This is a technique used in the corporate world to masque an insult and make it pallatable for your audience. Specifically you begin your criticism with a compliment follow up with your criticism/insult and then end with a compliment or something favorable about your audience.
"Your firm is in the top tier for the second year in a row and only 6 firms out of 52 are named to the top tier . You did an excellent job. (The Criticsim/Insult) However, you can still improve, we are rolling out personal development plans and every person is going to be expected to improve over the next year. (Ending Compliment) Keep up the great work... here, we got you some pizza!" That is a compliment Sandwich.