How to write a very short speech?

I have to write a short speech (1.5-2 minutes) roasting my boss who is moving away. The trouble is that I am so sad he is leaving I can’t think of anything funny to say. I’m usually pretty funny. (Hard to believe, I know…) The only things I can think of are the times he made me really mad.

Any suggestions about how to get started?


This probably won’t help you, but here goes:

A prominent speaker was asked how long it would take him to prepare a fifteen minute speech on a particular topic. His reply: “Three days”.

He was then asked how long to prepare a one hour speech. His reply: “One day”.

Finally, he was asked how long to prepare a three hour speech. His reply: “Oh, I can give that right now”.

I’ve found, over the years, that there is a lot of truth to this anecdote.

It’s a roast, right? So tell about the times he made you really mad. Humorize them a bit, as needed. Compare him to Mr. Burns, Cosmo G. Spacely, Mr. Slate, J.C. Dithers, or other (in)famous bosses. Since you only have a couple minutes, just string together a bunch of anecdotes and keep the crowd laughing. If you want to have a sappy moment keep it short, and put it at the very end. Something like: “Mr. Boss, I’ve really enjoyed working with you, and we’ll miss you. Best wishes!”

Take 5 index cards to the lectern with you. As you get there, frown and mumble to yourself while throwing away the first four cards, one by one. Look up, smiling, and say, “And in conclusion…”


There is one really funny one, but I can’t use it! Years ago, when the Total Secretary still worked here (she and the boss hated each other), on the way to work she accidentally ran over someone’s cat. She was crying all morning. Someone told the boss what had happened. So in the afternoon he went into her office and said, “So, I hear you really flattened that sucker!”

I can’t tell the story because this is a church and it is the pastor. This would not be funny to 270 people gathered to say goodbye to the pastor!

But that one’s perfect! I’m laughing already! It’s just so…him! But I agree, some people are not going to think it’s funny. You realize that you only have tomorrow to think of something, and you’ve known about this for weeks now! Maybe you could leave out the reference to who was actualy involved (and of course leave out the fact that they hated each other since she still has fans around church who would not believe any animosity existed) and just refer to a “former staff member”. Then tie it all up with some references to how it took some getting used to a pastor who wasn’t overly “religious” and wasn’t a “hand-holder”.

I wish I could remember some of the stuff he’s done that cracked me up, but like his sermons, I can’t remember them 15 minutes later! Though the “Welcome Aliens” flag he bought his wife for Christmas was funny.

I really can’t use the cat story. It’s too awful!

When the Total Secretary’s husband saw another employee (AM) he said, “I hear you are losing Satan.” Really.

I’m losing one of my best friends.