Welcome to the PIT List!

I'm a network field producer who also worked in local tv as a line producer and field producer. Over the years, I have had the great fortune to work with super people. Now I'd like to pass along what I know and rant a tad.

"Dear Maggie..." pitlist@gmail.com
I check it sporadically, but I love answering emails, so if you have an issue or difficult person you need help with, don't hesitate to shoot it my way.

Maggie L

Maggie L
One of the rare times I'm in the office

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Art of the Handshake

When I was 20 years old, a sort of jerky Executive Producer with whom I worked did me a great favor. When I shook his hand, he slapped it away and told me my handshake was too wimpy. I imagine the handshake I gave him was a bit like the ones I have received since, from a variety of people- interns to professionals. Mostly women. Their hand just sits there, limply. It says, I have no confidence, feel free to roll right over me. It is not appealing to shake a hand like this. In fact, during an interview on this subject, a business etiquette expert, Pamela Holland (author of, "Help! What That a Career Limiting move?"), told me potential employers put wimpy handshakes above visible tattoos in terms of reasons not to hire you.

The favor the jerky EP did for me was to show me how to give a proper handshake. Connect with your hands, look the guy straight in the eye and give a shake that's firm, but not enough to restrict bloodflow. It will feel really weird at first and you will be self-conscious for a while, but eventually it will become a habit you don't even think about-- until you are on the receiving end of a wimpy handshake.

One final tip-- and I wish I could remember from whom I received it-- when you're circulating at a bar or party, keep your drink in your left hand so when you shake, your shaking hand won't feel cold and clammy.

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