When someone retires, it is often a cause for celebration. A party is sometimes thrown and people give speeches to commemorate the person who is retiring. The speech is a great opportunity to share your good wishes for the person. The topics of speeches are as varied as the personality of the retiree.
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The job that the person is retiring from is the most common topic for retirement party speeches. Speaking about the position that the retiree held, how long he or she worked there, what the job entailed, examples of the person's daily tasks and stories about goings-on when the person was at work are often heard. Giving a speech that shares stories of situations that occurred when the retiree was working are popular.
Speeches that talk about the person who is retiring are a big hit. Discussing the retiree's hobbies and pastimes can make for fabulous speeches. Other topics include subjects the retiree is knowledgeable about, challenges the person went through, the retiree's family, fond memories shared with the person, trips or adventures he or she has been on and phases of the person's life.
Retirees have had many milestones in their lives. Choosing one and talking about it can make for a great speech. From an important personal landmark to a promotion or event at work, sharing the milestone with the audience at the retirement party can be immensely entertaining.
It is a common ritual to roast people when recognising them in a speech. To roast someone, you poke fun at them in a teasing way that aims to be entertaining but not mean. Roasts are most appropriate for people who have a great sense of humour and can laugh at themselves. Ideas for roasting topics include a person's quirks, a funny incident when the retiree messed up and a humorous interaction with a colleague. Make sure your roasting is in good taste and is not offensive to the crowd.
Some speeches at retirement parties discuss what they retiree plans to do in the future; comments often include references to a laid-back future the person is embarking upon. Offer suggestions about how the person can fill his time and share stories of other retirees and how they stayed busy when no longer working. If you are retired, share some advice for the future to the retiree. If you aren't retired, collect words of wisdom from people who are retired and share them during your speech.
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- "How to Write and Give a Speech, Second Revised Edition: A Practical Guide For Executives, PR People, the Military, Fund-Raisers, Politicians, Educators, and Anyone Who Has To Make Every Word Count"; Joan Detz; 2002
- "Make a Great Speech: A Teach Yourself Guide"; Jackie Arnold; 2011
- "Great Toasts: From Births to Weddings to Retirement Parties...and Everything in Between"; Andrew Frothingham; 2009