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Tips for Recognizing with Award Certificates

Time and time again, we’ve heard stories from customers about the impact an award certificate  has on an individual. Like Natalie from the Georgia Department of Human Resources. She presented a certificate in a Heavy Weight Display Plaque  to a judge visiting from Japan. When she presented the certificate to the judge, “he jumped out of his chair!”

Or like the staff nurse who wrote to us from Chicago. She designed her own template and presented You Make the Difference certificates to all her colleagues. Some of the recipients were so moved by the award, they cried! 

Make your award recipients jump for joy by presenting them with a well-designed and carefully executed award certificate , too. Include these four elements of a memorable certificate to make a big impression on your award recipients:

1. Design. Make a beautiful certificate by following a pre-designed template. A template will have all the correct margins in place, so you won’t waste any certificate paper correcting the layout. Add a certificate seal and ribbon to your design for a more finished look.

2. Award Verse. When it comes to an award certificate, what you say is as important as how you say it. Select a pre-written verse or write your own that is specific to the individual and their accomplishment.

3. Personalization. Make the award certificate about the recipient. Include their name in the verse design and create an award title that’s all about them. Some of our favorites include Samurai Seller, Elbow Grease Award, and Unsung Hero Award. Get more sample employee recognition award certificate titles  in this free download. 

4. Presentation. This is the most important element of an impactful award certificate. The most beautiful, carefully designed award will not leave a positive impression on the recipient if it’s carelessly tossed on their desk. Make a little fanfare about the achievement by bringing the entire team together or sending pictures of the smiling recipient to the entire company. 

As you can tell, the little things make a big difference. Certificates are one of the most affordable award options available, and a complete certificate with folder, seal, and ribbon can cost as little as $2.00 each. With certificates, you can afford to recognize a large group without worrying about breaking your budget!

Shop Award Certificates

Quick Tips 
Before you can design an outstanding certificate that will wow your recipients, you need to understand all the components that go into a great certificate. The best award certificates include all of these elements and make a grand impression on the award recipient.

  • Paper  – Certificates are typically designed on a heavy weight paper with either a foil design or colorful border. Find a paper that fits your award situation.
  • Award title – What are you recognizing? A recipient should know what the award is about by reading the title.
  • Award verse –Memorable award certificates have a personal verse that is customized for the award occasion. 
  • Certificate seal and ribbon  – Certificate seals and ribbons can make your award more interesting and eye catching. 
  • Folder  – Certificates are often presented in a folder or frame. The added display element increases the prestige associated with the certificate. 
  • Signature – Your certificate isn’t complete until a leader in your organization adds their signature.

Best Practices
Even though you don’t have to spend a lot on  award certificates, you can still make the recipient feel like a million bucks with an awesome award presentation. For an impactful award, use our free Award Presentation Guide. The guide includes valuable tips that will be helpful to any manager handing out awards, such as: 

1. Make sure you know how to pronounce the recipient’s name! If you’re unsure, ask someone who works with the individual, and spell it phonetically on your presentation notes.

2. Be specific in your presentation. When you’re giving the certificate, be sure to add personal stories and specific examples of outstanding behavior. Again, feel free to ask colleagues for suggestions. 

3. Practice! It’s true that practice makes perfect. Even if you’re only making a two minute presentation, practice your speech in front of another person at least once for feedback.


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