Do you really need a free retirement speech?

Old fashioned pocket watch

Why give a ready-made free retirement speech?

You could use the time you'd spend personalizing & rehearsing a free speech writing your own.

I know pre-packaged is tempting, but you can do it. The easy-to-follow guidelines below will help you create an original, unique speech you'll be proud to deliver.

Beginning the process of writing

Before you attempt to write the speech collect your ideas together.

Use the headings below as guidelines and the suggestions next to each one to kick start your creative juices.

Put down as much as you can under each one. Do not self edit. Nothing is too trivial! Allow your ideas to flow.

You will rearrange, expand, trim or delete them later but for now it's important you put whatever thought occurs down on paper.

Would you like to read an original retirement speech sample written using the guidelines featured on this page?
Read, then return, ready to begin your unique speech.

Retirement speech starters

I remember ...
Suggestions: starting out 'x' years ago, what was important, what I looked like back then ...

Colleagues ...
Suggestions: those who've been influential, friends, campaigns worked on together ...

Tributes ...
Suggestions: Who have I admired and why? Who has inspired me? Name and thank them.

Milestones ...
Suggestions: personal achievements, the firm's achievements

Anecdotes ...
Suggestions: amusing stories about either yourself or the people you worked with.

The future ...
Suggestions: Personal future:- what I'm looking forward to, where I'll be, what I'll be doing ...
The firm's future:- where do you see it going? What challenges does it face?

Philosophy ...
Suggestions: the values that have been important over the years, still are and why

Getting it together

Now that you have the raw material you're ready to shape it. But before you begin to write the speech you have three more important considerations:

  1. How long is it expected to be?
    The usual speech length is 3 -5 minutes.
  2. What tone do you want your speech to have?
    As many retirement speeches are delivered at a dinner or party, most people strive for a balance of humor, sincerity and
    respect. Keeping it too solemn may be inappropriate for the occasion.
  3. What theme do you want to run through it uniting all your material together?
    Theme suggestions: team effort (through uniting one achieves more), friendship, loyalty, value of ongoing education, that
    youth is wasted on the young, humor, importance of believing in one's dreams...

And now write

Go back through your notes, select what you want, put it in order and write exactly as if you were talking out loud to a respected friend.

You'll need an opening, middle and conclusion.

Remember the time allowance. You are better to make a few points well rather than try to cram your speech full and rush.

Be sure to look through this large selection of retirement quotations.

You'll find sharply witty, warmly funny, inspiring and even sad
thoughts about the subject. Take any that appeal to weave through your own words. Maybe you'll find just the opening or ending you want!

If it worries you that you've had to leave out either people or events, say so. People will understand.

A pair of men's black shoes

If you're writing about a colleague

If you are writing a farewell or retirement speech about a colleague remember: "do unto others as you would have done to you".

To gauge whether or not what you've written will be well received or has covered all the most important points, firstly put yourself in their shoes and secondly, read the speech through to several colleagues whose judgement you respect.

Be very aware of revealing personal or sensitive information. The person
retiring because of ill-health or for special family considerations may not want it made public. Ask before speaking. If you don't feel you can ask, then you probably shouldn't be saying anything about it.

Other very useful reference pages:

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