How to Write a Farewell Speech

When you write a farewell speech, it is usually delivered on a professional level and consists of thoughts and feelings about past associations and future possibilities. From politicians to CEOs to retirees, a farewell speech is expected during a public gathering of associates. Although these speeches tend to be formal, you won't need to rely on a speech writer if you use these tips.

Analyze The Audience
Before you can determine what to say in a farewell speech, you must identify who your listeners are. Is it your staff of whom you are the manager? Is it a mixed group of co-workers of whom you are somewhere in the middle? Or, is it a group of constituents that you've been serving, such as a civic group or other group? The audience will determine how you express your appreciation.

Tone Of The Speech
Deciding on the tone of the farewell speech completely depends on your own personality and the atmosphere of the room. If you are at a casual luncheon or collected in the conference room for refreshments, a more lighthearted and funny approach may suit the situation better. If you are the guest of honor at a retiree banquet or speaking from a podium, a more eloquent and professional tone is required. That's not to say you can't inject some humor into any speech-it will be appreciated by your listeners-but let the humor influence the tone rather than take it over.

Focus Of The Speech
A good farewell speech should include several elements. First, you should talk a little about the past, whether that's your position in a company or in public service. Describe some of the best duties and one or two of your fondest memories. Next, move on to the people you've had the opportunity to associate with, especially significant bosses or mentors, as well as co-workers who have influenced you. Finish up by sharing your feelings about leaving and how the group has positively influenced you for the future. Expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to interact with everyone will end things on a positive note and pave the way for your eventual farewell.

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