Leaving behind a huge part of your life when you retire can be quite overwhelming, especially if you have to talk about it. Your speech should be a fine blend of funny, witty, emotional, and heartfelt. A speech made at the office is usually more employee-based and formal. If the retirement party is held at a restaurant or as a casual get-together in somebody’s home, then the speech can be more informal.
Retirement is an occasion that is very special for most people. After all, it marks the finale of a successful career that you chose your life to build. Since it can often be an emotional occasion, people usually find it difficult to know exactly what to say – even more so because retirement speeches are usually given at a party, and therefore should not be too lengthy. Irrespective of whether it is your own retirement party that you are planning to speak at, or that of a colleague, it is an obligation, as well as an honor to give a speech. With the right words, which express genuine feelings, anyone can make a speech that can be heartfelt and touching.
Fix a Time Limit
It is important to ascertain how long you can speak at the occasion. After all, the last thing you want to do is bore your audience with a speech that drags on and on. However, neither do you want to keep it too short, without doing justice to the occasion, to yourself, if you are the retiree, or if you are making the speech for a colleague, to that person.
Decide on the Content
Planning well ahead is crucial when deciding on what you want to talk about. You mention important milestones and anecdotes regarding your career, or of the person you are speaking about. Don’t forget to mention the people, who have been important in your career, the special friends you made on the way, and of course how your spouse helped you, if that is applicable. In order to make certain about the direction you want your speech to go in, make a draft of your speech, or at least a note.
If you are planning to improvise a lot, then make sure to rehearse the speech in front of family or friends, and get their opinion about how you speak as well as the content of your speech. For instance, they will notice if you are speaking too fast or are fidgety.
Be Familiar with the Venue
It is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the venue before making a public speech. It just makes you more comfortable. So check out beforehand where things like the stage, the steps, the mike, and the lighting are.
Check Out Examples
The Internet is a great source for retirement speech ideas, including funny one-liners, quotes and so on. You could even compose a poem to make your speech unique. And if you are stuck for ideas about that, you will find plenty poem ideas on the net, which you can modify accordingly. However, even though websites can be a good source of inspiration, it is always best to make your speech as original as possible, to touch the right chord in your audience.
As for the retirement party itself, it’s great fun throwing one for a long time colleague. It’s a good way to celebrate the special relationships he/she formed in the organization as well as the special contributions he/she had made. You could base the party on a theme, decorate the venue with the accomplishments and life of the guest-of-honor, such as photographs, trophies, and awards, and also give him/her a souvenir as a token of appreciation. Choose an appropriate toast, lift up your glass, and give your colleague a send-off that he/she will remember for a long time.
With these tips to help you, I am sure your retirement speech is going to be a wonderful one. So go out there, and give it your best! Wish you luck!