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  • FIRST POST
    • aj9648
    • By aj9648 14th Oct 16, 1:57 PM
    • 950Posts
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    aj9648
    Leaving speech for colleagues
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 16, 1:57 PM
    Leaving speech for colleagues 14th Oct 16 at 1:57 PM
    Hi

    I'm doing a leaving speech for one of my colleagues next month. Never done one before and looking for some tips. He has been here for over 30 years and I've worked with him for the last 3. Any tips? I tried looking in google but did not find anything to crib off!!!
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 14th Oct 16, 2:01 PM
    • 9,400 Posts
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    zx81
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:01 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:01 PM
    It depends on what he wants. Personally, I would want nothing more than a quick handshake and "thanks for all your work, good luck, here's a bottle of whiskey", and out the door. A full blown speech would have me out in the car park before you could blink.

    Whereas some people will want bunting, flowers, a full review of their time at work and tears from all around.

    If you don't know, I'd lean towards the first.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 14th Oct 16, 2:03 PM
    • 2,663 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:03 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:03 PM
    First step would be to get stories from those who have known or worked with him for longer. Also his history with the organisation - 'started as teaboy and now he owns the place' sort of thing.
    • HiToAll
    • By HiToAll 14th Oct 16, 2:05 PM
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    HiToAll
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:05 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:05 PM
    make sure you get the gossip on when he was having it away with the tealady in the stationery cupboard.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 14th Oct 16, 2:45 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
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    sangie595
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:45 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:45 PM
    Avoid absolutely anything that will offend, and unless you are great at telling jokes, don't go for humour - it usually offends someone!
    • eamon
    • By eamon 14th Oct 16, 4:16 PM
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    eamon
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 4:16 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 4:16 PM
    I done the speech for a colleague who retired last Summer (he was and still is a smashing bloke and I miss him at work even a year later). In essence a short speech full of platitudes and loads of us me included holding the tears back. Followed by presenting the goodbye gifts.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 14th Oct 16, 7:36 PM
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    Kynthia
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 16, 7:36 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 16, 7:36 PM
    I've done a few short speeches for people leaving on maternity leave, moving teams or leaving after just a few years of service. These aren't too bad but I once had to lead the speech for someone retiring after 30ish years.

    I got HR to send me their history in the company, date of joining and departments and roles they'd had, which I used in the speech and reminded people of old names and teams. It could also be funny as in finance we made jokes about doing the ledgers before computers so your colleague may have worked in departments that are no longer needed due to changing times and technology that might be amusing now. I then got a couple of people who had known her for a long time, we're confident public speakers, and worked with her in the past to come and say a few works and reminisce. I asked others around the company for anecdotes and incorporated a couple into my speech along with lots of thanks and praise for their hard work including some specifics for things they were good at or had done. Got the big boss to give thanks and best wishes for her retirement plans and then presented gifts.

    We invited her spouse and ex - colleagues from other departments to come for the presentation and then after most dissapated but there were lots of individuals who stayed to chat with her, reminisce and wish her good luck. It seemed to go okay.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 14th Oct 16, 11:22 PM
    • 700 Posts
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    xapprenticex
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:22 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:22 PM
    It depends on what he wants. Personally, I would want nothing more than a quick handshake and "thanks for all your work, good luck, here's a bottle of whiskey", and out the door. A full blown speech would have me out in the car park before you could blink.

    Whereas some people will want bunting, flowers, a full review of their time at work and tears from all around.

    If you don't know, I'd lean towards the first.
    Originally posted by zx81
    We all want a no fuss exit, but unfortunately, it never happens, not like you have a say in it, you will get gifts and such and a speech will be expected.

    We have to do it for our birthdays, never mind leaving.
    • 74jax
    • By 74jax 15th Oct 16, 4:05 PM
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    74jax
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 4:05 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 4:05 PM
    I've just left 3 weeks ago. Had everyone gather round my desk whilst someone said some nice words. Couldn't tell you what they said as I was mortified. Not my thing at all.
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
    • $nake eye$
    • By $nake eye$ 15th Oct 16, 4:07 PM
    • 349 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    $nake eye$
    Short and sweet is the key. No one wants to much attention. Just a genuine thanks and a firm hand shake will suffice
    • Ms Chocaholic
    • By Ms Chocaholic 15th Oct 16, 4:13 PM
    • 8,413 Posts
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    Ms Chocaholic
    When a colleague left work, a manager read from a script they got from the internet (which you can personalise with the person's name) (which they handed out). When you first read it it is so sincere, about how good they have been but the last line says you only need to read every other line which gives it a very different meaning, it was very funny. I've tried finding it but can't but I'm sure someone else will here.
    Thrifty Till 50 Then Spend Till The End

    You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time
    • aj9648
    • By aj9648 16th Oct 16, 1:19 PM
    • 950 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    aj9648
    When a colleague left work, a manager read from a script they got from the internet (which you can personalise with the person's name) (which they handed out). When you first read it it is so sincere, about how good they have been but the last line says you only need to read every other line which gives it a very different meaning, it was very funny. I've tried finding it but can't but I'm sure someone else will here.
    Originally posted by Ms Chocaholic
    Yeah I tried searching for something funny but couldn't find anything - if you can get something please let me know
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 16th Oct 16, 3:27 PM
    • 3,358 Posts
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    robatwork
    Rowan Atkinson nailed it:

    "As I was leaving this morning, I said to myself, 'The last thing you must do is forget your speech.' And, sure enough, as I left the house this morning, the last thing I did was to forget my speech.”
    • YouAsked
    • By YouAsked 17th Oct 16, 9:17 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    YouAsked
    Generally speaking...caveat about workplace cultures and individual personalities...but keep it light with a sincere, complimentary bit* and end with a laugh - doesn't have to be anything stomach achingly funny, just enough to raise a polite titter - "well, we'll have to make sure we put a battery in the clock now otherwise how will be know it's 12.00 without Tom doing his dash to the sandwich shop?"

    *Always easier when the colleague IS nice/well respected otherwise you may find yourself creatively using phrases like "unique solutions", "non-conformist approach to timekeeping" etc...
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 17th Oct 16, 11:01 AM
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    TBagpuss
    I'd keep it very short (time yourself beforehand - 3-5 minutes is plenty)

    Check with HR and do a short summary (e.g. started as tea boy here for over 30 years) If you know of other mployees who have been there a simialr length of time then ask them about any big changes - I recall when wwe had a long standing staff member reture the boss included a couple of comment s about what the business was like when she started - e.g. everyone know by their title and surname, not first names, remember the excitement when the first word-processor came in etc).

    Don't try too hard to be funny, and steer clear of any embarassing anecdotes unless you know him well and are 100% certain he will be amused.

    End up by thanking him for his slong service and wishing him well in the future.

    It's also useful to structure things so it is very obvious when you've finished! We normally go out for lunch when someone is returing so a speech can be ended with a 'raise your glass to' but if it's just in the office
    then shaking his hand, or handing over the carriage clock or wheatever he is being given also works.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 17th Oct 16, 11:41 AM
    • 1,196 Posts
    • 1,583 Thanks
    Malthusian
    When a colleague left work, a manager read from a script they got from the internet (which you can personalise with the person's name) (which they handed out). When you first read it it is so sincere, about how good they have been but the last line says you only need to read every other line which gives it a very different meaning, it was very funny. I've tried finding it but can't but I'm sure someone else will here.
    Originally posted by Ms Chocaholic
    Here's an example of this joke. Needless to say I wouldn't suggest this, firstly because the target might not take it well, and secondly because you have to hand everyone a printed copy for them to be able to see the "every other line" version, which is really quite lame. It doesn't work as a spoken speech.

    I would not suggest anything along these lines. The guy's been working there for 30 years and he's only going to get one retirement speech. Do you really want to run the risk of him being offended that you decided to play at stand up comedian instead of thanking him for his long service?

    Personally, I would go for:

    - Brief word of introduction - make it clear that the speech is not going to be a long one - insert joke about everyone else wanting to get to the bar / home
    - Summary of his career with the company: as someone said jokes about old technology are always good for an inoffensive laugh. Try finding some colleagues who've known him a long time and get some anecdotes. Mention any particularly impressive achievements.
    - As you reach the latter stage of his career you can segue into your personal experience of working with him. Say you've always admired his dedication / good-humour / willingness to help clueless new staff like you. Thank him on behalf of the company for everything he has done, wish him all the best, hand over gold watch and shut up. Bear in mind that he might want to say a few words so err on the side of your speech being too short.

    But alternatively, if you can't think of anything to say or aren't confident at writing speeches, then don't download stuff off the Internet. It might get a laugh or it might fall totally flat and ruin the moment. Just go with the obvious - thank you for your long service, we wish you all the best, then give him the floor.
    • HiToAll
    • By HiToAll 18th Oct 16, 9:55 AM
    • 866 Posts
    • 1,267 Thanks
    HiToAll
    Avoid absolutely anything that will offend, and unless you are great at telling jokes, don't go for humour - it usually offends someone!
    Originally posted by sangie595

    Also, make sure you get some revealing pictures of the person leaving in the stationery cupboard and plaster them around the room. People love that.
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