July 25


Retirement Speech: What to Say When It’s Not Your Turn to Retire

By Harrison O'Reill

July 25, 2023

Retirement speeches are a great way to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of a retiring colleague or loved one. However, delivering a speech on someone else’s behalf can be daunting, especially if you’re unsure what to say. In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips and ideas on what to include in a retirement speech for someone else.

Firstly, it’s important to consider your audience. Who will be present at the retirement party? Are they colleagues, family members, or a mix of both? Tailoring your speech to your audience can help you strike the right tone and ensure that your message resonates with your listeners.

Additionally, it’s important to think about the retiree’s career and achievements. What were their biggest accomplishments? How did they impact the company or organization? Including specific anecdotes or examples can help bring your speech to life and make it more memorable.

Retirement Speech Preparation


Before writing a retirement speech, conducting research on the retiree is important. Gather information about their career, achievements, and personal life. This will help you create a personalized and meaningful speech. You can also look for retirement speech examples online for guidance and inspiration.


Create a framework for your speech by organizing your thoughts and ideas into sections.

  • Start with an introduction that sets the tone for the speech and grabs the audience’s attention.
  • Then, move on to the body of the speech, where you can highlight the retiree’s accomplishments and share personal stories.
  • Finally, wrap up the speech with a conclusion that expresses gratitude and well wishes for the retiree.

Visual Aids

Consider using visual aids like photos or videos to enhance your speech and engage the audience. These can be used to showcase the retiree’s career highlights or to share personal anecdotes. Make sure the visual aids are relevant and appropriate for the occasion.

In summary, when planning a retirement speech, research the retiree, create a framework for your speech, and consider using visual aids to enhance your presentation. By following these steps, you can deliver a heartfelt and memorable speech that celebrates the retiree’s achievements and contributions.

Content Creation

Tailoring Your Speech

When creating a retirement speech for someone else, it’s important to tailor the content to the individual. Consider their interests, talents, and personality. Think about what they are most proud of in their career and what they would like to be remembered for. Use this information to guide the content of your speech.

Anecdotes and Stories

Anecdotes and stories can be a great way to add humor and personality to a retirement speech. Consider sharing a funny or heartwarming story about the retiree that showcases their personality or accomplishments. Be sure to keep the story brief and relevant to the overall message of the speech.

Achievements and Accomplishments

Highlighting the retiree’s achievements and accomplishments is a key component of any retirement speech. Consider discussing their major accomplishments, contributions to the company or industry, and any awards or recognition they have received.


Be sure to keep the focus on the retiree and their accomplishments rather than the speaker.


Including quotes in a retirement speech can greatly add depth and meaning to the content. Consider using a quote that is relevant to the retiree’s career or personality. Be sure to attribute the quote to the appropriate source and provide context for why it is relevant to the speech.

In summary, when creating a retirement speech for someone else, it’s important to tailor the content to the individual, use anecdotes and stories to add personality, highlight their achievements and accomplishments, and consider using quotes to add depth and meaning.

Delivery Tips

Public Speaking Tips

When delivering a retirement speech, it is essential to remember that public speaking can be daunting. Start by practicing your speech beforehand, and aim to speak slowly and clearly. Speak from the heart, and tailor your speech to the retiree’s personality, achievements, and anecdotes.

Be concise and avoid rambling, and remember to pause to give your audience time to absorb your message.

Emotions and Gratitude

Retirement speeches can evoke a range of emotions, from sadness to joy. Expressing your emotions is okay, but try to balance them with gratitude and positivity. Express your appreciation for the retiree’s hard work, impact, and achievements, and thank them for their dedication and mentorship.

Share stories and quotes that highlight their qualities, hobbies, and personality, and offer well wishes for their future.

Positive Note

End your retirement speech on a positive note. Share your hope for the retiree’s future opportunities and adventures, and encourage them to enjoy their newfound freedom. Offer advice and wisdom, but avoid being preachy or patronizing.

Remember to thank the retiree’s colleagues, family, and co-workers, and acknowledge their role in their success. Keep your message sincere, genuine, and heartfelt.

In short, preparing and practicing can make a retirement speech memorable and meaningful. Speak from the heart, express gratitude and positivity, and tailor the speech to the retiree’s personality and achievements. End on a positive note and offer well wishes for their future. Following these tips can create a speech that honors their hard work and impact and leaves a lasting impression.


A retirement speech is a great opportunity to show appreciation for someone’s hard work and dedication. Keeping the speech positive and lighthearted is important while still acknowledging the retiree’s accomplishments. Here are a few key points to keep in mind when crafting your speech:

  • Start with a heartfelt introduction that sets the tone for the rest of the speech.
  • Share personal anecdotes or stories highlighting the retiree’s strengths and contributions.
  • Thank the retiree for their service and wish them well in their future endeavors.

Remember, a retirement speech is not about you; it’s about the retiree. Keep the focus on them and their accomplishments, and avoid making a speech about yourself. With these tips in mind, you can deliver a memorable and meaningful retirement speech that will leave a lasting impression on the retiree and their colleagues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I start my retirement speech?

A: Start by introducing yourself and your relationship with the retiree. Then, express your gratitude for the opportunity to speak and your excitement to celebrate the retiree’s accomplishments.

Q: What should I include in my retirement speech?

A: Focus on the retiree’s achievements and contributions to the company or organization. Share anecdotes and stories that highlight their strengths and impact on the workplace. Acknowledge their hard work and dedication and express your best wishes for their future.

Q: How long should my retirement speech be?

A: Keep your speech short and sweet, around 5-7 minutes. Make sure to practice beforehand to ensure that you stay within the time limit. You want to keep your audience engaged and avoid losing their attention.

Q: Should I use humor in my retirement speech?

A: Humor can be a great way to lighten the mood and make your speech more engaging. However, make sure that your jokes are appropriate and not offensive. Avoid using inside jokes that only a few people will understand.

Q: Should I read my retirement speech or speak from the heart?

A: It’s always best to speak from the heart and avoid reading directly from a script. However, if you’re nervous or unsure of what to say, it’s okay to have some notes or an outline to guide you. Make sure to maintain eye contact with your audience and speak clearly and confidently.

Q: How do I end my retirement speech?

A: End your speech by thanking the retiree for their contributions and wishing them well in their future endeavors. You can also invite the audience to join you in a toast or round of applause to celebrate the retiree’s accomplishments.

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