When something great happens to a friend, family member or colleague, congratulations are in order! But sometimes it's not easy to find the right words and know what gestures to make to show you care. As long as you express heartfelt enthusiasm for the person's good fortune, your congratulations will be well received. See Step 1 and beyond for good ideas you can put to use when it's time to tell someone congrats on their achievement.
Method One of Three:
Congratulating Someone in PersonEdit
1Bring up the accomplishment. Don't skirt around the issue when there's something to celebrate! Mention the reason that congratulations are in order right off the bat. If you want, you can tell the person how you heard the news. This will set the right tone and make it easier to say the right words and share in the person's excitement. Here are a few ways to bring it up:
- Craig, I heard the big news that you're engaged! How wonderful!
- Celine, your father told me that you scored more points than anyone else on the team this season.
- Lola, I just saw your Facebook post. I am so excited to hear that you're having a baby!
- Marcus, we just heard the great news that you were promoted to senior manager.
2Say "congratulations" with a smile. After stating the achievement, express your congratulations with a winning smile. The expression on your face is pretty important, because if you say congratulations with a serious look on your face, the person will probably think you aren't actually all that happy for him or her.
- If you're congratulating a close friend or relative, you can give the person a hug, too.
- If you're worried your facial expression won't come off the way you want it to, you might try practicing in the mirror at home before you see the person.
- Your tone of voice matters, too. When you say "congratulations," sound excited - not flat.
3Mention your feelings on the subject. If it's appropriate, you can follow up the word "congratulations" with an expression of how you feel. For example, you could say that you've enjoyed watching the person work toward his or her goal, or simply say "I'm really happy for you." Be as expressive as you want, keeping in mind that your tone of voice will really make a difference.
- Another way you could follow your initial expression of congratulations is by asking some questions about the accomplishment. If your friend is having a baby, for instance, you could ask about the due date, or ask if there's any way you can help out in the coming months.
- If you're expressing congratulations in a professional setting, especially to your boss or manager, it's fine to be a bit more private after you've expressed congratulations. Stick with the usual customs of your workplace; if people are generally friendly and effusive, say as much as you want. If you work in a traditional corporate environment, you may not want to go overboard.
4Try to make it heartfelt. No matter why you're congratulating someone, try to make your words and actions as genuine as possible. Of course, there are moments when it's necessary to congratulate someone when you're not feeling particularly happy for them, and in those cases you just have to fake it as well as you can. But try to remember that you'll have your turn in the spotlight at some point, and there's nothing wrong with celebrating someone else and trying your best to emanate positive vibes instead of nursing jealous thoughts.
- If you feel forced to congratulate someone when you really aren't happy for them, it might be best to send a note instead of congratulating him or her in person. You might not be able to control your facial expressions face to face. The person could be left feeling deflated, or wondering whether you're jealous.
Method Two of Three:
Going Above and BeyondEdit
1Send an email or card. In addition to saying "congrats" in person, you might want to send a congratulatory note. You could send a simple email or Facebook note, or write a message on a card you pick out from the stationary store. The note you write should include the basics - a mention of the accomplishment, the word "congratulations," and a few happy sentiments.
- This note is perfect for a relative: Dear Suzette, we learned that you and George are expecting a new baby this year. Congratulations! We are thrilled that a new member will soon be joining the Comer clan! We can't wait to see you at the Halloween party to hear how things are going. Much love, Betty and Pete
- If you're writing a note to a colleague, make it a bit more formal: Joan, I heard the great news that you were promoted to Chief of Staff. Allow me to express my heartfelt congratulations on this accomplishment. I know the company will change in very positive ways under your leadership. All best, Ryan
- To congratulate someone on getting married, it's okay to gush a little: Tim and Mary, from the moment I saw the two of you together it was clear you were meant for each other. You're an amazing couple, and everyone who knows you can feel the love you two exude. Congratulations on starting your journey together! I wish you many years of happiness! Love, Brenda
2Send a gift. If the occasion is special enough to merit a gift, something thoughtful and not too expensive is usually the right way to go. Choose a gift that lets the person know you want to celebrate with them and send it with a note of congratulations.
- You can't go wrong with flowers, whether you want to mark a professional achievement or a personal landmark.
- Food items are also usually welcome. Pick a universal favorite, like chocolates or fresh fruit.
- A bottle of wine or good bourbon might be a good choice.
- For a high school or college graduate, a small amount of cash will probably be appreciated.
3Spread the word. You can help spread the person's joy by telling other people the good news, so they can congratulate the person as well. Write a congratulatory post on Facebook, or get everyone in the office to sign a card. Before you decide to spread the word, just make sure the news is yours to share! Some people might prefer to keep good news private until they're ready to reveal it to more people.
4Celebrate with a party. If your best friend got into the college of her dreams, or your colleague is moving on to greener pastures, having a party to congratulate the person is a great way to show how much you care. It doesn't have to be a giant bash - you could hold an after-work gathering at a restaurant, or invite people over for pizza to celebrate. The person you're congratulating will never forget your kind gesture!Advertisement
Method Three of Three:
Handling Unique ScenariosEdit
1Congratulate someone on a professional achievement. In the workplace, there will be many occasions for congratulating your colleagues on their new promotion or job. Remember to keep your company culture in mind when you choose how to congratulate someone at work. Don't be overly effusive in a formal office atmosphere - keep it professional. Here are some great ways to congratulate someone at work:
- Say "congratulations" in person, with a genuine smile.
- Write a brief and professional congratulatory note.
- If you're close to the person, you could take him or her out for drinks or bring a treat to the office for everyone to share.
2Share your excitement that someone is getting married. When you're congratulating someone who just got engaged or married, show some excitement for them! Give them a call or write a note on Facebook to tell them you wish them many years of happiness. If you're close, an additional gesture is probably in order:
- Send a card with a personal note congratulating the couple.
- Consider sending a small gift, like flowers or a bottle of wine.
- If the person is a colleague, have everyone in the office sign a card for the happy coworker.
- Consider throwing a shower if you're close to the person.
3Offer congrats to someone having a baby. A baby on the way is another sentimental occasion that should be marked with a genuine smile and hug. If your friend, relative or colleague announced a pregnancy, say congratulations in person and consider doing the following:
- Send a card. It's customary to do so, and you'll find many options in the stationary store.
- Send a gift. If you feel like it, you could send a little baby gift in anticipation of the birth.
- Throw a shower. If you're close to the person, you might be the right one to organize a baby shower.
4Congratulate someone for getting through a tough time. If you notice that someone has overcome some personal hurdles, you might want to show your encouragement and love by congratulating them. For example, maybe your friend just finished a round of chemo and found out that her cancer is in remission, or your aunt just finished getting her degree after many years of hard work. Figure out the gesture that best matches the situation.
- Sending a thoughtfully-written note is always a nice idea - especially when the person isn't expecting to get it.
- Taking the person out to dinner or out for drinks is a good way to celebrate a personal achievement.
How can I give a speech for a close friend who just graduated?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- This is a huge milestone in their life, so first congratulate them. You could bring up some fun memories from the past to get the audience laughing. Some of the most touching speeches describe how much the graduate has changed your life positively. And be sure to paint them in the best light possible; don't embarrass them too much because it's their special day.