It is said you know a gentleman by the Latin he has forgotten.Author: Niamh
It is said you know a gentleman by the Latin he has forgotten. Pope Benedict gave his resignation speech in Latin, the official language of the church. While his resignation made world headlines every day there are plenty of less famous people who leave jobs and who worry about what they will say in their goodbye speech.
On the positive side they won’t have to give it in Latin. Then too it is worth remembering that they won’t be working with the same people any more so their job prospects are not affected by what they say. Nonetheless most people would prefer that their farewell speech was one that will be remembered for all the right reasons.
So it is important to thank those who have helped you during your working days. Don’t forget people who often fail to get a mention such as the office tea lady or a porter or janitor who has done many small services for you. A list of thank you’s is boring if that’s all you say so mention that one colleague spent hours helping you understand new systems while the tea lady made sure she always had your favourite muffins. In other words make your thank you’s personal.
Speak of what you have gained over the years in the way of friendships, support and job satisfaction. Tell a story about some incident you remember. It might be when there was a burglary at the office; the boss had triplets and stood everyone champagne or when you got your first overseas order.
Speak of how you will miss the camaraderie of your working life. Then go on to say what you intend to do in the future. Goodbye speeches should always be positive in tone. In fact if you can make those you are leaving envy you so much the better. So talk of your trip around the world or of lowering your golf handicap. Speak of the book you intend writing or the clubs you intend joining. Naturally too you should thank your colleagues for any gift they give you.
If your family members are present it is good to speak of how much you look forward to having more time to spend with them. Above all, though, your speech should be short and succinct. After all retirement should be a happy and optimistic occasion. They probably won’t have to have a conclave to elect your successor as they will in Rome. Whoever is replacing you though should have to be equally good at giving speeches!