A farewell speech is a way to say goodbye to your colleagues, students, teachers before leaving an organization, school or college. It is a way to show your respect and gratitude for your colleagues and friends before the final departure. A farewell speech is like a more sophisticated, formal and glorified version of ‘Good Bye’. It is a narration of experiences gained together, moments those were spent together or achievements made.
A farewell speech is usually given by the colleagues to a leaving or retiring employee or to the teachers, students leaving an institution. It may also be given by colleagues, students to any leaving employee or student. It gives the departing employee an opportunity to personally acknowledge and thanks to his/her colleagues or vice versa.
By going through this article you will be able to know about What is a Farewell, How to Write an Effective Fare Well speech, How to Start a Farewell Speech, How to be Prepared and have Much Confidence, Characteristics of a Gracious Farewell Speech, Types of Farewell Speeches and How to Start them.
What is Farewell?
A farewell is an event organized to felicitate and honor a leaving colleague, student or teacher, to show him/her how much they mattered in the organization and that they will be missed by all. It is an event that is equally important for the departing employee as well as for his/her colleagues who remained.
If you are an employee leaving an organization, or a student changing college or a teacher moving on to the new phase of life, I have explained below how to write an effective and touching farewell speech for your colleagues and friends.
How to Write an Effective Farewell speech? (How to Start a Farewell Speech)
A farewell speech might be serving a variety of audiences like- colleagues, family, friends, etc. You should be able to understand the need and sentiments of your audiences, which should form the basis of your speech. Either the speech is by a leaving person or for the leaving person; in both cases it must have a definite structure and should convey a positive message. An effective farewell speech can be broken up into three parts- introduction, main body, and conclusion. Below an explanation for how to write an effective farewell speech is given to help you prepare a speech for your own farewell or the farewell of a dear friend, colleague, teacher or a co-student. After going through the content you will be able to write an effective farewell speech and earn accolades by your colleagues and friends-
I – Introduction
The Introduction of a Fare Well speech can be divided into two parts as described below-
Part 1 (Greeting the Audience)
The introduction part of a farewell speech includes greeting the audiences and informing them about the occasion. The speaker should have knowledge of the audience that he is addressing and must greet them accordingly. Common greetings include- Dear all, dear friends, respected ladies, and gentlemen, etc. The dignitaries or distinct individuals present should be greeted individually. Like- Respected Principal, Respected Vice President sir, etc. The groups in the audience’s like- students, colleagues, friends, and co-workers should be greeted collectively, keeping in mind their sentiments. Some of the most common greeting methods of groups are- my dear/loving friends, dear/loving colleagues, dear co-workers, etc. The above rule remains the same irrespective of whether the speech is made by the leaving person or for the leaving person.
Part 2 (Informing about the occasion)
Post the greetings, the speaker should inform the audience about the purpose of the event i.e. why they have gathered. Informing the audience that Mr. Z (imaginary name) is leaving the organization and moving onto a new chapter of life, for a better future and we are gathered here to say a final goodbye to him/her.
If the leaver himself is giving the speech then he must inform the audience about his decision to leave and though the decision is hard, he or she has to take it and should also convey his or her grief or sorrow of having to depart from the audience.
II Main Body of the Speech
This is indeed the most important part of any farewell speech. It is here that you deliver your message to the audience and share experiences. At this point, we must decide whether the speech is by a leaver addressing his colleagues, or it is by one of his colleagues addressed to him. Below we will go through how to form an effective and impressive main body of the speech.
If the farewell speech has to be given by a leaver or his colleague, it must include the following in the same sequence-
1) True and Factual
Any speech for that matter is effective only when it sounds true, relevant and based on facts and real experiences.
This is the most important trait of a farewell speech; it must reflect positivity.
3) How long have you/they been?
If you are the leaver than you must inform the audiences about how long have you been in the organization, and if you are giving a speech for the leaver then tell the audience about his/her total tenure in the organization. Like- since 2015 etc.
4) Sharing Admirations and Achievements
An effective farewell speech must include achievements made by the leaver, in case if the speaker is one of his colleagues. In case the leaver himself is giving a speech then he must admire his colleagues and the organization and thank them for the achievements he had made under their guidance and supervision.
5) Conveying the experiences
A leaver/colleague must convey to the audience that his/her experience with the other colleagues/leaver had been wonderful and unforgettable, and he/she is going to cherish those memories for life.
6) Personal Experiences/Acknowledgements
The speaker may take the opportunity to share his/her personal experiences with a colleague or the leaver and how encouraging or supporting, they have been. Sharing such experiences is like publicly acknowledging them and thanking them for what they have done resulting in a more stronger and emotional bonding.
7) Add some humor
If you had some humorous experience of sorts during your office tenure or in college, you can take the opportunity to lighten up the mood. Either the leaver or his colleague could narrate such funny but real experiences, depending on who is giving the speech. A leaver can share his experience with anyone in the organization while a colleague must always share incidents that involve the leaver.
The conclusion part of the speech should be brief and once again thank everyone present, for taking out their precious time for the occasion. This part must express gratitude to the colleagues those the leaver is going to depart from, or to the leaver who is leaving the organization. In both cases, it must convey that the loss is regretted but the memories will be cherished for life.
How to be Prepared and have Much Confidence?
The following points must be stressed upon in order to prepare oneself for a farewell speech. They include some effective ways to deliver your prepared farewell speech. After going through it you will know how to prepare for an effective Farewell speech as well as how to have much confidence-
- Know the event well in advance.
- Know and understand the audiences.
- Know the purpose of the event.
- Interact with colleagues, seniors to know more about the leaving person.
- Summarize his experiences, achievements and capacities.
- Prepare an effective farewell speech as explained above.
- Make the speech concise and compact by removing unnecessary sentences.
- Rehearse the speech in a loud voice, better if in front of a mirror.
- Rehearse using appropriate gestures as you would do in actual speech.
- Ask your parents or friends to be the audience and rehearse in front of them.
- Ask them to give feedback and improve your weak points.
- Arrive early to the event.
- Make yourself comfortable with your surroundings.
- Socialize and speak your heart out before the speech.
- Put more emphasis on your facial expressions i.e. smile only when it’s required.
- Feel confident or at least pretend to be confident even if you are nervous. Nobody can guess unless you show your nervousness.
- Make direct eye contact with your audience.
- Add some last moment incident or a joke if it fits well.
- Don’t fight your fear, just ignore it. Fighting is a waste of time.
If you are getting nervous then going through the following lines will surely boost up your confidence-
- Even experienced speakers get nervous at some point in time.
- They don’t know it, so don’t show it.
- The audience is listening to you, not judging you.
Nervousness has a habit of revealing itself through the following-
1) Through your eyes
Avoiding direct eye contact with the audiences shows that you are nervous. So, don’t hesitate to make direct eye contact.
2) Through facial gestures
Avoid unnecessary facial gestures, especially smiles. Smiling without reason is an indication of your nervousness. Smile only when necessary.
3) Through Unwanted Hand Gestures
Avoid unnecessary gestures and use only appropriate hand gestures.
Now that we know how to write an effective farewell speech and also how to deliver and develop confidence, below we will go through on how to start a farewell speech for different occasions.
Characteristics of a Gracious Farewell Speech
A gracious farewell speech must have the following characteristics.
1) Based on truth
2) Positive and confident
3) Convey regards and thanks
4) Appreciations and achievements
5) A little humor
6) Underestimates no one
7) Rightly timed
8) Appropriate hand and facial gestures
9) Sharing good and happy experiences
10) Narrating qualities and achievements
11) Acknowledging friends and colleagues
12) Thanking the audience present
How to Start a Farewell Speech?
Good farewell speech is started by an introduction of yourself and greets your audience and tells them the objective of the event and the speech. The first greeting words of the speech are delivered showing respect and gratitude for the audiences present followed by an introduction of the event.
Types of Farewell Speeches and How to Start them
There may be various occasions like an employee leaving an organization, a student leaving a college or a teacher leaving school, that calls for a farewell speech. The format of beginning a farewell speech remains unchanged either the speech is delivered by the leaver or it is delivered for the leaver. In both cases, the farewell speech is basically a thanksgiving speech.
1) For a Leaving Employee
By the leaving employee himself
A leaving employee of an organization has to address his colleagues, subordinates, friends, and seniors in a farewell speech. Therefore he/she has to greet everyone in the speech’s introductory paragraph. The various ways of greetings that could be made on this occasion given below-
- My dear colleagues and Respected Seniors, a warm welcome to you all.
- My dear friends, colleagues and respected seniors, you are most welcome to this occasion.
- My dear friends, colleagues, Respected Seniors, and all the management team, accept my greetings.
- Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
In a formal farewell speech, even the subordinates are referred to as ‘Dear colleagues’ or ‘dear friends’ to show one’s gratitude and respect towards them. Even the person from higher managerial level is supposed to use ‘dear friends’, ‘dear colleagues’, for his subordinates in a fair well speech.
By the Colleagues
If you are giving a farewell speech for one of your colleagues, seniors of other employees, you can start your farewell speech in the way as described below-
- Respected Seniors, my dear colleagues, and friends, we are here to say goodbye to dear Mr. X (imaginary name)
- Respected ladies and gentlemen as we all know that we have gathered today, for the farewell of dear Mr. Y, who is leaving us for his new endeavors.
In the same manner, there could be another generous formation to begin the speech.
2) For a Student
By the Student himself
Any student leaving a school or moving out of a college has to address his friends, juniors, teachers, principal, dean, and the office staff or the management staff. In the introduction of his farewell speech, a student must address all those mentioned above and show his gratitude towards them. The various ways in which they could be greeted is given below-
- Respected Principal Sir and teachers, my dear friends, loving juniors and all the office staff, I take the opportunity to thank you.
- Respected Dean Sir, Principal Sir, Respected teacher, dear friends, loving juniors and the office staff, accept my hearty greetings on the occasion.
Kindly note in the introduction of a farewell speech given by a leaving student, it’s ok to refer to your juniors as ‘dear juniors’ also they can be referred to as ‘dear friend’ depending on the discretion of the speaker.
By his/her Co-Students or Teachers
Students or teachers giving a farewell speech for a leaving departing student may begin the speech as below-
- My dear friends and respected teachers, we all have gathered here to say goodbye to my dear friend and an ideal student, Mr. Punit (imaginary name)
- Respected Principal Sir and my dear friends we all gathered here for the farewell of one of my favorite students, Mr. Punit (imaginary name)
3) For a Teacher
By The Leaving Teacher himself
A teacher’s introductory farewell speech must compliment his colleagues, principal students, and other staff. The basic starting format for a departing teacher is as given below-
- Respected Principal Sir, my dear colleagues, loving students, and all the office staff.
- Respected Dean Sir, Principal Sir, my dear colleagues, and all the office staff, I take this opportunity to thank you all.
The greeting should be followed by phrases like-
- Kindly accept my greetings.
- I welcome you all on this occasion.
- It’s an honor to speak about my experiences.
- I would like to thank you all for your cooperation and encouragement.
- Thank you for providing this opportunity to share my experiences and show my love and respect.
You may choose your own introductory sentences depending on the occasion, using your own discretion.
By his Colleagues and Students
Students or teachers giving a farewell speech for a leaving teacher may begin the speech as below-
- My dear friends and respected teachers, we all have gathered here to say goodbye to one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Punit (imaginary name)
- Respected Principal Sir and my dear students, we all gathered here for the farewell of one of my favorite colleagues and a great teacher, Mr. Punit (imaginary name)
At the end of this article, you are ready to write an effective farewell speech and deliver it with confidence to earn appreciation from your colleagues, friends, seniors, teachers, etc.
A farewell speech has to ignite the sorrow of separation along with the joy of being together. It should share the experiences, the fun and the achievements, made together. A good speech makes the event memorable for the audience, the speaker and also the leaver, for whom the speech is being delivered. I hope that after going through the article you would be able to write, practice and deliver an effective Farewell speech.