Greeeting handshakes assure guests that all is safe

I often get called at the last minute to do media interviews, but strangely enough, I rarely get nervous. ( I save my throw up the night before nervousness for written from scratch speech performances. )
Typically I will get an urgent call from a media contact and then rush to a TV studio to make comments about a breaking story. When I get to the studio, the producer or journalist I will be working with shakes my hand and ushers me into the studio. I sit calmly as they mike me and we do a sound check.
One day got a call to do a read of President Bush’s body language. I have done that dozen of times, so I thought it would be fun, and no big deal. When I enter the Fox news affiliate studio, I put out my hand, but the producer pulled her hand back said, “I’m sick and don’t want to give you germs.” She then turned and walked ahead of me. As I walked to the studio, my heart began to race and I had to ask for water because my mouth got dry. My hands shook as I sat on the stool in front of the cameras. I started to sweat. What was different this time? The host or “tribal chieftain” didn’t shake my hand to signal she was not going to hurt me and that the station was safe for me to enter. Without that warm greeting I felt danger, my cave woman instincts kicked in and I had a great need for a good antiperspirant.

Do not underestimate the assurance of saftey communicated in a greeting handshake.