Humor in Retirement Speeches
Are you the office jokester? Humor can be a great method for breaking the ice at the beginning of a retirement speech. Jokes can place both the audience and the speaker at ease when used correctly. If used incorrectly however, unintended effects may be experienced. Follow the tips below to increase the likelihood of producing a funny retirement speech.
Tips to consider when adding humor into your own retirement speech:
- Never tell a joke for its own sake. It must be relevant; you can't just throw in 'why did the chicken cross the road', or some other generic joke for a laugh.
- Be yourself; some people can pull off a hilarious speech, but if it's not your style, don't worry as humor is certainly not a prerequisite for a successful retirement speech.
- If you do decide to include humor in your retirement speech, find one or two places to incorporate the jokes. Once you have chosen the jokes and their placement, polish them. Ensure that the humor is witty and personalized. It is best to have a smaller amount of personalized humor, than lots of mediocre humor in your retirement speech.
- For inspiration, consider watching comedy shows or searching online, modifying the jokes where appropriate to fit your given situation and personality.
- Be careful not to offend the individual. It might be funny to reminisce about the time that Bill got his hand caught in the vending machine, but only if he thinks it's funny as well. He may be embarrassed by the incident, particularly if described at his retirement party. It's also probably not funny to talk about the time Bill's chair broke under his weight, or the time his project went over budget. Which statements to include is your judgment call; be careful.
- It is okay to base your jokes on real events, but embellish them a little. For example, Jim burning the toast is funnier if you say, "Jim nearly burnt down the office."
When you incorporate these tips when preparing for your retirement speech, you will be able to add that bit of humor to enhance the delivery and style of your message.