According to Bob Lowry, the key to retirement speeches is brevity, practice and audience awareness. Lowry cautions that while it is important to discuss career life from beginning to end, the speech should contain highlights and not cover every moment.
According to Lowry, a good speech should be no more than 10 minutes. This time should be used as an opportunity to help uplift fellow soldiers rather than aggrandizing personal achievement. The speech should be tailored to those soldiers and anyone else who is at the retirement ceremony. The audience is likely to be made up of a mixture of younger and older soldiers. Lowry notes that a good speech has references to the workplace that all peers are able to appreciate. The speech should be positive, upbeat and have brief information about plans for post-retirement life at the end. The speech should offer thanks to individuals who have given assistance over the years and should avoid any jokes at the expense of another person. It is important for the speaker to emphasize the team effort of the accomplishments that the speech references, and the speaker should remember service staff and fellow soldiers. Lowry recommends ending the speech with thoughts about aspects of the career that the speaker expects to miss the most and advises the speaker to remember that the real purpose of the speech is to comfort those who remain behind at their jobs.