A recognition plaque demonstrates a sincere acknowledgment of another person’s contribution. The wording of the plaque is of crucial importance to convey the sincerity of the presenter to the recipient. The wording should answer who the plaque is for, why you are awarding them the plaque, who is presenting the plaque and the date you will award the plaque. You should also include a commemoration, if warranted. Consider how much space you have on the plaque and then customize the message to fit that space.

Check the spelling of the recipient's name and title to verify accuracy. Also verify any other important details to be included on the plaque. Such details may include locations, length of service or merits, among others. If you make a mistake with any of these details, it is not only embarrassing, it will prove costly. You will have to purchase a new plaque and have it engraved correctly.

Make a draft of you wording, using word processing software. Write the name of the award as the first line. Common names include “Excellence Award,” “Achievement Award” and “Outstanding Service Award.” Your wording should reflect precisely the type of recognition plaque you are presenting.

Write the next line as “Presented To” and the underneath write the name of the recipient. The recipient's name should be larger and more prominent than any other line on the plaque.

Write the next line to recognize and/or thank the recipient, depending on the type of award you are presenting. You may also want to include a commemoration under these lines as part of the award, if the situation warrants. For example:

In recognition of your commitment to excellence in highway safety

2,000,000 Accident Free Miles

Finish the wording by including the name of the presenter as the next line. Include the date as last line. The date might refer to the years the award covers, or the month and year you presented the award. In some cases, it might make more sense not to include any date. Once complete, take your draft to your engraver to work out the fonts for each line to fit onto the plaque.