Heartwarming and Personal Will Work Best!

If you are looking for a free and funny sample retirement speech, look no further. By reading this page you will know what to say and how to say it. I have done the research and have put together all of the information that you will need to make the speech.

Keep in mind that the retiree will remember this day forever. It is a momentous event in his (or her) life. He will remember your sincerity and your humor. So, be gentle and kind and thoughtful.

But, also have fun. Start with a pause and a smile, then an "attention-getting" or "catchy" line. It could be how rare it is to see so many co-workers in fancy clothes as  compared to their assembly line outfits. Or you could compare the gathering to a "water cooler" meeting on steroids. Any comment that gets their attention will work.

This is one of the best opening remarks that I have heard. I do not remember where I heard it, but I can assure you that it is not mine. "When I told people I was going to make a retirement speech today they got quite excited....until I explained that it wasn't me who was retiring".

The Speech

Preparation will result in a much better result than trying to "wing it". In fact, lack of preparation could result in many "ums" and "uhs" and embarrassment. See speech preparation and speech content for lots of help in these areas.

Soon after your opening remarks name the retiree, then mention family members and close co-workers. There may be many people present who do not know who these guests are.

There are internet services that will write a speech for you. You provide a name and a few details and the speech is generated. Unfortunately, everyone will know you did not write the speech. It is extremely important that you prepare your own speech. Make it you telling your story. Make it real.

If you have a favorite speaker such as a president or celebrity, analyze one of their speeches. You could find a format that is comfortable for you.

Humor - Story-telling Is Safer Than Joke-telling!

Consider mentioning a favorite story about the retiree. Usually these anecdotes are witty and humorous. You could ask a co-worker to tell the story. It could be a spontaneous request or pre-planned.

Many employees have habits or rituals that can be hilarious. I had the habit of coming back from lunch on Fridays and saying: "It's Friday afternoon." My co-workers eventually bought me a t-shirt with "It's Friday afternoon" printed on it.

Somewhere  in the body of the speech you will need to comment on the retiree's role in the company. This will give you the opportunity address his talents, skills and knowledge. Make this sincere and believable. I can assure you that he and his family will remember this part of your speech.

Most retirees have trained others, mentored them and helped co-workers in many ways. Now is the time to mention those good deeds.

Many organizations and companies have changed considerably during the retiree's tenure. A brief history of the progress or changes would be educational for a diverse audience.

Spruce Up Your Speech!

If there is a poem or quote that somehow relates to the retiree, use it. Sometimes it's a "one-liner" or a famous joke that can add some gentle humor.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had some good advice for speakers. He said: "Be sincere; be brief; be seated". If you've practiced your speech and it is ten minutes in length, now is the time to make it better. Delete anything that is questionable or "wordy". Make it a 5 minute speech. That is what good speakers do.

Keep it upbeat. Don't make it sound like a eulogy. Ask a colleague to listen to the speech. Tell a couple of trusted co-workers about the contents. Listen to their suggestions.

Speech Conclusion

I know this page is entitled: "Sample Retirement Speech", but only you can make it personal and effective. Sample speeches are stiff and not received well.

Realize that this occasion, for the retiree, could be both a happy and sad occasion. Happy because the day-to-day grind, alarm clock arousals and fighting rush traffic is over. Sad because the daily camaraderie and updates on the lives of friends is also over.

Yes, there will be more golf, travel and new challenges. So, close your speech by emphasizing the positive. Propose a toast to a "new beginning" and a "wonderful retirement".

Perhaps this Irish Blessing would be appropriate:

  • May you always have work for your hands to do.
  • May your pockets always hold a coin or two.
  • May the sun shine bright upon your window pane.
  • May a rainbow follow each rain.
  • And may the hand of a friend always be near you.

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Retirement Poems


  Wit & Wisdom

Retirement Clock

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