How to Shake Hands Properly




Knowing how to shake hands with someone is very important in the professional world as well as the personal sphere. The right shake can build trust and the wrong can put up walls. These instructions will hopefully lead you down the path of good communication and help you put forward good representation of yourself to others.

To complete this instructable you will need:
 -one person

*disclaimer, this is the appropriate way to shake hands in America. Other cultures support different values and may find such a handshake offensive. Use to your own discretion.

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Step 1: Find a Partner

You can't shake a hand without someone's hand to be offered! Go find a partner with whom to practice. 

Step 2: Extending Your Right Hand

The first step toward a good shake is raising your right hand and extending it toward the person with whom you will be shaking hands. Make sure that your arm is parallel to the ground during this step and that your palm is perpendicular to the ground and upright. It is also best to have an engaged hand--not too relaxed, but also not stiff.

Step 3: Grasp Hands

After your hand shaking partner has offered his or her hand, grasp theirs. During this step you will need to grasp their whole hand, not just their fingertips or the first half of their hand. To execute the best handshake, it is best to grasp hands fully so that the palms of both hands make contact. 

Also make sure that you are grasping comfortably. Make sure you aren't causing your hand-shaking partner any pain or discomfort. If they show signs of tension, relax a little.

Step 4: The Shake

During this step you will give the person's hand a gentle squeeze and a solid, firm downward shake. The shake shouldn't really be noticeable by outsiders, just a quick dip of about an inch and then back up.

Step 5: Ending the Shake

The interaction should only last a few seconds, so gently let go of their hand. One thing you should definitely NOT do is wipe your hand off on any surface, such as your pant leg.

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    5 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    You should use one of your own images for the introduction - using a clearly-googled image makes your project look like spam.

    (It's fine to use the same image more than once.)

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Not to mention that said image is of a left-handed shake, offensive in many places around the world.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Only in a few Muslim nations - it's the traditional way of showing trust across most of Africa, and is, therefore, the way Scouts shake hands.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Good description. Would like to re-emphasize in Step 3 that a handshake should be Firm but NOT a demonstration of your superior grip strength. Doing that is rude and could possibly injure the other person if they had hand injuries or arthritis. A hand shake should be a sign of sincerity, welcoming and friendship, not a brute demonstration of dominance. Those kinds of handshakes will not help you win friends or admiration.


    5 years ago

    I also try to do my handshakes this way, but I also am aware that there are others that just don't want to make any skin to skin contact with new people. So, I try to be respectful of them, but still present my handshake in this manner. This Instructable is spot on! I still believe in good character :)