How to present an award in a more rewarding way.

Adam Albrecht
2 min readJun 4, 2023


The end of the school year is award season. There are awards for academics, music, sports, volunteering, spirit, and my personal favorite, attendance. I love rewarding great achievement, attitude, and general showing-upness.

But we can present the awards in a better way.

There is a common practice of awarding Nancy Drew-style. In this practice, we present the person without a name, and everyone in attendance has to guess who the mystery achiever is. The Nancy Drew-style presentation goes something like this:

This year’s recipient is an exceptional kid who has worked extremely hard. They are funny like Kevin Hart, caring like Mother Theresa, and more importantly, have had perfect attendance. They are one of my favorite kids ever. They will probably become the President of the United States, win a Nobel Prize, or even better, become a You-Tuber.

In this practice, we don’t reveal the name of the winner until after we have said all the great things about them. Then, after all the praise and credentials are announced, the mystery is revealed, and we clap for a few seconds as they walk up and receive their certificate.

Let’s flip this practice.

Let’s announce the award recipient first. Let’s get them in front of the audience right away. Let’s share all of the accolades and appreciation while they are basking in the spotlight. This way, all of the good things we say shine on the winner in real-time. Which means you can also film the moment and share it on the socials. Then you can enjoy watching the moment over and over. Or at least until the format you captured the video on is no longer supported by Apple devices.

My son Johann just won his Wisconsin state piano competition. That dude can really play!

This practice serves as an amazing way to introduce the award winner to people they haven’t met. It enhances the winner’s personal brand. And it provides a praise experience they will never forget. Which, in the long run, is more valuable than the award itself.

Key Takeaway

When you present an award, announce the winner first. Shine the spotlight on them as you share their successes. Connect a name and face with the achievement. Because that time in the adoration spotlight is the greatest gift of all.

If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Originally published at on June 4, 2023.



Adam Albrecht

I am a growth-minded entrepreneur and author of the book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? I share what I'm learning on my journey. And I try to make it funny.