Your Step-by-Step Guide to Delivering a Memorable Eulogy
Funerals can be particularly challenging for those who have been asked to deliver a eulogy.
This moving speech serves as a personal tribute to the departed, summing up the key events of their life and shedding light on the qualities that made them so special. If you have been asked to talk about the life of a departed loved one, consider it a great honor.
This article has compiled some important guidelines to help you write and deliver an extraordinary eulogy.
Keep it positive.
A eulogy is more than just a list of great qualities of the person who passed on. It is also a chance to recall and share fond stories about their life with friends and family. If you have pent-up anger, feelings of guilt, long-held grudges, or other negative emotions, the eulogy is not the place to air them. The content of a remembrance speech should always remain respectful. Stick to the joyous, encouraging, and uplifting.
Be mindful of the clock.
A page or two will likely be enough to tell some great stories, but it depends on how close you were with the departed and how many accounts you wish to share. It also depends on how many speakers there are. There is no specific time limit on a eulogy, but remember that it is just one part of the funeral or memorial service. Three to five minutes is generally a good timeframe.
Practice often and bring your notes with you.
Read your speech aloud to yourself several times. Better yet, practice reading it in front of a few close friends or family members and ask for their feedback. When it comes time to deliver the eulogy, bring your talking points with you in case your mind goes momentarily blank. Print them out or write them in large type so you can refer to them quickly and easily. Your remembrance speech will come across as more genuine and heartfelt if you don’t read from your notes word for word.
Even if you know most of the people in the audience, it is still a good idea and proper etiquette to remind them of your name and your relationship to the departed. You might say something along the lines of, “For those of you whom I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting, I am Fred Smith, Tony’s younger brother.” This is also an appropriate time to thank people for attending the service. You might make a special mention of anyone who traveled a distance to be there.
Speak slowly and distinctly.
The funeral attendees will likely be hanging on your every word. Although you may be nervous, try to speak slowly and clearly so that everyone can hear and understand what you are saying. This will allow them to join you in reflecting upon the cherished memories you’re sharing.
Make eye contact.
When speaking, try to look up at the audience occasionally. If you cannot look directly at the crowd, pick a spot in the venue to glance at now and then. Holding your head up rather than looking down at your notes provides a better listening experience for those in attendance.
Above all, be yourself.
You were chosen to deliver the eulogy for a reason. You likely had a very special relationship with the person who passed away, so let that loving relationship shine through in your speech. And don’t worry about perfection. Talk to the audience like you would talk to your friends. Be yourself, and your message will be sincere, meaningful, and memorable.
You are fortunate to have been chosen for such an awesome responsibility. What an honor to have the final word in sharing the life of your loved one! It is a wonderful gift you will surely cherish for the rest of your days.
The task of preparing the eulogy for a loved one is an important part of the final goodbye. If you need further assistance or wish to make arrangements, our compassionate funeral directors are here for you. Please reach out to us anytime.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.