How to Write a Farewell Speech to Cherish Memories

What Is a Farewell Speech

A farewell speech (or a goodbye speech) is usually made to say final words to commemorate the process of leaving the company. This type of speech is emotional, especially if the deliverer was engaged with the company for many years. The most common occasions to deliver a farewell speech are:

  • when you change a job
  • when you graduate from university
  • when you retire
  • when your colleague/boss leaves or retires

As you can see, speeches may be delivered both by the person who resigns and his or her colleagues. To give a good speech, you will need to write it and then practice to make it shine. If you have no regular practice in delivering speeches, you need to consider that it will take time to prepare for the event.

The following guide will tell you general tips on how to write a farewell speech for a pageant, job change, retirement, and more.

how to write a farewell speech

Steps on How to Write a Farewell Speech

1. Assess your audience. How many listeners know you personally? How many people have worked with you personally? If you are going to speak before a significant number of listeners, you will need to be more emotional and humorous. In case it will be your department with close colleagues, then you can make your speech more informal. Also, you need to ask yourself, “What would interest the audience?”
2. Evaluate the place and time. Find out where you will be delivering the speech. The central hall of the business center, restaurant, or meeting room – everything makes a difference. Does the place recall some memories from the past? You can incorporate it in your speech.
3. Write a speech. Now, once you are familiar with the audience, time, and place, the next step is to make a skeleton of your speech. Like any speech, it should follow the basic structure: opening, body, and closing words.

– Opening. Usually, farewell speeches are quite gloomy. Try to incorporate some humor or professional jokes to tune the audience into a more cheerful mood. You can share a humorous story about a specific event or share a story about an adventure. You can start your speech as you wish, but make sure that you will engage your audience and lift the spirits from the first words.
– Body paragraph. Here you can talk about your career history, reminisce about most interesting and challenging stories connected to your work, talk about people who supported and inspired you, list the opportunities and skills you gained during the years in the company, etc. Share your feelings and exciting moments to remember.
– Closing. In the end, speak about the future, not the past. Share your thoughts about your personal future and opportunities. You can briefly mention where you are going and present people that will take your place. End your speech with hopes and best wishes to the company and its employees.

4. Edit and polish the text. Make sure that every word counts in the speech. Try to read it out loud and evaluate the content. It may seem that some moments can be cut or rewritten in a briefer manner. Also, you can time your speech to make sure that it’s not too long. Attract your family or friends to read and listen to your speech and ask for remarks.

How to Write a Farewell Speech: Example With Comments

Wish to get some inspiration for a farewell speech? Read out our farewell speech sample to find out more about the structure and use the ideas in your own speech. When you have no idea where to start, read the following example, and everything will fall into place.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

how to write a good farewell speechhow to write a pageant farewell speech


Tips on How to Write a Good Farewell Speech

  • Don’t try to include everything you want to say in your speech. Pick only the stories and information that will be memorable, and don’t make your audience fall asleep.
  • Avoid being negative. Unless you don’t care about your reputation anymore.
  • Add humor. Share some good memories to cheer up your audience.
  • Always stick to the timing. No matter how much you want to say, there is no need to bore your audience and make them look at their watches.
  • Don’t tell the audience that you are making a mistake leaving the post. The decision is taken, so keep your head held high.
  • Mention people that have helped you a lot during your years in the company. It will help you leave a good impression and keep relationships.
  • If you know who will take your post after you leave, think about presenting this person at the speech.
  • Avoid embarrassing stories about your co-workers or bosses, unless you are sure they will appreciate them.
  • Be sincere and cheerful. Inspire your audience with positive stories and challenges.
  • Include a quote at the beginning or end of the speech to make it more memorable to the audience.
  • Show your appreciation to the company and colleagues. Don’t forget to wish them good luck.
  • Don’t be shy if you get too emotional. But try not to get hysterical and ruin the speech.

Questions to Ask Before Writing a Farewell Speech

It may happen that you are too sad or frustrated because of the occasion. You can ask yourself some questions about your company, team members, industry, partners, etc.

 Who? Who has helped you since the very beginning?
Who has influenced you the most?
Who are you thankful for?
Who will take your place?
Who will suffer after you leave?
 What? What does the situation mean to you?
What does the situation mean to your colleagues?
What has forced you to change your job?
What will happen after you leave?
What are the reasons to be thankful?
What do you feel about the situation?
What do you want to wish/recommend the audience?
 Where? Where do you want to be in five years?
Where should the company look for expertise?
Where are you going?
 When? When have you started your career in the company?
When have you experienced the most significant failure/achievement?
When is your final date?
 Why? Why are you delivering this speech?
Why have you decided to leave?
Why shouldn’t your colleagues be sad?
Why are you grateful for the experience?
 How? How did you come to this situation?
How can you explain the reasons you are leaving?
How will partners and colleagues feel after you leave?

Some of these questions may help you develop the farewell speech and find inspiration. If you still can’t start your speech, you can browse Google and find more examples and recommendations for the farewell speech.

Phrases to Use in Your Farewell Speech

Here are some phrases for a farewell speech that may help you generate ideas and get over writer’s block. All of them may be equally used at any part of your farewell speech.

– How lucky I am to have known…
– Let me take this opportunity to express the deep gratitude…
– The moment I…
– Working in this company/office was…
– I will miss…
– Good times and bad times…
– I will keep in touch…
– I was deeply touched…
– I am grateful for…
– It’s time to move on…
– The funniest moment…
– I have learned…
– You have made my experience…
– I have enjoyed my time…
– I have had a significant time working…
– Having the privilege of working with…
– The most difficult part of leaving…
– Our teamwork was…
– No matter how small and unimportant…
– If I was asked to describe a perfect workplace/team…
– Thank you for the support/ experience/ goodwill/ encouragement…
– Thank for all those times…
– I wish you the best of luck…
– It has been a pleasure working with…
– I didn’t think saying goodbye would be so hard…
– I hope that the new…

And remember, the main aim of your farewell speech is to leave a touching impression about your leave. Take time to write, revise, and practice your speech to make it flawless.

If you want to send an email or letter to your colleagues and partners about your resignation, we recommend you to look through the guide on how to write a resignation letter.