Farewell Speech

Use this sample of a free farewell speech for the person doing the leaving!

A bonus farewell speech by Queen Elizabeth I is provided, illustrating how little the expression of "goodbye" has changed over centuries. The Queen's example includes the three essential parts of a good farewell address.

Farewell Speech to Say Goodbye

At one time or another, most of us get to a point where we need to bid others goodbye, but it's not always easy to come up with the right words.

It's especially important to have something meaningful to say if a memorable event has been arranged to mark your departure, such as a farewell party thrown by co-workers, or even friends and family if you're moving away from home.

Whatever the circumstances are for your leave-taking, this sample farewell speech can serve as a guide! Customize it to make it a personal, heartfelt expression of your own.

If you prefer to learn the art of writing a farewell speech, visit our comprehensive guide. 

Text of the Farewell Speech Example

Beginning of Sample Farewell Speech

I am leaving here today with a wealth of knowledge I will always treasure. Working here has been a fantastic learning experience, and I am thankful for the skills I've acquired. I feel as if being here with you all each day has made me a more complete and well-rounded person.

I've learned how to take direction, criticism, and compliments. These are three things I wasn't so great at taking before, and now I feel as though I can apply that in many different situations.

I've also learned to be open-minded, to value other people's opinions and to consider other ideas along with mine, to end up with a great final result.

Body of Farewell Speech

Body of Farewell Speech reflection on teamwork

Being part of a team has taught me skills that I can use in more than just the professional area of my life. My relationships on a personal level are in a better place than they were, thanks to some of the things I've learned from many of you.

I've come to realize that being a part of a community is more than just sharing credit. A team effort takes compromise. When you are on a team you have to at times lead, follow, and more often than not, meet in the middle.

Realizing that my marriage is also a team effort is what is prompting this bittersweet change for me.

When my spouse received the opportunity to relocate, it was up to me to compromise and agree to move our family across the country for her to fulfill her dreams. If I could stay here forever, I would, but this is an opportunity for her that can't be passed up. As her partner and teammate, it would be selfish of me to ask her to turn it down.

My wish for everyone here is that you all continue to experience success, to feel fulfilled in all you do, and to have nothing but pleasant results with each completed project! While that may be an overly optimistic wish, it is sincere.

It's been a pleasure working here, and I will genuinely miss it. I take with me fond memories, valuable skills, and I hope to one day leave an impression on others similar to the one you have left on me.

Ending of a Farewell Speech

End of a Farewell Speech - A simple thank you!

Thank you for this farewell party, and I look forward to hearing of your future successes.

Listen to this speech

To summarize how to give a farewell speech:

Summary of how to give a farewell speech image

When giving a farewell speech try to keep the tone of it positive and sincere. It may be a little difficult to do if you didn't enjoy your job quite as much as you'd have everyone believe, but do your best to find as many positive thing points as you can and leave everyone with fond memories of you!

Saying goodbye is never easy, but with a little planning and practice, you can bid everyone a fond adieu with style.

Farewell Speeches - Not Changed Much in 500 Years

Following is a lightly revised version of the farewell speech of Queen Elizabeth I of England1 delivered on November 30, 1601. The Queen spoke to 141 members of the House of Commons.

Notice the structure moves from appreciation, to discussion of oneself and reflection, to a solemn remembrance. Farewell speeches have not changed much in 500 years!


Mr. Speaker,

We have heard your declaration and perceived your care of our estate. I do assure you no prince loves his subjects better, or whose love can countervail our love. There is no jewel, be it of never so rich a price, which I set before this jewel: I mean your love. For I do esteem it more than any treasure or riches; for that, we know how to prize, but love and thanks I count invaluable. And, though God hath raised me high, yet this I count the glory of my Crown, that I have reigned with your loves.

Queen Elizabeth I of England - Year 1601Queen Elizabeth I of England

 Your appreciation makes me that I do not so much rejoice that God hath made me a Queen, as a Queen over so thankful a people. Therefore, I wish nothing more than to content the subject and that is a duty which I owe. Neither do I desire to live longer days than I may see your prosperity and that is my only desire. And, as I am the person God has delivered you, I trust by the mighty power of God that I shall be his instrument to preserve you from every peril, dishonor, shame, tyranny, and oppression. God will preserve you partly using your intended help which we accept because it manifests the largeness of your love and loyalty to your sovereign.

The body of the Queen's farewell speech discusses her reign and reflects on the most important events and lessons.

Of myself, I must say this: I never was any greedy, scraping grasper, nor a strait fast-holding Prince, nor yet a waster. I never set my heart on any worldly goods. What you bestow on me, I will not hoard, but receive it to give you again. Therefore render unto them I beseech you, Mr. Speaker, such thanks as you imagine my heart yieldeth, but my tongue cannot express. Mr. Speaker, I would wish you and the rest to stand up for I shall otherwise trouble you with a long speech. Mr. Speaker, you give me thanks, but I have greater cause to give you thanks, than you to me. I charge you to thank them of the Lower House from me. For had I not received knowledge from you, I might have fallen into error, only for lack of accurate information.

Since I was Queen, I never put my pen to any grant, but that upon pretext and semblance made unto me that the ordinance was both good and beneficial to the subject in general. My ancient servants deserved profit and wellness at my hands. If found to the contrary by experience, I am exceedingly beholden to such persons and moved by them. And I am not so simple to suppose but that there be some of the Lower House whom these grievances never touched. I think they spake out of zeal to their countries and not out of spleen or malevolent affection as being parties grieved. That my grants should cause grief to my people or oppression, our kingly dignity shall not suffer it. Yes, when I heard it, I could give no rest unto my thoughts until I had reformed it. Shall they, think you, escape unpunished that have oppressed you, disrespected their duty, or disregarded our honor? No, I assure you, Mr. Speaker, were it not more for conscience' sake than for any glory or increase of love that I desire, these errors, troubles, vexations, and oppressions done by these rascals and lewd persons not worthy of the name of subjects should not escape without fitting punishment. But, I perceive they dealt with me like physicians who, ministering a drug, make it more acceptable by giving it an excellent aromatic savor, or when they give pills do gild them all over.

I have ever worked to set the Last Judgement Day before mine eyes and so to rule as I shall be judged to answer before a higher judge. If I abused kingly bounties or my grants hurt my people contrary to my will and meaning, I hope God will not blame myself for the offenses. If an authority under me perverted what I have committed to them, I also pray God will not lay their actions in my charge. The title of a King is excellent. However, the glory of royal authority has not dazzled my eyes. We know and remember that we are to yield an account of our actions before the great judge. To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it. For myself, I was never so much enticed with the distinguished name of a King or royal authority of a Queen as delighted that God made me his instrument to maintain his truth and glory and to defend his kingdom as I said from peril, dishonor, tyranny, and oppression. A Queen will never sit in my seat with more zeal to my country, care to my subjects, and concern for your good and safety. I desire to live or reign no longer than my life and reign shall be for your welfare. Though you had, and may have, princes more mighty and wise sitting in this seat, you never had nor shall have, any that will be more careful and loving.

Request for Remembrance

For I, oh Lord, what am I, whom practices and perils past should not fear? Or what can I do? That I should speak for any glory, God forbid. And I pray to you Mr. Comptroller, Mr. Secretary, and you of my Council, that before these gentlemen go into their countries, you bring them all to kiss my hand.

Elizabeth I's Farewell Speech. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikisource.

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