What the Farewell Speech is All About
The old saying is true that it is hard to say goodbye when one enjoyed associating or working with a group. In some cases, the departing person may have gotten close with some people through the years or may have been special to the entire community through achievements or contributions. Given how unpredictable life can be, departing is pretty unavoidable and people have to leave due to reasons like getting a new job, going back to the family, transferring to another school or institution, and more. As such, writing a farewell speech becomes necessary even though there is no specific requirement to deliver one.
Naturally, it is considered rude to leave without saying goodbye and the farewell speech is precisely the more preferred way to bid goodbye to others. Arguably, the only occasion in which giving a farewell speech is not needed is when the departing person gets fired from the job (or became a disgrace within the community).
For most occasions, a farewell speech is often viewed to be the proper way to bid goodbye to others. That is assuming it is written in good taste and does not bore nor take too long to deliver.
Just what will it take to compose and deliver a nice farewell speech that would mark the end with a nice and honorable approach? The following steps to take are as follows:
- Begin with an introduction – As new people come into the company or the community with the passage of time, it is important for you to introduce yourself to everyone. The intro will also serve as a convenient reintroduction when reaching out to others who are not very close or familiar with you. After the intro, you can provide a short explanation as to why the farewell is being given.
- Appreciate the time and experience – Next, it is a must to express your admiration for the following – for being part of the team/community, for being given the opportunities to prove yourself, for being able to connect with many people, for learning many new things or trends that made the experience worthy, and for having great times together. If you happen to be an award winner, you may express what the feeling of being recognized really is like and that the achievement is something that you will always treasure.
- Be grateful – It is only proper to give thanks. When giving thanks, be sure to mention the names of the people who proved to be important to you within the community, as well as acknowledging the authorities like the boss and mentors/trainers. If you won an award or got recognized, thank the award givers and their staff for acknowledging you. Being thankful alone will make others feel valued as well.
- Spice up the speech with some world-related humor or jokes – To prevent the farewell speech from growing stale or boring, try to lighten up the mood with a joke or two. If no work-related jokes can be made, using quotes from pop culture (example: movies) can be good substitutes.
- Look back – While times of stress and problems from the past are often undesirable, it can still helpful to look back and remind others what significant events proved to be important in relation to your development as a worker (or being a member of the community). If you did something very helpful like preventing a crisis from happening or saving a person’s life, then such an event is worthy of emphasizing. Looking back and relating what was significant can inspire others to be better when it comes to making a difference.
- Look forward – You may mention where you are heading in the short term and if necessary share that what you experienced during your time with the company/community helped prepare you on moving forward. To really lighten things up, you may express what you will miss and who you will miss.
- Conclude it – After finally delivering the content of the farewell speech, don’t forget to say goodbye. When saying goodbye, try doing it with feelings. Most often, a goodbye is memorable when followed with a smile. If you feel emotional and like crying, you may let it out gradually.
With these seven basic steps on writing and delivering a farewell speech. As with other speeches, it is a must to balance your delivery between reading your speech on paper (or on a tablet like the iPad) and facing the eyes of the people watching you.
The farewell speech, while it may be meaty or rich in words, need not be long or dragging especially since you’ll be taking up other people’s time. The farewell speech needs to be not more than ten minutes long and keep in mind that the more emotional moments will delay things when emotions can’t be handled.
Regardless of what occupation you hold or what community you are part of, delivering a farewell speech is the nicest way of saying goodbye before moving to your next destination.