Originally created 06/19/97

The handshake an important part of business, consultant says

It's one thing to press the flesh; it's another to shake hands confidently, a Georgia World Trade Center protocol director told a group of businesswomen Wednesday.

"Nothing says more about you than your handshake," Elaine Smith Clark, founder of Elaine Clark Consulting International and an Augusta native, told those gathered for the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce's Women in Business Committee lunch meeting at the West Lake Country Club.

A handshake should be firm, said Ms. Clark, who has moved back to Augusta after a 22-year absence. She demonstrated a poor handshake and a good one with Patrena Hill, convention sales manager for the Augusta Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. She then ordered the scores of women at the luncheon to practice what they had learned with someone they didn't know in the dining room.

"The important thing is they want to know that you are alive," Ms. Clark said.

Shaking hands correctly is only part of exhibiting confidence, said Ms. Clark, who spoke on "The Power of Presence." The way people walk into rooms, hold conversations and bring order to their lives tell about how much power of presence they have.

Women, who appear unable to say "no" on the job or at home, tend to overextend themselves to the point that their power of presence is depleted, Ms. Clark said.

"You must, in all situations, be confident in yourself," she said. "... Because life is way too short - we all have problems. And how you deal with them makes you unique ... Those are the people companies are looking for."

Also at the meeting, Women in Business Symposium chairwoman Julie Brakenbury, director of sales at the Augusta CVB, announced the main speaker for the July 31 symposium at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel Augusta.

Emory Austin, a Charlotte, N.C.-based customer service trainer, entrepreneur, writer and talk show host, will speak at lunchtime. She works with Hallmark greeting card company, among other customers.

The symposium, a half-day event designed to help businesswomen gain expertise and networking skills, will feature workshops on business topics, such as investing for women, leadership and business etiquette.

Tickets are $45 for chamber members and $60 for non-members for the half-day of events and $25 for all who want to attend the luncheon only. They are on sale now at the chamber office at 600 Broad Street Plaza. Call 821-1300 for details.


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