Special occasion speech writing: Retirement speech writing
What to say at a retirement party, whether you’re the one retiring or just there to show support.
So the time has come… suddenly it’s time to trade in years of experiences for a gold watch, and to pack up a desk and trade it for a recliner. Whether you’re the one who’s getting ready to retire or you’re just there to show support for a valued friend and coworker, having the right thing to say when the time comes can be essential.
Retirement parties can sometimes be bittersweet affairs… a milestone has been reached, and not only the retiree but also everyone whom he or she worked with has to get used to the idea that they won’t be there anymore. Try to keep that in mind when writing a speech for the event… you certainly don’t want to accidentally say something that’s going to bring everybody down.
You should try to come up with a few anecdotes that will bring to mind a happy time… perhaps the events of an office party to remember, or a new productivity record that was set. Keep the tone of the story light, tell it using a warm and friendly tone, and be sure to wear a smile.
Focus your speech not only on the past, but also things that the future may hold. You might talk about a fishing trip that you’ve always wanted to take, or maybe your co-worker has always had a dream of going cross-country in an RV. There is usually some dream that had been shared over the years that you can fit into your speech… after all, retirement is a chance to do all of the things that there was never time for before.
No matter how much you might want to say something about so-and-so, keep it out of your speech. Whether you’re retiring and have always wanted to tell off your boss, or someone is retiring that you think has been wasting the company’s time, a retirement party isn’t the time or place for anything negative or derogatory to be said. If it absolutely has to be said, take it up in private afterwards.
Remember that though it is a party, a retirement party is also somewhat of a formal gathering to show respect and honor to a valued employee. When writing a speech, even if you’re using a light and amusing tone, try to keep a bit of reverence in the text as well. If you’re retiring, be sure to honor not only the job, but your boss and coworkers as well. If you’re honoring a retiree, be sure to show respect for their years of service.
Most importantly, try not to forget that the company and the retiree have had a working relationship for many years. If you’re retiring, tell a little bit about how the company has made your life better. If someone else is retiring, be sure to mention how they’ve contributed to the company. Make sure that the day-to-day difference hasn’t been ignored.
Ideally, retirement is just a crossing over into a new and better stage of life. Keep that in mind while celebrating it, and hopefully everyone will have a wonderful time.