CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC WORKSHOP TRAINING – AUGUST 6, 2021
How to Write a Memorable Retirement Speech
Step 5: Get Feedback
It’s always a good idea to get feedback from someone before giving the speech to a large audience of people. It would be especially prudent to have someone who knows the retiree well listen to the speech.
Getting feedback from someone else can help you streamline your speech. And it will keep you from putting your foot in your mouth.
If you’re close friends with the retiree, you will know which topics to avoid and which ones to highlight. But even if you know the person well, letting someone else hear the speech is a good idea. They can help you finalize your speech so you’re ready to share it.
Step 6: Record a Video of Your Speech Before You Give It
Have you ever seen a photo of yourself when you didn’t know the picture was being taken? Was your brow creased? Was a frown on your face?
If you are an unpracticed speech giver, it’s good to practice your speech a few times. Practicing it and recording the run-through can help you polish your presentation.
You may watch the video and learn you have some mannerisms you didn’t know about. But once you know, you can remind yourself to avoid them. That way the audience can focus on your words, rather than the big crease between your eyebrows.
Short Retirement Speech Examples
Here are some snippets of retirement speeches that you can amend for your situation. Remember, it is important to speak from the heart. Your audience will appreciate a more authentic speech rather than a stoic message.
For a friend
When Max began work at our firm, gas was $1.19 a gallon, and Ronald Reagan had just been elected president. Kramer vs. Kramer won Best Picture, and “Call Me” by Blondie was playing on the radio. All that to say, she’s been a fixture here for quite a while. To say that Max knows every aspect of this business like the back of her hand is not an understatement.
I remember the first time I walked into this office. Maxine was the first person to greet me. She gave me advice on where to park, showed me how to fill out a PTO request, and answered all my questions during lunch. She introduced me to everyone on staff. And she made sure I knew all the ins and outs of working for Brighton Industries. This wasn’t part of her job, but she did it anyway. She made every new person in the office feel welcomed.
Every office has a “go-to” person. The person who knows how to handle the difficult client. The person who knows how to hire the right person for the job. The person who knows how to load new toner in the printer. Max has been our go-to person for 25 years, and she leaves big shoes to fill.
One of Max’s best qualities is her ability to stay calm in the middle of the storm. Do you remember the great Jones Company fiasco in 2004? While the rest of us panicked about the loss of our biggest client, she went out and found us a new client. And that client brought in twice as much revenue as the client we lost!
We know that Maxine is looking forward to retirement. She told me she is planning to spend more time quilting. And she’ll be hanging out with her daughter and three adorable grandbabies. You’ve all seen pictures of her grandkids, right? Of course you have! We are all so excited to wish Maxine well as she starts checking off items from her retirement bucket list.
For your retirement
Thank you so much for all the kind words. I have loved working at Brighton Industries. I have had some of the best times in my life at this office. I have made lifelong friends who I treasure. Thank you for being the best coworkers and friends a woman could ask for.
There are a few things that I won’t miss about working for Brighton. I won’t miss filling out the TPS reports. I won’t miss the late nights that came with tax season. I won’t miss how cold the office is in the summer, or how hot the office is during the winter. But I will miss all of you. You have made this office feel like a second home to me. Thank you.
I discovered what amazing coworkers I had when I lost my mom to cancer three years ago. You all stepped in so willingly to pick up the slack when I couldn’t perform my regular duties. Not only did you take on more responsibilities in the office, but many of you also provided meals to my family. It meant the world to me, knowing that I could depend upon you all for help.
Express Your Appreciation
As you say goodbye to a faithful employee or coworker, you may consider writing a thank you note to the retiree. This would be a nice way to express appreciation. It may mean more than a gold watch or plant ever could.
Everyone wants to feel appreciated. We all want to think that the hours we gave to a company was time well spent. For many people, their jobs are more than just a way to put money in the bank. It’s their identity and source of pride. Take time to write a speech that recognizes this commitment. It’ll take longer, but it is worth the time.