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Retirement Speeches

Retirement Speeches

Retirement is the fag end of a professional life. And it is almost incomplete without a speech. So want to know how to write speeches for a retirement! Read on...
Narayani Karthik
Starting as a trainee, progressing to successive levels, managing departments and earning respect conjures a flashback for a person who is about to retire. Images of peals of laughter over lunch, serious discussions over business procurement, meeting expectations set by clients, working till the wee hours of morning to meet the deadlines (needless to say, time lines), arguing with the boss about certain limitations faced in work or reprimanding a junior for not being punctual in clocking office hours and still enjoying the professional life with the ups and downs, flashes like a collage of the various instances of a professional life, which now will be nothing more than a blast from the past.

Retirement can be an overwhelming experience for a person. It is the time when the company decides that the person has worked enough for the organization and now he needs to cater to his own needs and family's, of course by giving his 100%. A time to remember! Isn't it? But then what better way to express the fleeting thoughts? A speech? This is the time, when a person can emote in a way he never did before. A freedom to express, is all that a person to retire needs, to let the organization know what he expected, what he learned and what he got. This article will help you with some ideas which can help you out in preparing your own indigenous speeches and wishes, of course with a personal touch!

Sample Retirement Speech

"Retirement: World's longest coffee break." ~ Author Unknown.

I don't think I need to explain this statement to anyone. Well, should I cite the occasion as to why we have gathered here in the company auditorium? No special prizes for any guesses! Sadly and apparently, we are going to miss an important person from Monday - 12th August, 2005 in our office. John Smith, we are actually going to miss your fatherly presence big time! And yes, John! You are rather going to experience the joys of this longest and much-needed coffee break, with the coveted opportunity of playing twice the husband to our madam Rose (and half the salary part..err...can be ignored).

John Smith, the anchor of marketing department of AVP Corporation, has finally taken the reins of his retirement in his hands. After a 25 year rule over marketing, in which the company has widened to a great extent and reaped a good profitability from its growth, the credits roll over to this mastermind behind the success. His enticing smile which camouflaged a great deal of pressures, tensions and responsibilities, used to relieve the stress of all the people around him and work used to be synonymous with fun. The most significant incident that reminds us of his uncanny skill in procuring the much coveted Go Green Energy deal cannot be forgotten. With a lot of competitive prospectors hounding for that deal, our John made it possible. The deal was a huge success and the projects undertaken in the Energy domain are still going sturdy and strong.

Not to miss on the personal touch he added to the already cliché professional life, he used to remember every employee's name and make a note of their birthdays. A mail from him on the day of birthday used to make each one of us feel that we are important and someone knows it! Thank you sir! A hearty thanks for all the good learning you have imparted to us in your tenure. Your famous lines "Worrying and fretting has never gotten anyone anywhere. But a cool head with a little smile can pave way for the easiest solutions for the most difficult problems!", have been ingrained in our minds and we intend to follow it wherever we are.

John and Rose, we wish you a happy retired life, a life full of joy and happiness with your children and grandchildren. And please do stay in touch! You have just retired from the organization and not from our "company". We wish you both all the best in life!

Humorous Retirement Speech

Stage fear is something which has been biologically engineered inside me. Right from my school days, I had always tried my level best to avoid situations where I had to face a lot of people and speak something. Those days, Lady luck favored me but not until I joined corporate. ABC Corporation Ltd, you are the best thing that has happened to me in life. Or should I thank you profusely for mutating the genetically ingrained gene of stage fear? :)

Jokes apart, I am overwhelmed today, standing in front of my 500 member family who have worked day and night with me in bringing this organization to its pinnacle. With the tight working schedule, with each one of us slogging all through the weekends to meet the expectations of the client, skipping lunches and tea breaks to find a solution for mind-boggling problems and still enjoying the time in office with frequent bouts of laughter over simple jokes, life has come in full circle for me! As the Chief Executing Officer of this organization, I have had the best times of my life with all of you.

Nevertheless, they say, the real life starts after 40! For me, life begins at retirement. And I would catch up for the lost years when I was only working as half a husband to my darling wife. Well, my wife has just come up with a few indigenous ways of spending time without spending money (But, she has not come out of her false belief yet that it is not me who is extravagant in spending.....won't comment more). On a serious note, life in ABC Corporation has been a continual learning experience for me. Ideas created, with some having remained ideas and some having taken shape of products, has clearly taught that there is no end to success just like there is no end to failures. Or should I say, "nothing ventured is nothing tried, and nothing tried is nothing gained"?

Lastly, not to miss on a special thanks note to my immediate team: Spencer, Sarah, Hannah and Joe. This is just not for standing by my decisions, taking them forward, establishing email marketing vis newsletters and creating interactive feedback loops on our website, but also for bearing up with me for all these 20 years (errr...Tolerating me itself is a challenge, is what my wife keeps telling me...).

Aah! Some young brainy kid, once had asked me about my post-retirement plans. They are no secret! I am going for a much awaited break to Bahamas (of course with my darling wife). What I will be doing thereafter is not known to me as the Lord has decided to keep it a secret from me. Nevertheless, I have not retired from your enjoyable company and so we will be in touch through mails and Facebook (Am planning to personally thank Mark Zuckerberg as he has definitely got the world closer by seconds!)

Have a great time, guys! And keep up that spirit of hard work and perseverance which has gotten you where you are. I wish you all the best in life. Yes, my desk will not be "my" desk from Monday, 15th August '2004. That is because I am going to have a personal desk at home from where I will be watching over you in the social networking sites :)

Good luck and Cheers!!

Well, before you go about making a speech on your retirement, keep the following points in mind:
  • Choose the mood (Mood plays an important role as it reflects the ambiance created by the crowd)
  • Know the time limits (People love to hear you but not for an indefinite period of time. Keep the speech lucid and concise)
  • Humor works any time (Humor grabs the attention. So a comic punch is desirable in your speech.)
  • Prepare a crystal clear content (Content should be concise on what you feel, what you have expected and what you have got)
So now, you can prepare a speech, all by yourself. Aah! All this reminds me of the beautiful snippet from Lou Gehrig's (the famous American baseball player) famous speech, which he delivered on his retirement:

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day?

Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert; also the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow; to have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins; then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology - the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy?

Sure, I'm lucky. When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift - that's something! When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies - that's something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles against her own daughter - that's something. When you have a father and mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body - it's a blessing.

When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed - that's the finest I know. So I close in saying that I might have had a tough break; but I have an awful lot to live for."

A retirement speech is the best way to thank, acknowledge or apologize for all actions taken in a professional life. Life after retirement is a new life altogether. An emotive situation that it is, but can be made into a worth remembering occasion of life with your speech. So, now that you know to prepare speeches for retirement, good luck with it!!