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Types of Speeches: The Farewell Speech

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If you decide to become a professional speaker or use speaking as an integral part of your marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various types of speeches you might be asked to give. In this series of posts, I’ll give you the basics on a variety of types of presentations you can prepare. At the end of this post, I’ve listed previous articles in this series.

Farewell speeches are given when someone retires, graduates or moves on to another phase of their career. These are ceremonial speeches given by people who had an impact on what they are leaving behind. They are often emotionally charged because leaving can be bittersweet.

Sometimes the person who is leaving gives the farewell speech … sometimes it is someone else, saying good bye. Regardless of which role you will be playing in giving a parting speech, these tips should help you develop something that honors the situation.

Tips for developing an awesome farewell speech

Who is your audience?
Who will be listening to your speech? Are they your colleagues? friends? family members? Keep in mind your audience and you develop the tone of your speech. For one audience there will be more sentiment, for another more humor, and for yet another more solemnity. Choose the right tone for your listeners.

Time it right
Different venues and situations call for different lengths of goodbye speeches. Find out in advance how much time you have been allotted.

Personalize the presentation
Include quotes, anecdotes and interesting stories in your farewell speech. This is the time to illustrate why you are sad to go but happily looking forward, as well.

Create a central message or theme
A core message for your farewell speech will help tie everything together and make it easier to develop the content of your presentation. This message can be a summation of the impact the person leaving has made or a parting inspiration for those who are left behind.

Express gratitude
Be sure to express appreciation for the time spent at the place being left. If you are the one leaving, be thankful for your time there. If someone else is leaving, be grateful for the time they spent with you. This person made an impact, or a farewell speech wouldn’t be in order.

Be authentic
It is especially important for a farewell speech to be given in a relaxed, humanly authentic manner. Don’t read the speech. Don’t be stuffy. Be genuine and natural.

Resources for developing an awesome farewell speech

Did you miss these?
Here are the previous posts in this “Type of Speeches” series:

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About the author

Carma Spence, The Own Your Awesome Mentor, is author of Public Speaking Super Powers. She is fiercely committed to guiding women to Owning their Awesome and turning it into a profitable business. She is masterful at helping her clients see what is possible for them and supporting them on the journey from where they are to where they want to be, releasing the Mind Goblins of self-doubt, self-sabotage and second-guessing that keep them stuck.

With 20+ years experience in marketing communications and public relations, natural intuitive skills and certification in using some of the most effective transformational coaching tools available, Carma’s mission and commitment is to unleash the inner power every woman entrepreneur possesses so they can boldly go out into the world, transforming the fabric of people’s lives in meaningful and positive ways.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Her website is