Don't Miss the Opportunity to Make This Very Special!

Sample retirement speech - by retiree, has ideas that you are welcome  to copy. You will learn how to create a speech and deliver it successfully.

There are two types of retirement speeches. There is the speech that is given about the retiree and the speech given by the retiree. They are similar.

(The first part of this page is identical to: Sample Retirement Speech - About Retiree. If you have already read that page scroll down to I'm Here To Talk - The Retiree!)

To be effective each speaker must know the audience, that is, who will hear the speech. S/he must, also, be familiar with the room and sound system. You will want to know if this is a formal or an informal occasion?

Next, the speaker needs to be familiar with the material to be delivered. To do so, s/he must practice and be relaxed during the speech. Remember, the audience wants you to succeed.

A retirement speech, or any speech, should not be read or ad-libbed. It is much better to have some "bullet points" on index cards and practice the speech in front of someone who can give you honest feedback.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."   BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

Retirement can be an emotional time. No longer having a work schedule, among other things, can be a big positive. Whereas, leaving the co-workers behind can be sad.

"There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave."   DALE  CARNEGIE

Qualities of a Good Speech!

The number one quality of a retirement speech is sincerity. That is crucial at this memorable event. Without it the speech will fail, as the audience will quickly realize what is lacking.

It must be upbeat, yet respectful. This is not the time to get even with a callous boss or an disruptive employee. And the boss should not use the occasion to reprimand the retiree.

Everyone is unique. There are many things to say about any person. There may be humorous stories or incidents that have occurred over the years. Use them as a way to introduce humor into your speech.

Keep your speech brief. Franklin D. Roosevelt probably said it best: "Be sincere; be brief; be seated".

How long should your speech be? If you are an entertaining and interesting speaker, limit it to 7 minutes. If you are average, 3 to 5 minutes is better.

Keep in mind the Gettysburg address is only 272 words and the Declaration of Independence is 300 words.

Be careful with humor unless you are a natural comedian. You should know this by retirement time. You can tell a story and then say: "It seemed like a good idea at the time". Always avoid any "inside jokes" that only a small percentage of your audience will understand. 

I'm Here To Talk - The Retiree!

Here are some ideas to use:

  • If you were introduced with some kind words, acknowledge it.
  • Thank the host or organizers; recognize family members and relatives, particularly if those in attendance do not know who they are. Then thank all attendees.
  • Could state that when you started you were full of ideas that would make a difference, energy and enthusiasm. Maybe that never waned. Remember to be accurate and sincere. Anything less will destroy your credibility.
  • Be sure to acknowledge those that helped you along the way.
  • You could reveal your first impressions about things or people and how those changed. It is important to be positive and upbeat, though.
  • Mention that we are all unique and that you have a story to illustrate that fact. Telling a story about an incident is much safer than telling a joke and may get the same amount of laughter.
  • Mention things that you will miss. It could be (name) who greeted you when you arrived. It could be (name) who was cheerful regardless of how her day was going or interruption phone calls.
  • Mention those people who taught you what you needed to know or the lessons that you will remember forever.
  • Mention you plans for the future and the freedom that you are hoping for. It could be travel or more time with grandchildren or golf or all of those. Those in attendance will be curious as you ride off into the "proverbial sunset".
  • Check Retirement Poems, Retirement Jokes and Retirement Quotes for something that you can use.
  • It is okay to show a little bit of emotion during your talk. Everyone knows it is a happy event sprinkled with sadness.
  • End with gratitude and the memories that you will cherish and raise your glass in a farewell toast.

"The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off."   ABE LEMONS


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