We’re sure you’ve already heard that the general fear of public speaking is so great that some people would rather die than deliver a speech in front of a crowd. What a way to break the ice, but, hey, at least you won’t be delivering the speech to strangers! Whether you’re in charge of giving the speech in the retiree’s honor or the retiree himself, knowing your audience will surely make the task a lot easier.
Depending on your relationship with the retiree or the atmosphere in which you’ll be delivering the speech, you’ll need to tailor your message to the audience. For example, the retiree giving his farewell speech to his colleagues will probably be much different than the retiree’s friend delivering it in front of friends and family, in a more relaxed setting.
But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here – in order to deliver a speech one must first plan it out. Or, if you’re all for improvising, at least have a rough idea of the elements the speech will contain. Nevertheless, it’s not just the question of what to say at a retirement party, but how to say it as well. Follow along with our guide and prepare yourself for this special occasion so that when the glasses are raised, you’ll be ready to confidently raise your voice as well.
In need of examples?
Sometimes people find speech guidelines can be a bit too abstract, so reading a few samples of retirement speech examples might be more worthwhile. The speech should be brief yet cover a lot of ground, which is why you may find some phrases below helpful in the quest of finding the right words to express respect for the retiree.
Fort that very purpose, we’ve rounded up examples of various types of speeches, be it a retirement speech for a coworker, friend or employee, be they formal or more on the funny side. Scroll away and take your pick!
Note: Don’t forget to remove/change the bolded words!
Retirement speech for an employee
Not every day is as special and a truly emotional occasion like this one. Today, we are marking the retirement of (insert name), one of our most reliable workers, as I’m sure all of us here agree. During the years (s)he’s been a loyal member and an irreplaceable part of the company, (s)he was appointed (insert and describe positions). (She) powered through all the setbacks and overcame each roadblock that the job position brought. Not only that but (s)he was a delightful person to be around – personally, I’ll always remember him/her as (insert compliment or anecdote). With all this in mind, thought will all miss (name), I wish you all the best in the years to come. May you enjoy them as only you know how, but also don’t forget to visit us or at least give us a call sometimes, for old times’ sake! On the behalf of the company, I thank you again for all the years of hard work.
Retirement speech for a coworker
It’s quite difficult to say goodbye to one of my dearest colleagues here. Really, every day we’ve worked together for (insert years) has been both a lesson and a fun ride. Indeed, having him/her as a team member made it easy to do work trusting it will be delegated properly and done on time with him around. Beyond that, (s)he was always such a positive force, like when (s)he (insert memory). Though this transition is bound to be joyful for him/her, I personally, as I believe is the case with all other members of our department, will definitely feel the missing piece in the puzzle of our company.
Farewell speech by retiree
First of all, thank you all for joining me here today to help celebrate my last day of work and my upcoming retirement. It’s truly an honor to be delivering this speech in front of all of you. In (insert years), there’s really so much hard work and memories with all of you I’ve shared, and it’s going to be hard leaving this part of life behind – though I’m not talking about hard work that much. Among everyone else, I’d like to especially thank (insert names) for recognizing my efforts and giving me endless opportunities to learn. Though I can’t wait to turn my time over to hobbies and devote it to family, there’s also a part of me that is sad to leave this environment that was so welcoming for all these years. Of course, this is not a final goodbye, as I am sure we’ll all be seeing each other, and you’re all free to visit me at my home and stop by for a drink any time you can. After all, even though we’re not coworkers anymore, friendship always remains.
Before you start putting words on the page, it’s essential you first gather all the details regarding the retiree’s career. This is an especially important step if you’ll be speaking on the behalf of the firm, as a co-worker bidding farewell to the retiring colleague. Here’s a shortlist of things that are easy to overlook yet make a big difference:
- Do some research on the topic of retiree’s career in order not to miss some important details. If you’re a colleague, remember, this might not have been their only line of work, so see to it you mention their previous positions as well.
- If the honoree has received an occupation award or taken part in an important project for the firm, make sure to reference it in the speech – make them feel appreciated!
- Decide on the tone of the retirement speech. Formal, funny or a mix of the two, but remember that the best speech on retirement is always enthusiastic
- Go beyond the work aspect and include some personalized details as well – mention the retiree’s special qualities, talents and hobbies outside of the job
- Think what emotion you want to convey to the retiree – is it nostalgia, hope for the future, gratitude?
Outline the main segments
Once you’ve gone down the path of a retiree’s career and assembled the list of the details you don’t want to omit during the speech, you can move on to structuring it. Basically, join the dots and put them in the order you plan to mention them.
Depending on how much preparation you need, you can either list keywords as simple notes or go with a more detailed approach, like creating a speech framework. In any case, having guideposts will help you not struggle for words during the speech. No matter whether it’s a retirement speech for a friend, coworker or an employee, or your own farewell speech, it’s a helpful way to ensure you stay on message.
The do’s and don’ts of giving farewell speeches
While it’s certainly a privilege to be in the role of the speaker, it can also be quite unpleasant if you’re not accustomed to public speaking. Again, this largely depends on how big the audience is as well as how close you are with the retiree.
With that in mind, in case you’re wondering what to say at a retirement party, here’s a quick rundown of the key points – one’s you’ll definitely want to include in the speech and a few that could hit the wrong note which you should obviously avoid:
- Have your notes with you – a quick glance saves you the embarrassment of an awkward pause or a slip of the tongue in case of nervousness
- Use humor effectively – don’t tell jokes, tell stories instead. The last thing you want is to insult the retiree in your attempt to engage the audience.
- Personalize the speech – use retiree’s first name, insert inside jokes – it’s all about connections!
- Pay attention to the pace – you’ll want to speak slower and emphasize keywords for a clearly delivered message.
- Ask for feedback – run through your speech with a friend or a co-worker, ideally someone who knows the retiree as well. It’s a foolproof way of making sure the message resonates.
- Cliches – they are by default unoriginal, so try and be more innovative for a memorable speech
- Overgeneralization – avoid ageism and retirement jokes, an active retirement is now increasingly common.
- Overpraise – do go overboard with compliments, as it may seem excessive and insincere.
- Fillers – if you don’t practice the speech you run the risk of um’s, ah’s and you know’s. Try to minimize them as much as possible.
- Don’t leave everything to improvisation – practice, but try not to sound like you’ve memorized it, instead try and find the sweet spot in the middle.
Now that you’ve made it to the end of the article, we hope you’ve managed to find some useful information regarding the retirement speech examples. If you get rave reviews on your performance, don’t forget to comment below – we’d be glad to know!