If you stand too close, you may come across as creepy. However, if you stand too far away, they may think that you don’t want to shake hands.

Use good posture when shaking someone’s hand. This will make you look confident.

• If you’re sitting, rise before shaking someone’s hand


Extend your right hand. Reach halfway towards the person with your thumb extended upwards and your fingers pressed together. Lean towards the person and maintain eye contact to show that you’re interested in shaking their hand.

• Smile while you extend your hand. Otherwise, you may come across as aggressive.

• If the person’s right hand is injured, offer your left hand instead.


Grasp their hand. Grab the middle of their hand so that the webs of your thumbs are touching. Use a firm grip, but be careful not to squeeze too hard. Try to mirror the pressure that the other person applies.

• Your fingers should be completely curled around the other persons hand.

• Don’t grab the end of the person’s fingers. Otherwise, you’ll shake their limp fingers instead of shaking their hand.

Pump their hand two or three times.
As you grasp the other person’s hand, bend your elbow to lift your hands up and down. Do this two or three times.[3] The movement should be small and precise.

• Avoid swinging their hands around in a large back-and-forth movement.

• Don’t pump their hand more than three times. If you do, you may come across as creepy.


Release their hand and lean back. After you finish shaking hands, release the other person’s hand and return to your original position. At this point, you can politely break eye contact. However, continue smiling as you talk to appear friendly.

• Resist the urge to wipe your hand after shaking someone else’s. They might notice and get offended.