Guide to the perfect handshake

2010-07-16 07:57

Help is here for people who are overcome with nerves when faced

with the age-old custom of shaking hands – British scientists yesterday unveiled

a step-by-step guide to the perfect handshake.

Researchers at the University of Manchester, in northwest England,

found that the biggest problems were sweaty palms, limp wrists, gripping too

hard and lack of eye contact.

Geoffrey Beattie, the university’s head of psychological sciences,

came up with a mathematical formula which took into account 12 key measures

needed to convey trust and respect to the recipient.

They include vigour, eye contact and hand temperature.

Beattie said: “The human handshake is one of the most crucial

elements of impression formation and is used as a source of information for

making a judgment about another person.”

The researcher added he was surprised “that up until now there has

not been a guide showing people how they should shake hands,” which has been a

traditional greeting and a key part of business deals for thousands of


Beattie’s steps to the perfect handshake, for both men and women,

are: use the right hand, a complete grip and a firm squeeze (but not too

strong), a cool and dry palm, approximately three shakes, with a medium level of

vigour, held for no longer than two to three seconds.

The handshake must also be executed with eye contact kept

throughout and a good natural smile with an appropriate verbal statement,

according to the scientist.

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