Farewell speeches mark significant departures. They are much more than a casual 'see you later' and a mumbled 'thanks for everything'.
A planned goodbye speech crystallizes the moment of leaving, giving it focus, form, dignity and provides an opportunity to publicly acknowledge appreciation and gratitude graciously.
They are most frequently expected when leaving a current job to take another and are given by the person leaving or to that person by a colleague, manager or boss.
Other situations calling for farewell speeches are graduations, retirements or perhaps when a long-time member of a club or a neighborhood departs. A funeral speech or eulogy is yet another form of a goodbye or farewell speech.
The easiest way to take your content ideas and turn them into a speech is to use an outline. Click the link for a downloadable fill-in-the-blanks speech outline.
The speech outline covers the main points you want to make in the order you want to make them. Once you've filled it out, test by saying it out loud.
Choose what suits you and the occasion best.
1. Read your speech from a word by word text or script
If the situation is very emotional or you are very emotional this may be the safest way to get everything you want to say out.
Using your completed speech outline as a guide write the whole speech out. When you print your text out be sure to use a large font so that it is easily read. Double space your lines and number your pages for the same reason.
2. Use cue cards
Make brief summary notes on numbered (cue) cards that will serve as memory prompts to guide you from one idea to the next.
These are very good if you have practiced and know your speech. They let you interact with your audience more freely than reading word for word does. The result is a more spontaneous sounding speech.
Click the link to find out more about preparing and using cue cards.
3. Give your speech from memory
If you have time this could be the option to go for. The advantages are that you speak directly to your audience. Because you are not relying on notes you can use readily use gestures and make eye contact.
Check here for tips and techniques on how to remember a speech.
The disadvantage could be the risk of forgetting what you wanted to say entirely through being overcome by the emotion of the occasion but this is significantly lessened through practice.
If you'd like to know more about how to deliver your farewell speech well check out these pages:
If you find yourself under attack from a fit of nervous apprehension at the mere thought of giving your goodbye speech look here. Help is a click away.
Farewell speeches are not an opportunity to vent any pent up frustrations you may have, regardless of how tempting it may be. Instead focus on what was undeniably positive and sincerely highlight it.