Science Of The Perfect Handshake

I was interviewed by on the science of the perfect handshake.  Below are my insights that I shared with  For more information you can read the handshake chapter in my book SNAP! Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma or go to the book's website  The link to the actual article is at the end of the post.

Get a Grip - If you want to make a good impression, you need to know how to give a good handshake. Patti Wood, a body language coach who has worked with Fortune 500 companies such as Deloitte and Hewlett-Packard, shares her secrets behind the perfect handshake

Go for the greeting early - Wood suggests that you always extend your hand first, in order to rid the encounter of uncertainty (which studies show can bemore stressful for some people than physical pain). 

Use facial cues  Wood says that good handshakes should be accompanied by an "eyebrow flash"--a raising up of the eyebrows for less than one second--and a slight smile. "It sends a message that I acknowledge you, and I like you," Wood says.
 Scoop your hand upward - Even if you have a firm grip, it's still unpleasant to receive a limp shake of the wrist. Wood suggests extending your arm out with your fingers pointed downward, and then scooping your hand up into the other person's to offset a weak grip.
Put away the cell phone - One of the biggest mistakes Wood sees her clients make is looking at their cell phones while or before shaking hands, as it makes you look distracted and uninterested.
Face forward - Particularly if you are meeting with a potential client or important new partner, Wood says to face forward while giving a handshake, rather than to the side, to reinforce the idea that you are open and engaged in the interaction.
Prevent a bone-crushing handshake - Caught in too firm a grip? Placing your hand over the other person's hand will restrict movement and give you more physical control over the encounter. Wood calls this the "double" or "glove" handshake. 

Close with a verbal accompaniment
Wood says it's important to add a "nice to meet you," or continue to converse with the other person. That's because people are more likely to recall the last portion of the interaction, in a phenomenon known as the recency effect.  

Link to the article:

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at