I felt good expressing appreciation this week. I have a personal rule I use regularly – when I think something complimentary about someone, I tell them. I did it even more during this U.S. holiday.

But, how do I use public speaking best practices to give thanks in the workplace?

1.   I specifically mention the behavior I like, “Thanks for those numbers. I can always count on you (the pun is a bonus).”

2.   After a meeting: “I appreciate how you keep bringing us back to the big picture, the long view.”

3.   Particularly praise leaders’ presentation skills – my clients tell me it actually is lonely at the top. Say, “That was a difficult message but you delivered it with compassion so it didn’t throw us as much as it might have. Thank you.”

Big Rule: No false praise. Even people you do not like or respect have some good qualities or traits. “You bring the best donuts!” “You always look elegant.”

I do not praise the person generically, “You are a nice person, you are a good person.” It doesn’t indicate the behavior I would like repeated (a la behavior modification!).

Your Forever Public Speaking Coach,