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What to say at a retirement party

Updated March 23, 2017

Retirement speeches are the centrepieces of a retirement party. Colleagues and friends gather to offer their memories of and support for the retiree. Gratitude, respect and optimism celebrate retirement as a major life event.

Presentation

Describe the retiree's accomplishments and character. As you take the podium, regale celebrants with feats and funnies. A successful retirement speech finds a balance between humour and sincerity. A round of retirement speeches ends with a toast to the retiree.

Brevity

Stick to one subject, focus and your speech will hit the mark. Prepare to take centre stage with confidence. Know what you plan to say to stay on-message and to prevent the enemy of a good speech--rambling. Close with strength. Express gratitude for knowing the retiree or certainty for her happy retirement. Keep your speech to several minutes.

Toasts

Make your toast memorable. The toast brings closure to all speeches. Wish the retiree happiness and health. Affirm what the speeches brought to light: that the guest of honour made a difference and will be missed.

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About the Author

Alyson Paige has a master's degree in canon law and began writing professionally in 1998. Her articles specialize in culture, business and home and garden, among many other topics.