Handshakes are boring right? Men in suits, sealing a deal. Politicians playing for the camera. The escape hatch for awkward Britons that aren’t quite comfortable with the continental cheek kiss yet. However, this simple every day act provides a minefield of faux pas’ to manoeuvre. When a handshake fails, things get awkward very quickly, and whilst average handshakes usually don’t stick in our memories, bad handshakes, sadly, do. But fear not – SEMA4 is here to help you with the top most hated handshakes to avoid.


Make mine a dry one
We all get nervous and anxious before big meetings or introductions. It’s natural. But what isn’t natural, however, is the feeling of contacting someone’s yukky sweaty palms. Remember you won’t get a second chance at that first impression and if you are meeting and greeting after a speech, you will want to be remembered for your words and not wet hands. Make sure you wipe before you shake!


The Dead Fish

You know…that limp, ‘sloppy dishcloth’ type of handshake. This handshake ranks as the number one least favoured. A limp, lifeless hand extended and just barely shaken. It’s the type of handshake that can ruin a meeting before it even begins.


The Fingerella

Coming a very close second is the handshake where you only offer your fingers to the other person. Unless you’re shaking hands with someone’s great-great-grandma, or meeting the Queen, make sure you offer you whole hand!


The Bone-Crusher

A client once gave me the bone crusher and broke every nail on my hand! What is says: the person is wanting to take over, dominate the situation. This type of person is earnest but nervous. While meaning to convey warmth through a tight grip of your hand, the person only causes you pain. The impression created is definitely that of a person who lacks sensitivity.


The Gas Pump Handle

When shaking someone’s hand 2/3 pumps is sufficient – Its vital that you avoid ‘over-pumping’. It’s the handshake that doesn’t end when it should. Nobody wants to make the wrong move so no move is made. It just keeps going forever. As a rule if you are doing it like Trump, it must be wrong


The Space Invader

This handshake quite simply violates etiquette and personal space by reaching too far up your wrist. Quite simply creepy!


So next time you are you meeting and greeting please ensure these horrific handshake never see the light of day!