Bidding farewell to your coworkers can be a bitter-sweet experience, especially if you’re retiring or you got a big promotion in a bigger city. Even if it is not official to give a farewell speech, it is only ethical you say some few words of goodbyes when presented with a farewell cake or card by your coworkers.
To give that killer farewell speech without getting killed in the process is vital, as this may be the last battle you will take on for your company. You are also the lone soldier for this, so conquer this final quest gracefully and triumphantly.
Like everything else, preparation is the key to winning this.
I have a series of types of speech posts, from persuasive speech, motivational speech, informative speech, explanatory speech to forensic speech. You can click back here when you are done reading this article to see them. Now, let’s dive in to writing and delivering a memorable farewell speech.
Writing Your Farewell Speech
The speech you have drafted will be both your sword and shield. This will save you from getting into a lot of “umms,” “uhh,” and even awkward pauses. Plan your speech ahead of time so you will have the chance to reminisce and include all the things you want to be said. You know that it is not just scouts that need preparation.
You may ask, “Is there a structure that I should follow for my farewell speech?”
Well, there is none but going impromptu when it is bound to be an emotional day will not be ideal. Your speech is that last mark you will ever leave your colleagues. So, whether or not you feel like not delivering it, you must do it.
What do You say in a Farewell Speech to Coworkers?
- Your speech must exude sincerity. It must have appropriate honesty of your feelings for your work and the colleagues you have been along the way.
- It does not need to go through a lot of U-turns. Try to stay brief because just mumbling words to fill your speech is not the best way to do it.
- Beware of Excessive Drama. Yes, not all work experiences are great. You might have found lousy bosses, a toxic work environment, and felt poorly paid. However, there are always valuable lessons that you can only realize if you go past all the anger and frustrations that you mostly felt.
- Try to evoke positivity. Do tell your learnings about your stay in the company. Mention the advancements that the company has made possible for you. Include also your experiences with your co-workers, the little things you have learned from them that impacted you greatly.
8 Steps Guide for a Memorable Goodbye Speech
That speech can be guided with the following content pointers:
- You can start with a joke or some icebreaker to break the prevailing emotion in the hall.
- Mention how long you have been staying in the company. The awkwardness and the hopeful kind of excitement you felt on the first day, the homey vibe you eventually had upon finally adjusting, and how you feel about the idea of leaving. Express that despite the fact that it is your choice. You also feel sad in a way about it.
- Highlight what you have admired about your stay. Recall the moments of enjoyment, Eureka, and life in your workplace. Mention how it changed you.
- Include your appreciation and admiration for the people with whom you have shared this journey with. You may want to mention them along with your speech.
- Tell them how you feel about saying goodbye.It might seem easy, but it takes courage.
- If you want to, you can explain your reason for leaving.This is to give them a hint about why a goodbye has to be said. You can share with them what and where you are going to.
- Funny working anecdotes and your sincerest thanks must be present in your speech.Mention your special memories that they can relate to one way or another. They will not be forgotten but will be brought with you in your next chapter.
- Finally, end your speech with good wishes for your colleagues. Even though you are going separate paths, you still look forward to the people that they will become.
You may not thoroughly include all the points mentioned, but having a guide never hurts. It is there so you will not get lost in preparing your speech.
You may read your speech and practice delivering it. More so, you can use cue cards or have outlines that will keep your speech in your memory. By practicing delivering your farewell speech, you will not be overcome by the emotion of the occasion. The truth is, you will overcome it instead.
Now, for the delivery day!
Or, let us put it as the time when you have to fight your nerves.
- Deliver that speech to yourself first! There was this instance when you thought you had written beautifully, but some things are better written than said. Do you get it? You have to recite that speech out loud and hear out the parts. Some of it may not sound good or join the flow so better cut that off before it cuts out the beauty of your speech. You can recite it in the mirror plus you can practice your facial expressions. The less awkward you deliver, the better.
- Remember that the more time you buy, the harder it is to keep their attention. Your goal is to have their three to five minutes and whatever things that need to be said must be mumbled already. Time is precious, especially in workplaces, and people have to go back to working. Though you are leaving, not everything has to be about you. Be a team player, even if it is for the last time.
- Speak with confidence. We all have that crowd jitters, but they are there to defy. Just keep in mind that you are talking with people who you most likely see very often. This is the last time they will hear from you as a colleague. Be aware that you will make mistakes when delivering a speech, and it is okay. You may laugh at it and say, “So sorry. This is how I usually say goodbye – from starting a smooth speech to being roughly shy in the process.” You can joke about it. You will finish it, no worries.
Smile your way through the process. This farewell speech will only be a killer if you have left footprints of positivity that they will go back to now and then. Know that nothing is perfect, especially your company that you will be leaving but having the privilege to give a farewell speech is not an avenue to release your pent-up frustrations. Be thankful for everything and look forward to things that you are yet to conquer professionally.
Farewell Speech Example
“Wow! It’s been over 6 years now, I am sure one is keeping notes, but I have worked more years here than the average Millennial – That tells you something…either this is an amazing company, or I must be one of a kind.
I remember my very first interview to join this company, it was January 10th, a Friday. I was so excited, my first job interview with a multinational company. That’s when I met my first supervisors, the first of many meetings to come, little did I know at the time.
This company runs at a pace that many believe to be nothing short of herculean, yet when completing our national backbone project, and really seeing the difference that our work made in connecting families and otherwise distant places of the country…no amount of stress and tiredness seemed to matter. I am so very proud of having been part of that.
Obviously, this was one of the dozens of projects we worked on, and I feel honored and blessed to have had an amazing team and co-workers that put everything to help make things happen. I have learned so much about the corporate world, about businesses, about people, and most importantly about myself. For that, I will be forever grateful. Thank you all! (Here you can mention the names of your supervisors, mentors, inspiring leaders, junior staff, your team, etc.)
Saying farewell to you all is harder than I imagined, but a necessary step that will allow me to spend more time with my family and pursue some personal projects that I have postponed for a while now. I believe that my leaving will also open up opportunities for many of you to wear the different hats that I have been wearing in the last few years.
I am to this day, and probably for many years to come, really passionate about this company’s mission, and truly wish you the best of success in future projects. I will be looking forward to seeing you growing everything that we have created so far and may each and every one of you on the team improve by leaps and bounds and get amazing opportunities. After all, this company is just getting started in this country. Thank you very very much for everything guys!”
Farewell speeches are hard. Most people are not used to saying goodbye, nor they want to most times, but when it comes to working sometimes you have got to do it. The reason may be that you got a new opportunity at another company, or that you want to go back to school or dedicate more time to your family, or simply because it was not a good fit.
Regardless of the reason, if you get a chance to make your farewell speech to your co-workers, take this chance to appreciate all the lessons (good experiences/bad experiences), and wish the company and your co-workers all the best, and be genuine about it, even if all the best means “may this company become less toxic, and people really develop their skills here.”
Thank you so much for reading this far, I really appreciated it, please share or comment if you liked what you read.
REFERENCES & FURTHER READING
Susan Dugdale. Farewell Speeches.https://www.write-out-loud.com/farewell-speeches.html.