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Public Speaking
Farewell Speeches
This Paper’s Contents:

PAPER SEVEN : Farewell Speeches - Continued

6. The Employee’s Farewell to the Organisation

You don’t have to do so much effort in research because you know yourself and may just need to shake the memory cells a little. Essentially the structure can be the same, but obviously with a different slant, so the following could be the structure:

1. Your time in the organisation
-  What it was like when you arrived, and what you felt as a new person.
-  How things have changed over the years.
-  Particular people of note who have been there and now perhaps gone, people who helped you, and so on.
-  Things you’ve done and learnt while being there.
-  Sometimes some of the difficulties (not much and only if you don’t tread on anyone’s toes of those present) and how they were overcome.
-  The pleasures you’ve had while being there.
2. Why you are leaving
-  Retiring – just add a little more to what the manager has already said.
-  Moving on – this was just an opportunity too good to turn down, but you’ll miss the ethos of here and particular people.
3. Thanks for their good wishes
-  Hope they continue to have success in their endeavours and who knows if or when we’ll meet again.

7. Blessings and Unrealities

Leaving affairs provide an opportunity for a little sentimentality and may be a little unreality.
A couple of times I’ve come across this Irish blessing:

“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand” - Irish Blessing

A slightly longer one is:

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

~Irish Blessing

Perhaps they’re best used on farewell cards.

Someone has said the following is a nice brief farewell:

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

I think the ‘keep in touch’ is a nice touch but often quite unreal. It depends on the person or situation. Equally unreal is the following:

Promise me you'll never forget me because if I thought you would I'd never leave. 
         ~A.A. Milne

Unless there are deep abiding friendships that existed outside the workplace, this is unlikely. While you retire and go cruising or growing tomatoes, they still have the daily grind and you know the pressures of working there!

Finally, quite a nice closing bit of advice I’ve come across:

“Don't cry because it's over.  Smile because it happened.”

You may be sad leaving, but there’s a new life to be lived and, as the speeches have (hopefully) shown, there were some good things in the years that have gone. Be grateful and be glad. It’s time to move on.

Well that wasn’t quite as short as I anticipated, but I hope it’s useful for those who might need it.

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