CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – AUGUST 1, 2021
How to Write a Memorable Retirement Speech
Are you in charge of giving the speech for your friend’s retirement party? Congratulations! This means that others are confident in your ability to inform, inspire, and entertain. Take their confidence in your abilities to heart and approach the task with courage.
You may have never been asked to give a retirement speech before now. It can be hard to know where to start. Don’t feel overwhelmed. Retirement speeches are like any public speaking opportunity.
The process is similar to when you write a Best Man/Maid of Honor speech. Even if you are a practiced public speaker, take some time to prepare. The last thing you want is to get up in front of everyone and realize you don’t know enough about the retiree to honor them properly.
Here are some steps to follow as you prepare for the retirement gathering.
Step 1: Gather information
If you are in charge of giving the retirement speech for a long-time employee, take time to gather information about the person. You may need to do some research. Hopefully, you can get the information you’re looking for without turning to the honoree for help.
If you feel like you are missing key details, try reaching out to some colleagues. The employees who work with the retiree or the retiree’s supervisor would be good people to talk to.
This step is particularly crucial if you don’t have a personal relationship with the employee. Getting one or all these facts incorrect will be embarrassing for you and the honoree.
Try to find out the following:
- How long the retiree had been in the industry.
- How long the retiree had worked for the company.
- The previous positions the person held within the company.
- The contributions they made while working.
- Awards the person who is retiring may have received in the course of their career.
- Pertinent information about the retiree’s work history. You could reference a special project they were involved in, or a big event they organized.
Also, make sure you know about the personal life of the employee who is retiring.
- Know the correct pronunciation of their name.
- Learn about any nicknames they answer to.
- Find out the name of the current spouse of the employee.
- Make sure you know the names of their kids.
- Find out what you can about personal hobbies, interests, or activities.
One thing worth mentioning. Some people work hard to keep their private life private. If you are having trouble getting information about the retiree despite your best efforts, consider it a warning sign.
That person might not like to share their personal life with their colleagues. If that’s the case, you should work with them to write a speech they are comfortable with.