It's possible that I've always underestimated what a good handshake can actually do for me. In the October issue of Esquire, Tom Chiarella offers his point-of-view in the article "The Art of the Handshake":
Truth be told, a man who has a good handshake can do any goddamned thing he wants. I'm not saying he will; I'm saying he can. He can work a room—one person to the next, shaking with strangers, with old colleagues, with huge men and tiny women alike—with his hand. People remember him; they listen to him. Men like this are followed.
The good handshake demands a particularly strong command of several divergent elements of influence in a single gesture, in one smallish moment, in order to connect with a person whom (presumably) you have never met before. Think of the components: a swift, elegant movement toward the waiting hand, wise use of the eyes, the considered grip strength, even the rhythm of the shake is important. All that and you have to speak, too; you have to be engaged enough to muster a question, remember a name, acknowledge some common experience while you grip, shake, and release.
Later in the article, he goes on to explain his new technique and what he learned it can do for him. Although, I must admit that I don't fully understand the technique he describes. Maybe that's why I'm not a giver of good handshake.
What I think is interesting is that I've never seen or heard of anyone teaching the art of handshaking. Nor do I know of anyone who learned his technique from his father. I just kind of fell into something that felt comfortable to me and went with it. With so many etiquette and self-help books on the market, surely there has to be something. Or maybe it's a way for someone with more vision than I have to actually make a buck here and there.