After scouring the internet, I found plenty of tips and advice on giving a retirement speech for someone else. There was not, however, much help if you are giving your own speech. Luckily there isn’t a huge difference between the two. You want to follow the same basic structure and guidelines, and try to do it smoothly and somewhat quickly. The last thing anybody wants is a long-winded retirement speech.
Plan Your Retirement Speech
Don’t go into your retirement speech unprepared. That can lead to a very awkward and uncomfortable speech. Do you really want your colleagues to remember you most by that disastrous retirement speech you gave? A little planning can help you avoid that. The first step is to brainstorm about some of the things you would like to include in your retirement speech. You want to focus on a few key stories that were interesting or funny. You may want to discuss how you came to join the company or talk about specific projects you worked on. Reflecting on all the changes you’ve seen over the years always works well in a retirement speech.
Use Your Retirement Speech to Acknowledge Those Around You
Remember to devote some of your speech to your company and colleagues. It’s not just about you. Make sure you thank all the people who helped and supported you over the years. Acknowledge the colleagues that you’ve worked with the most. Show them that you still support them and the company. Your retirement speech can be a big boost to morale. When younger employees see how proud you are of the career you had, it gives them motivation to continue to work toward their future. Lastly don’t forget to thank the organizers of your retirement party.
Shorten It Up and Add a Little Humor
Now that you’ve got all the material you need to write a lengthy speech, it’s time to tweak it a bit. First off you need to cut out the fat. Remember what I said earlier. Your speech should be short and sweet. The actual length of time may depend on company tradition or the type of retirement party you are having though. Usually a speech of five to ten minutes is best. That’s not to say a shorter speech is bad form, but you have to decide what fits the occasion. Once you’ve gotten the speech down to a manageable time, add some humor. At a minimum try to start your retirement speech off with a joke and add a little humor at the end. If possible, sprinkle some relevant jokes throughout the speech. People love to laugh. And humor can really break up a night of long, boring speeches.
At this point you should be ready to go. Practice the speech a bit. Try it out in front of some family members and get their feedback. If you have difficulty memorizing the speech, then put down the main points on index cards. There’s no shame in using the index cards during your speech. Just don’t read your speech off the cards verbatim. Use them for assistance, but keep your focus on all the people around you. If you enjoy your retirement speech and give it with confidence, then everyone around you will enjoy it too.↑ Back to Top