It’s your last day at work. You’re happy to be leaving but petrified about the leaving speech. You’re due to say a couple of words of goodbye right after the department lunch. You have no idea what to say and it’s clouding your whole final day in the office.
Don’t worry, this article will help you prepare the perfect leaving speech with ease.
Here are the key tips for a memorable goodbye
1. RELAX. You’re only saying goodbye. Public speaking may be daunting for even the most extrovert. Just remember: you’re leaving! You don’t have to face these colleagues day after day ever again. So even if your speech is unmemorable at best or terrible at worse, in the scheme of things, it does not matter. In a few years time, consider yourself lucky (or unlucky!) if your former colleagues even remember you at all, yet alone what you said on your last day at work
2. KEEP IT SHORT. A five minute speech is great, but a three minute speech is even better. Short and sweet is the key
3. PREPARE BEFOREHAND. Write down what you want to say and make sure you practice it OUT LOUD and STANDING UP the night before. Go through it until you can present it naturally. Then write down the key bullet points and have them on hand on the day of your leaving speech. If you do need to refer to your bullet points during your goodbye speech, that is perfectly okay…even the most respected actors and actresses have done that before in the Oscars and they would be used to memorizing lines. Do you recall a time that any Oscar winner was criticized for referring to their cheat sheet? No, it has not happened and it will not happen to you.
4. IT IS OK TO BE NERVOUS. In fact, it can be endearing to be nervous. Remember that the audience is on your side, they are happy for you and your new career and/or life change. A touch of nerves will show your sincerity and how much this occasion means to you.
5. LEAVE THE COMEDY FOR COMEDIANS.. Do not succumb to the temptation to be funny if you are not the sort of person who can deliver a joke. It is far better to show sincerity and heartfelt emotion that to try hard to crack jokes and having them fall flat.
6. DO NOT BURN BRIDGES. Your last day in the office is not the time to settle personal scores or reel off a list of gripes. Be gracious and diplomatic about everyone and your time at the company, particularly your boss.
7. DON’T BE SMUG ABOUT YOUR NEW JOB . While it is perfectly okay to mention your new career or life plans, never be smug about them. Concentrate more of your speech on your sadness at leaving than your delight at your new opportunity.
8. LOVE YOUR LEAVING GIFT. Remember to say a few kind words about your leaving gift. For example you could say something like “It is just what I wanted and will take pride of place on my new desk. Every time I look at it, I will think back at my happy times here, the fun and laughter we all had and the friendships I made.”