Retirement parties are an opportunity for co-workers, family and friends to gather in celebration of the servitude and accomplishments of an honoured retiree. Regardless of the venue, or how elaborate the affair, it is customary for the guest of honour to thank the organisers and guests for attending. Typically, the retiree will stand for a few moments during the reception and make a speech, offering their appreciation, along with a few retirement jokes, personal anecdotes and shared memories. For those who may be a bit on the shy side, or anyone wishing to follow up with guests, sending thank you notes is also an acceptable way of expressing gratitude.
Prepare a list of memories, co-workers' names, jokes and any other relevant information you'd like to address in your speech.
Outline the flow of the speech, including an introduction, body and conclusion. Include a theme in your speech, referencing back to it several times throughout.
Choose an opening line that will capture the guests' attention. Close with a sentimental thought, being sure to include a final offer of thanks.
Recite the speech in front of your guests, while making eye contact and smiling.
Make a list of recipients and addresses based on cards, gifts and flowers received in connection with the party.
Prepare a thank you card for each recipient. Cards can be purchased or handmade, but should include a personal sentiment and signature.
Place the completed cards in envelopes, address one to each recipient and drop them in the mail.
Take the opportunity to thank your co-workers, your boss and the company for allowing you to be of service. When thanking the host or organiser of the party, be sure to acknowledge their efforts, as well as any gifts given. When writing a thank you note, try to personalise it by referring to the specific gift for which you are thankful. Try to send thank you notes within two weeks of the party, if possible.
It is inappropriate to make references that might be embarrassing, private or harmful to your employer or co-workers during your speech, as they may alienate some of your guests.