It is a privilege to be asked to give a retirement toast, a special kind of address, presented to honor a co-worker. The occasion involves sentiment and ritual.
A toast is different
from a retirement speech. It may be quite brief, less than a minute,
incorporating one or two sentences. It is the highlight of a retirement party and involves raising a glass to honor the retiree, with sincere sentiments and retirement wishes for the future.
A typical toast will bestow best wishes as well as hopes for health, happiness, and good fortune. The words may be serious, witty, or sentimental and should never inadvertently cause embarrassment.
Humor can give your toast interest and sparkle, but you should feel under no compulsion to use jokes. Don’t try it if you are not confident of your ability to use it well.
(I wish to acknowledge my membership of Toastmasters International, and my participation in their advanced communications programs as the source of some of the tips and techniques outlined above.)
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