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Giving a Goodbye Speech to Coworkers

by Kristin Swain

Leaving a job is difficult. Knowing when and how you're exiting is the best possible situation because it allows you time to prepare and decide how you want to handle the end of your tenure. There are a few things that you need to do when you leave a job, including removing your personal items, finishing projects and saying an appropriate, public goodbye to your coworkers. The goodbye speech that you deliver before you depart is likely the last impression that most of your coworkers will have of you, so you want to make sure that it is delivered in a professional manner.

Select an Appropriate Time

Goodbye speeches to coworkers can be tricky with regard to timing. You don't want to make your speech too far in advance of your departure because it will confuse people. You also don't want to make the speech too close to your last day because you need to allow time for coworkers to ask any final questions. Choose a time within the final two weeks of your tenure to announce your departure to coworkers. This gives them plenty of notice without making your announcement disruptive.

How to Say Goodbye

Before you make your goodbye speech to coworkers, there are a couple of variables to consider. You must decide whether it is more appropriate to give a single speech to your coworkers in a group or to announce your departure to coworkers one-on-one. Decide what you are most comfortable with and what best fits the atmosphere of your workplace. In the event that your boss wants to announce your departure from the workplace, expect that your speech will be given at the same time to your coworkers as a group.

Stay Positive

You want to depart on the best note possible to maintain a good relationship between yourself and your former employer. One way to do this is to stay positive during your goodbye speech. Only say nice things about the company and your coworkers. Omit the private details of your departure as much as possible. Too many details may make your boss and coworkers uncomfortable. Keep your speech short, positive and to the point to avoid any misunderstandings.

Personal Anecdotes

A goodbye speech given to a group should be general in nature. Save personal anecdotes for when you speak to those coworkers personally about your departure. If you choose to give a separate goodbye speech to each of your coworkers rather than to address the group as a whole, short anecdotes will personalize your messages, but don't overuse personal stories. Ultimately, your goals are to say goodbye and to encourage your coworkers to accept the change. Depart gracefully and keep your speech publicly suitable.

About the Author

Residing in Los Angeles, Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 2008. Her experience includes finance, travel, marketing and television. Swain holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Georgia State University.

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