You got the job of master of ceremonies at Joe's retirement party. It's your job to give a retirement speech and retirement toast. What should you say? Do not fear--here is your sample retirement speech.
When writing a retirement farewell speech, do keep in mind the significance of this event for your guest of honor. Design it with careful regard for everything he/she has contributed and the many years of hard work he/she has devoted to the company, school, or any other institution. While you could search on the internet for a sample retirement speech and simply fill in the relevant details, it might not have the heartfelt appreciation and personal connection that you can infuse. Include a bit of simple humor (if that is natural for you), or try using retirement sayings and craft your talk around it.
It's best to pick one of two basic options for constructing a sample retirement speech:
- make it humorous--this works if you and the honoree have a good sense of humor and have shared it with one another
- make it sentimental and appreciative with a touching story or two
Structure of a Sample Retirement Speech by the Host
Try these guidelines to put together a great host retirement speech.
- Begin with an interesting introduction to the honoree and the time when he/she entered the company.
- Talk a little about the many accomplishments he/she has achieved using anecdotes and examples.
- Talk about some challenges and how the retiree overcame them.
- Add some references to his/her personality and other characteristics. This could be a good point to relate some incident involving your interactions with him/her.
- Try to find out a little about the plans for retirement that your guest has and add some retirement wishes.
- Let him/her know that he/she will be missed.
- Conclude your talk with a thank you to the honoree for the time he/she has given to the institution.
Sample Retirement Speech Template
If you’re not quite sure about how to write this very special talk, go through this retirement speech example for some ideas.
May I begin by extending a warm welcome to our guest of honor, [Mr/Ms. XXX] to this event. We are all here to remember some of the great moments you spent here in this company. And, to celebrate the long and successful career over the 35 long years that you have been with us. Toast!
Jonathan Clements once said, “Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.” In all the time I have known [Mr/Ms. XXX], I have always been in awe of his/her productivity and the drive that leads him/her to work so hard. And, I know that a vacation in Las Vegas is exactly what he/she needs.
Even so, I think it is that very hard work that has led the company to reach its present day stature. From what I hear from my seniors, the [Product Name] that is considered to be the company’s signature product has been such a runaway success solely because of the fantastic marketing strategy that [Mr/Ms. XXX] designed for it. You will always be remembered for it. Toast!
I would like to relate a funny incident that happened when I first joined the company. On my way to the company offices for the interview, I stopped for coffee at the cafe downstairs, and met this really nice gentleman/lady. We soon got talking, mainly because I needed an outlet for the nervousness I was feeling.
Long story short, I talked to him/her all about my plans for the future and everything that I learned at the last job I worked. Imagine my surprise when I found that the person who would be interviewing me was that very same gentleman/lady. When I walked in, he/she simply said, “You’re hired!” That must have been the shortest interview ever in the history of this company. [Pause for the laughter to settle.] Thank you for making me a part of this organization! Toast!
As we all know, [Mr/Ms. XXX] is the one person that we can depend on to come through for the company in any kind of crisis. I have never known anyone to remain so calm and deal with every situation so efficiently. We will miss your resilience and steadfast attitude. I have heard you talk often about writing that handbook for would-be managers and all the lessons you would like to pass on. We are all going to be looking forward to reading this because I am sure there’s a lot we can learn from your experiences.
Thank you for being a part of this company and for giving so much of your life to it. I do hope you can make the time to visit us and check how we’re doing without you. [Another pause] Wishing you the very best in all your ventures ahead. Here’s to [Mr/Ms. XXX]! Toast!
Tips to Keep in Mind
It is always advisable to have a sample retirement speech with you so you don’t go off track or fumble for words. Cue cards with bold, typed bullet points are also a great idea. Most important, remember to keep the retirement dinner speech concise and interesting. And make a graceful exit before your audience starts to tune out. Leave the stage so that your guest of honor can stand up and say a few words and express his/her own feelings about retiring.
Make sure you enjoy giving your talk, because it will show through in your demeanor, but also remember to keep the talk completely focused on the honoree. If you find that you didn’t have the time to prepare a retirement toast, just say a few lines about how the retiree was an honored member of the company and he/she will be remembered after his/her departure. Raise a toast with good wishes and exit the stage.
Using these tips you should be able to give a great retirement speech that your valued guest will remember fondly for a long while.