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How to Give a Killer Compliment

By: Brian Kim - August 3, 2006

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Who doesn’t like a great compliment every now and then? It’s one of the few things on this earth that can instantly shoot our self esteem sky high.

But you know what’s even better than getting a great compliment?

Giving one.

And not just any old compliment.

I’m talking about the killer compliment.

The one that will instantly brighten a person’s day. The one that people will write down in their journals once they get home. The one that people will draw strength upon when they’re down. And the one that people will remember for years to come.

That’s the one I’m talking about.

Learning how to give such a killer compliment is one of the best things to have in your social tool belt. It can do wonders for relationships. It can take them to the next level and open doors you never dreamed possible.

How can you do that?

Here are 10 steps you can take in order to give a killer compliment.

1. Really, truly, desire to give a killer compliment

Don’t compliment someone just for the sake of it. Don’t think of it as a chore or a necessity. Really want to give it to the person. Have it burn inside of you wanting to get out. If you really feel this way, then the person that you want to compliment truly deserves it.

If you really don’t want to give somebody a killer compliment, don’t even bother trying. You’re just going to sabotage yourself by coming across as very insincere, and people can pick up on that instantly.

2. Prepare it

Anything of real value and quality takes time to make. Don’t just use the standard compliments.

Really dig deep and think about the person. Apart from truly desiring to compliment the person, coming up with that killer compliment is the most important thing to do. You can do so by…

3. Observing and coming up with something specific

Nothing screams insincerity louder than vagueness and clichés.

You want to choose something that is unique about that person. Make observations on any quality, mannerism, or habit, that makes them stand out from everybody else.

Make a list of the positive qualities you like about him/her.

What is it about this person you admire the most?

What separates him/her from most people?

What is the unique quality or X-factor that this person possesses that makes him who he/she is?

What would you want to tell this person about themselves if they were to embark on a 10 year journey?

Try thinking of something very little or unique, that nobody else has complimented them on before and expand on it.

Appreciate the little things the person has does.

When you find that something, make it descriptive. Be specific. Expand on it and make sure you're able to....

4. Justify why you think it’s great

Ok, so you’ve got your killer compliment. When you lay it on them, they’re either going to be blushing or grinning from ear to ear. Don’t stop there. Justify why you think it’s great.

For example, if you killer compliment is: “I noticed that you never talk trash about people behind their back.”

Your reason can be: "That’s an extremely rare quality nowadays and I think it speaks volume towards your character and integrity.”

Coming up with the reason will be a cinch. If you can come up with the compliment, you can easily come up with the reason. So don’t leave them hanging on the killer compliment. Justify it.

5. Give real life examples to back it up

Think back to the times where the person exemplified that great quality. Transport them back to that time and tell it from your perspective. In keeping with the above example, you might say something like this.

“I remember that time when everybody in the group was trash talking Jim and taking turns and having a blast. You didn’t trash talk him though. Instead, you stood up for him and backed him up when he wasn’t there. I think you gained a new measure of respect in everybody’s eyes that day.”

Having an example from the past that you remember in detail will seal the deal and remove any doubt that you’re full of….But you have to remember to…

6. Time it right

Do it when it’s just you and the other person. Don’t do it in a group. People remember one on one encounters more vividly because there’s nobody else to compete for attention.

Also, don’t just greet the person and deliver your killer compliment.

Do the standard greeting, how are you, how’s the job, and just let the conversation flow. When you are in a deep state of rapport and you’re both comfortable, that’s the time to unleash it, but don’t deliver it raw.

7. Set it up for the home run

Set it up with questions such as:

“You know what I noticed about you?” “You know what I like about you?” “You know what I admire most about you?” “You know what I think is great about you?”

This is the ultimate hook. Everybody is always interested in themselves.

When you ask them these questions, you will see them snap to attention and their eyes will light up and all their attention will be focused like a laser squarely on you, which is exactly what you want.

You want them to be 100% focused on the next thing coming out of your mouth.

Deliver the killer compliment and…

8. Really believe what you say

People, especially women, are equipped with the greatest BS detectors in the world, even more advanced than the ones they have at Langley.

If you really don’t believe what you are saying, they’ll instantly pick up on the insincerity and you’ll do WAY MORE harm than good. All your future compliments will now be in question of authenticity and sincerity.

Look them dead in the eye. Lean forward. Use your body. Stress your voice when you give your killer compliment.

9. Give them sparingly

Don’t dish them out every time you have a chance. If you keep on doing it, each successive killer compliment will lose its respective value. It’s just based on the scarcity principle. Bring out the big guns when you really want or need to.

10. Don’t expect anything back

When you give the killer compliment, don’t follow up with a favor to ask. It will seem as if you were just buttering them up for something else in return.

This will negate all the effort you put into the killer compliment. Give it to them when you are not asking for anything in return.

Give freely and expect nothing in return.

You will find that when you lay this killer compliment on a person, they won’t know what to do with themselves. They’ll either be blushing furiously or just be basking in their own pool of euphoric glory.

For the fortunate people who experience this, simply say “Thank you. I appreciate it.”

And don’t try to come up with a compliment of your own to give. You won’t be able to come up with one on the spot that can top the one you just got.

If you take the time to prepare and deliver killer compliments, you'll find your relationships get stronger and grow to the next level. You will also find that people will greatly appreciate your compliments and draw upon them for strength when they're down, and will never, ever forget who gave it to them for years to come.

[tags]compliment, social skills, social, friends[/tags]

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10 Responses to “How to Give a Killer Compliment”

  1. j-rock Says:

    I have a date tonight and I am definitely going to give this advice a try.

  2. Jah Says:

    I dont think it was intended to get you laid! …or perhaps its is :)

  3. rahul Says:

    This is surely the great article,specifficaly today’s time everyone of us require commen sense of great appreciations.

  4. Brian Kim Says:


    I hope it goes well!


    That was certainly not my intention but I can see how people can view it as such ;)


    Thank you very much for the kind words. I really appreciate it. It’s always good to be appreciative of others just like you said.

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