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Farewell Speech Example

An opening that suits the formal context, addressing the very particular audience of the speech.

Good morning Principal Wolf, respected teachers and my fellow students! For those who don’t know me [Introduction of speaker in an official event], my name’s Sally Ko. As Head Prefect, I’ve been given the responsibility to say the last words on behalf of Year 12.

Clearly tells the audience about the purpose of the speech and upcoming content. This makes the speech easier to follow later on.


Today I’m going to not only bid farewell, but also talk about what this school means to me.

Use of second person ('you', 'we') makes the audience a key part of the speech. This encourages audience engagement.

School! A place where we've spent more than half our lives. [Different sentence lengths adds variety to the prose] 

When we used to get up, we knew what we had to do. Go to school. But now that school has ended that routine will get disrupted. I haven't quite imagined life [Personal feelings and observations] without going to school.

In the holidays, you like the fact that you don't have to go to school at first but at the end you miss friends and the comforting routines of class.

You are eager to go back to school. But now that time has come to an end. What will that be like? [Use of questions engages the audience]

Anecdote makes this section of the speech more warm and personal.

10 years ago, my parents admitted me in this school, expecting me to come out with a handful of prizes and perfect test scores. But school became about more than that.

Change of direction goes against expectations set up in earlier part of paragraph.

During our time here, we laughed, we cried, had happy times and sad times. Got great grades and sometimes not-so-good grades. Attended funfairs, parties and inspiring classes.

Repetition of words creates an attractive rhythm to the flow of the speech.

Today, we enjoy our last day of school. But fear not, because Goodbye is not forever. Goodbyes are inevitable. Goodbye isn't the end. Its just a way of saying "I'll miss you till we meet again." And meet again we will.

Stating a hopeful message even while acknowledging the realities of life.

Even though we promise that we will keep in touch, sometimes we can't. People drift apart. Friendships are lost. But what's lost can be found. All you need is the perfect memory.

So make the best use of this time and make tonnes of memories to remember these days by.

The paradox in this phrase surprises and grabs interest.

I want to end at the beginning. Here are some words from a book by Dr Seuss that our teacher read us on our very first day of school.

Finishing with an inspiring quote gives the speech a memorable ending.

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose... You're off to great places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!"

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- William Yeats




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