The Handbook

The Subtle Art of the Handshake

In this age of hands-free, bluetooth technology, the handshake is something of a lost art. But it's an art nonetheless. And it's an important one for any man to master. Because, like they say, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. And a handshake needs to instantly convey your interest, strength and sincerity.


Think of it as a pitch.

A good shake is the result of good timing. Let your body language signal to the other person that he or she has got one coming. Swing your hand up from your hip, palm turned just slightly toward the floor.


Maintain eye contact.

Don't look for or at the other person's hand.


Firm is the name of the game.

No one wants a weak handshake—not even women. Don't worry, you're not gripping as hard as you think big guy. Just don't squeeze.


Hold 'em right there.

Don't let go as soon as contact is made—we call this premature evacuation. If it's someone you know, bring the shake toward you and notice how the other person leans in.


And then release.

Three to five beats should suffice. Don't be the guy who holds their hand until you've finished whatever it is you wanted to say. You're not running for office.

Around the World

The French do it with finesse. A soft grip with one or two pumps.

A strong but genial shake with direct eye contact.

Expect a longer handshake. Too firm a grip is considered rude.