The Handshake and What It Says About You

I’ve written a few posts about body language, and how you come across to others. I recently received a request to talk more about the topic (and I aim to please), so today’s topic is all about the handshake.

And that’s the first point. The handshake IS important. When you meet someone, SHAKE THEIR HAND. If your hands are full, free them. If they’re standing across the room, approach them. Ignoring a handshake can be seen as disrespectful, so stand up, free your hand, approach the other person and give them a good firm handshake while making eye contact and smiling.

Now, a few tips about the handshake itself:

Warm your hands. Before you meet with the other party, rub your hands together to warm them up, and wipe them on your clothes to make sure they’re dry. You can also sit with your hands underneath your legs to keep them warm and dry.

Free your right hand. When they enter the room, make sure your right hand is free and clear for the handshake.

Go the distance. Stand too close and you’re invading their space. Stand too far away and you appear uncomfortable and isolated. You should stand far enough away to “extend” your hand to shake theirs, but don’t stand so far away that your body has to lean forward to reach them. If’ you’re not sure, stand still, extend your hand, and let them step in to a comfortable distance.

Get a grip. Never EVER grip too tight, especially if you’re a man shaking a woman’s hand. But a weak handshake is not good either. (ladies, NEVER do the little “fingertip handshake”). Give a good solid handshake without squeezing. It’s courteous and shows confidence.

Good hand positioning. Believe it or not, the angle of your hand is significant. An “underhand shake”, where your palm is up, is a sign of submission. An “overhand shake”, where your palm is facing downward, is a sign of dominance. It’s best to make sure your palm is facing sideways, not up or down. If the other person’s palm is facing upward or downward, you should take their hand and adjust so that both your hands are vertical. This indicates a partnership and equality.

A good general rule of thumb… follow the other person’s lead with everything EXCEPT positioning, which should ALWAYS be vertical.

Hope this helps!

What do you say in your Video Resume (or Video Introduction)

Video Resumes (or Video Introductions) are becoming more and more popular on social media sites. A typical person is 7 to 10 times more likely to view a video than they are to read an article or profile, and much more likely to remember what they see. So it’s a great way to introduce yourself on your LinkedIn profile or FaceBook page.

A good video introduction last about 1 to 2 minutes, and gives an overview of you, your skills, your experience, and what you bring to the table.

Here are a few suggestions for when you’re considering what to say:

  • Start by introducing yourself.
    Establish who you are, your core competencies, and why they should continue to watch. (in 20 seconds or less). Get their attention!
    Mention your college degree if you have one, and include your GPA if it’s above 3.0.
  • Describe your skills and experience.
    • Discuss your greatest strengths and give examples.
    • Briefly give a few examples of your favorite successful projects and experiences.
      Each example should end with how everyone lived happily ever after, and how this experience can benefit a new employer.
    • List any recent relevant training or certifications, and any volunteer work you’ve done, or relevant organizations you belong to.
  • Summarize why you’re a good candidate in one sentence.
  • Thank the viewer for watching, and invite them to contact you to discuss your mutual goals.

Here are some general tips on how to say it:

  • Keep your sentences somewhat short. Your tone of voice has more inflection at the beginning and end of a sentence, so run-on sentences can sound very “dry”.
  • Keep in mind, this is video, not paper. Do not just read your resume on camera. Tell your story. If you can demonstrate your skills, feel free to do so.
  • Use the STAR methodology to help “tell your stories”. (Explain the Situation / Task, discuss the Actions you took, tell about the quantifiable Results from your actions)
  • Make sure the information you’re providing is genuine, interesting, and relevant to the type of job or industry you’re interested in.

Capturing Success Stories (Ratings, Recommendations and Testimonials)

Hi. Welcome to CNU on video. Today I want to talk a little bit about testimonials. But I prefer to call them Client Success Stories. This is because you don’t just want someone “giving a testimonial” for your company on video.

People want to hear an actual story.

So, here are some tips on how you can turn testimonials into great Video Success Stories.

First, this isn’t a grade school photo, so don’t have your subject stand against a wall. This can make the video look flat and two dimensional. To add more depth and remove shadows, put them in the middle of the room about 6-8 feet from the background.

Next, this is the Shape of Video. This is your cell phone. Video, cell phone, Video, Cell phone. Hold your cell phone horizontally when shooting. It’s the shape of video.

Next, line up your shot. Make sure there’s not too much room above their head, but don’t cut it off at the top either.
Try to have them either centered, or slightly off center facing inward.

The message is the most important part, so if you can, use a microphone. There are clip on microphones available for less than $20 that plug right into your cell phone. It reduces background noise and makes their voice more clear.

Also, stop shaky video. Put your camera or cell phone on a tripod or steady surface when recording.

If you don’t have a tripod, you can use a simple piece of string to help keep it stable.

Like I said earlier you want a success story, not just a testimonial. In order to get that success story, you’ll need to ask the right questions. Before, during, and after.

What was the problem you had that prompted you to talk to me?What did you like best about working with me? And how have things improved since working with me?

Also, keep in mind that some people ramble the first time you ask a question and are much more concise the second time, and other people give a great answer the first time but struggle the second because they are trying to remember what they said the first time. Always ask the question twice so you can pick the better of the two.

Finally, keep the video short. Tell them you’re looking for 30 seconds. You’ll get about a minute. You really don’t want anything longer than that.

I hope this has been helpful. Now go get some fabulous success stories from your clients. If you have any additional questions or need any extra help. Give us a call at (314) 843-3663, that’s 314-video me.