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Shake Quake

Purpose: Ice Breaker, introductions, warm up for interview preparation session.

Materials: none


  • Tell the group that you will be doing some research on handshakes.
  • Ask for a volunteer and demonstrate 4 – 6 handshake styles.
    • firm grip (should not be painful, but very firm)
    • pumping grip (may go on several seconds)
    • three hander (placing a second hand over that of your partner)
    • limp (no motion or grip)
    • swaying (back and forth like swinging a rope)
    • flip (flip over your partner’s hand)
    • high five (open handed slap)
  • Ask the group to name each handshake style.
  • Have the group form pairs and practice each of the styles as you call them out.
  • Ask the group to mingle throughout the room, and when they hear you call out “Shake Quake”, they are to find someone and shake hands, using any of the styles.
  • Repeat 6 – 10 times.

Discussion Points:

  • How often did both partners have the same style? How did that feel?
  • Did anyone adapt their style when a partner initiated another style first? How did that feel? How did it feel if neither adapted?
  • Did you vary your style, or keep to one? Why?
  • Do different styles give different impressions?
  • What did you learn about yourself or others?


  • When the group mingles, call out styles for everyone to use.
  • Form a circle with pairs. Each person A looks right, each person B looks left. (Facilitator joins in to even the group if there is an odd number) Go around the circle alternating handshake styles. Individual styles may be called at random or it may be freestyle.

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