· Be honest. The average person can distinguish between empty flattery and sincere appreciation. Give compliments only when you are legitimately awed and truly grateful.
· Be specific. Nonspecific compliments like "you look nice" or "good job" can seem flat and insincere. Rather, make a comment on what you find specifically outstanding in this person's appearance, or what in particular impressed you about the job.
· Tell the person how he has absolutely affected you and your life. Providing actual examples shows your bona fide appreciation. For example, to a the embellish "you have a great sense of humor" you could say, "I was in a terrible mood until you made that joke. I laughed the rest of the afternoon."
· Ask a follow-up. Giving someone a compliment as a closed-end statement leaves the person with only one option: say "thank you." Lead the person you complimented into conversation by asking questions. Instead try something like this: "Great job on that last project. You really had some innovative ideas, and you showed great leadership through the whole thing. Was it hard getting everyone on board with you?"
· Don’t give a backhanded compliment. At all costs, please don't qualify your compliment with anything that sounds negative. For instance, saying "this outfit's much more flattering than what you usually wear" could actually be insulting to the person.