As a leader, no doubt you have your team and others to thank for your success. At your end-of-year holiday party, think about giving a thank-you speech to your team to show your gratitude.
1. Keep it short. No more than 5-10 minutes is necessary. Any longer and you risk annoying the same people you want to honor.
2. Tell 1-3 stories that highlight the successes of the past year. Describe a challenge and how your group overcame it. Put the focus on your team rather than you.
3. Talk about your hopes and dreams for the future. Lay out a few things you are looking forward to for the next year. This does not need to be your “10-point plan for success,” but you can lay out key goals that you want you and your team to achieve.
4. End with a 1-2 line toast that summarizes your feelings. While an internet search can turn up common ones, find a good line from a movie, book, or song, to make it more timely and original.
5. Don’t wait until the last minute. Jot down a few lines and then look at the draft about once a week until then. The longer the speech, the more that you need to prep. Work on keeping it short and sweet. Try it out a few times in front of family members or close friends; the key is to not go into it cold.
6. One final thing, do it early at the party. You get it out of the way and can go on with the rest of the evening without worry. Plus, if you like to imbibe, you will prevent a potentially embarrassing performance later in the evening.
The end of the year is the perfect time for giving a thank-you speech to your team. Let them know how much you appreciate their hard work and tenacity, and you will carry a stronger team forward into the new year.
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