What to Say in a Farewell Speech

What to Say in a Retirement Speech

The art of giving a farewell speech for work seems to lie in the ability to convey warm wishes, humor, and caring sentiment to fellow colleagues. Speakers may also wish to refresh their presentation skills for tips on how to deliver a speech.

A farewell speech should not be delivered off the cuff because nervousness may prevent the speaker from thanking some important individuals or forgetting to share some treasured memories. The following tips for writing a farewell speech will ensure that a speaker delivering a goodbye speech is prepared and confident in his or her delivery.

How to Write a Farewell Speech

Writing a farewell speech for work requires that the employee convey warmth and the following advice:

Thank the employees who have gathered to wish you well in your next job, and, if a gift has been presented, be sure to thank them for it and comment positively on itBriefly discuss some of the company’s initiatives or challenges that were ongoing when you started your job. (This should be omitted if you have only worked for the company for a few years.)Thank the individuals who have coached, mentored, or otherwise provided assistance to you while in your jobRecall some memorable incidents that highlight the cohesiveness of staff at the company e.g. working together to meet a deadline, organizational goal, or to prevent or deal with a crisisAdd a personal work-related anecdote or two for humourDiscuss what you will miss about working for the company. Examples of this could be a co-worker’s cheery attitude, or the great camaraderie of your work unit. Add a light comment to ease up the mood such as saying you’ll miss the free (good or bad) coffee, or some other universally recognized perk or office condition.What to Say in a Retirement Speech

When writing a retirement speech, keep in mind the points outlined above, as well as pay attention to the following:

A retirement speech can be longer than a farewell speech for an employee leaving for another job simply because the retiree has presumably been with the company for a longer periodDiscuss how the company has changed and improved over the years, and give specific examples such as citing how small a unit used to be or how work was performed in earlier yearsAdd a visionary comment about the future positive direction of the company or some of its initiatives. This will leave a positive lasting impression of you on your colleagues.Advise colleagues that although you will be retired, you still plan to keep in touch by, for example, participating in the company alumni program, through email with colleagues, or by playing golf at the annual golf tournament.What Not to Say in a Farewell Speech

There is a delicate balance in delivering a farewell speech. While a speaker may wish to include humor in a speech, he should not make the speech too light and should convey sincerely heartfelt emotions.

Do not share anecdotes about co-workers or bosses that might embarrass them. This includes not sharing any personal information about them. For example, do not say, “I remember our Christmas party two years ago when one of our coworkers go so drunk that…”.Do not mention or use caution discussing touchy company events such as an employee union strike or other periods when the company was under duress as this may cause bad memories to resurface among your fellow workers and you don’t want your lasting memory to be associated with these.Be careful with humour. You may have an inside joke running with your fellow colleague, but he or she may not appreciate your sharing it with the rest of the staff.

Delivering a farewell speech at retirement or when leaving a company for another job is the last opportunity for you to positively sum up your experiences at work and thank colleagues that you have worked with over the years. By planning your goodbye speech to thank individuals, include personal anecdotes, and reference positive or historic changes in the organization, the impression you will leave on your fellow coworkers will be one of fondness and appreciation.

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