TODAY   |  February 21, 2013

David Gregory teaches the power of a good handshake

NBC’s David Gregory has shaken hands with dozens of power players, politicians and even presidents. He demonstrates how his dad taught him the importance of a strong handshake from a young age.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> the top tip you learned from your parents.

>> this is one of those life-long lessons. my dad taught me the power of a good hand shake , such a simple lesson but stayed with me. i think about it with my kids, do you have eye contact ? a firm grip. it was my dad. we were at a friend of his house, we had played tennis. me and dad at the all-star game a couple years ago. i shook his hand. and he made a point, my dad, saying, that was kind of a weak hand shake . you always want to have a firm hand shake , man-to-man, just an important part.

>> how old were you when that happened?

>> what?

>> how old were you?

>> i was about 10 or 11.

>> so you've shaken many hands.

>> maybe it sounds insensitive. when you're shaking a man's hand, particularly firm grip. anybody's hand, a woman maybe not as hard depending on the situation.

>> good firm grip.

>> good eye contact . hold it for a few seconds. make an impression.

>> the holding and release is very important.

>> hold and release.

>> how long do you hold?

>> don't you think it's true as you're growing up, if you shake somebody's hand, it's kind of limp -- wow, what was that?

>> you don't want to hold on too long or too tight. hold me, david.

>> when you come in with the left, what does that mean? definitely something that stayed with me. we showed presidential photos as well.

>> of all the hands you've shaken especially of fairly influential people, who would you rank in the top five?

>> interesting, among the presidents, there are some, i won't say who, who have weaker handshakes, i think there's a reason for that. i think they're actually counseled a little bit when you're shaking so many hands you don't want to grip tightly over time.

>> interesting.