So the stage is all yours!
Have a good time up there, and make sure everyone else is too with the guidelines below.
The main ideas of a good farewell speech are to:
Express appreciation for the leaver’s contribution.
How long have they been with the organisation or workplace?
If only a short time, how have they shown their commitment to the organisation in that time?
At the very least, express how the position they filled was a great help to the company. For example, did they introduce a new method, idea, or write a procedure? Mention that they were part of the backbone of the workplace.
Include positive descriptions of the person.
Character descriptions affirm that the person was noticed and will be remembered.
Ensure all character descriptions are positive and accurate. If you can’t think of anything, find out from other people in the organisation – please make an effort to find something positive.
Sometimes difficult traits, in a less formal speech, are affectionately acknowledged, but don’t dwell on it, and include a positive spin on how these traits benefited the organisation.
Include one or two anecdotes that show why the leaver is so appreciated.
Anecdotes and character descriptions can humorous, profound, inspiring etc., but never at the expense of the person leaving. This is not the time to use any of that person’s negative experiences in the workplace as a lesson to others – do this behind their back after they leave!
Express how their leaving will impact on the organisation.
Talk about how or why their contribution will be missed (socially / productively / professionally etc).
Wish them well with a presentation of some kind of keepsake or gift.
is not compulsory but reinforces the message of appreciation.
These items can be as simple as a signed card, or a signed/engraved item from the workplace itself.
The point is to give the person something to remember the organisation / workplace / company by.
It’s also a natural way to conclude the speech (useful if you’re a rambler).
Are you the boss? You really need to read this.