If you’re looking for tips on how to write a retirement speech, then congratulations! This is such a big honor since you’ve been granted the power to give another person’s (or your) work history and story in a manner that’s both inspiring and entertaining. If you can follow the tips that we shall discuss in this article today, and take confidence in your oratory skills, then you’ll deliver a memorable retirement speech. Let’s get into it right away:
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Collect enough information
If you’ve been tasked with giving a retirement speech about, say a long-time employee, then the best thing you can do for them is to gather sufficient information about them. This may call for you to do some research about them, as far as the following elements are concerned:
- How long this retiree has been working in the company?
- His or her journey towards the position they held in the company before retiring
- The contributions that this person made while they were working, both in the company and the industry
- Some of the main awards they’ve received during the course of their career.
In addition to knowing the above details, be sure to know how to pronounce their name (and other nicknames too), the name of their spouse, the names of their kids, and their personal hobbies and interests. You can also ask around if the retiree would be comfortable sharing any information about their family life since not everyone is okay with this.
Identify the qualities of the retiree
Every employee is unique in their own way. Whereas it’s not easy to tell this if you do not interact with every employee in the company, you can always ask those who spend their time with the person in question. In the case of the retiree, you can interview some work members, or their family members to get some information about them. It would be an honor to them if you found out which character traits define them best, and how they make positive contributions to their environment. In this step, you’ll discover whether the employee is brave, kind, hardworking, a peacemaker or mediator, etc.
Write the outline of your speech
You may have hated the concept of writing outlines in your English classes, but this is that time to appreciate that it wasn’t all for nothing. For your retirement speech, the following outline will do:
- Introduction – give the audience a short attention-grabbing story, and make sure the retiree features in it. The story should give a positive account of the retiree in a humorous way.
- Point #1 – present the positive attributes of the retiree, such as how they were always first to arrive at work, or how they were useful in the work environment. Give specific examples and not generalizations.
- Point #2- give an account of the retiree’s work, such as how long they’ve served that company, some of the main projects that participated in, and any other contributions they’ve made to the company. Note that you do not have to discuss every project at length, so mentioning the project may be enough.
- Point #3- highlight the most important attribute of the employee and use an example to emphasize it. Another very short story highlighting the same attribute would suffice.
- Thank the retiree for all their positive contributions – as the retiree heads out for retirement, they should know that they have your best wishes. Write a quote or two about retirement.
Write the speech
If you’ve mastered the art of giving speeches, then this step may not be necessary for you. Anyone who feels like they’re not sure about their oratory skills should definitely write out the speech.
In the event that you decide to write out the retirement speech, refrain from using the word “I”, and focus more on the retiree. Nothing about the speech should seek to glorify you, but should in all manner possible honor the retiree.
Get some feedback about the speech
It’s possible to leave out important details in a speech, and we may not know this until we get some feedback from other people who know the retiree well. If possible, you can get one or two people to listen to your speech before you present it to a larger audience.
You will not only get important feedback from the small audience, but you’ll also catch yourself saying some things that are not so cool. Doing this will help you streamline your speech. If the small audience comprises of the retiree’s close friends, they’ll point out which topics you should avoid, and the ones should not leave out. At the end of it all, you’ll have a speech that’s good enough to be presented to a large audience.
Record a video of the speech before presenting it
Once you’ve polished the speech and are looking forward to rocking the best attire as you take to the podium, take some time to record the speech to see whether the pieces will all be intact. Practicing the speech by recording it is one good way to do this. It’s a good approach to find out whether what is on paper or on your iPad will sound equally appealing when presented to the audience.
Watching a video of yourself talking to the audience will help you identify some mannerisms that are otherwise hard to catch without a video recording. In the end, you’ll have come up with a suitable way to give the speech in a way that will have the audience chew at your every word instead of focusing on the unnecessary and unintentional facial expressions that you make.
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Those are some key tips that I believe will come in handy if you’re trying to figure out how to write a retirement speech. Whereas following these tips may not be the holy grail to writing the very best retirement speeches in the whole world, they’re good enough to help you put together a speech that will be remembered by the audience and retiree. I hope you found this article helpful, and that you’re now well-placed to get started with that retirement speech.
I wish you well,
Eric, Investor and Team Member at Gold Retired!