Writing and preparing a funeral speech or eulogy is a difficult task. The death of a loved one means you are already emotionally distressed and may not have all your thoughts in order. Writing a eulogy within the limited timeframe between the death of your loved one and the funeral service means you must muster all your courage to ensure that the resulting speech mirrors the solemn tone of the occasion. To help you write a funeral speech, consider the following tips.
Keep your speech short
A funeral is not the best time to deliver a lengthy speech. A proper eulogy has to be brief and meaningful. If your eulogy is too long, listeners are more likely to get bored and lose attention. The clergy should help you determine how much time you have to speak. Stick to the time limit and write a speech focusing on at most two specific qualities you remember about the deceased.
A eulogy should be personal
Good funeral advice and tips on writing a tribute are to make it more personal. You should avoid enumerating facts or characteristics of the deceased loved one. Instead, try to recite stories of personal experiences involving the dead. Anecdotes that are light-hearted and inspiring also give listeners a glimpse into certain well-loved personality traits of the person.
Focus on the positive
The purpose of a eulogy is to celebrate the person and remember moments while they were still alive. However, no one is perfect or had an ideal life. Admittedly, certain aspects of a person’s life may come off as negative. As much as possible, try to avoid talking about these aspects and look for more positive topics to include in your speech. If it is unavoidable, use metaphors to make it less awkward for the listeners.
Don’t be tempted to memorise
Even if you feel you are an expert at delivering speeches, you should keep a written copy of your eulogy just in case. Memorising your speech is not recommended since a funeral is an emotional event and you may end up getting caught up in your feelings. You can glance at your speech occasionally, so you can keep track of what you have to say, even if you have already practised it several times.
Avoid using a formal tone
Speaking in front of a crowd is a terrifying experience for most people. If you use a formal tone in writing your speech, listeners may get bored or feel awkward. Try to use a conversational tone in writing your address, to give it a more personal feel. If possible, practice your speech in front of a family member or friend to get some constructive input. Before the time comes that you need to deliver your speech, practice at least once in front of a mirror. Then, remember to look at the audience and make meaningful pauses in the middle of the speech to allow the listeners to gather their thoughts and be on the same page with you.