How to Write a Eulogy
A eulogy is a speech delivered at a funeral ceremony to celebrate the life, accomplishments and impressions of a deceased person. If you have been asked to present a eulogy, it means that the deceased was close to you. While the speech is focused on the departed, it is also a special opportunity for you to publicly express your appreciation and respect for the deceased, and even the depth of your pain for losing a dear person. Take time to prepare a proper eulogy and practice its delivery. Prepare a eulogy that is heartfelt, sensitive and sincere.
- According to Heartfelt Eulogies, "take your time and think about all the experiences that you shared together ... the ones that best show the character of the deceased, his or her funny sayings, memorable anecdotes, favorite poems and personal motto."
- Pick the stories and experiences that best describe the deceased person's life and the relationship you had with him. This is the information that you will use to prepare an outline for your eulogy speech.
- Draft your speech. Start with the body of the eulogy. Focus on the deceased person's achievements, experiences and events that positively reflect how the person lived his life and why he would be missed. Include a favorite quote or saying of the deceased, or a humorous story to lighten up the atmosphere.
- Write the conclusion next. Choose your final words of the eulogy carefully to make sure you end the speech in a meaningful way. How you want the deceased to be remembered depends on the sincerity of your heart. End your speech quickly and positively.
- Compose the introduction of your speech. This is an important part of the eulogy because it sets the tone. Introduce yourself and your relationship with the deceased. Share a funny story or a favorite place or activity that you and the deceased enjoyed doing together. Express your appreciation for the person and the guests, and how honored you are for the privilege of delivering the eulogy.
- Read the draft of your eulogy speech. Deliver it out loud, preferably in front of a mirror so you can observe yourself and see if you have gestures or mannerisms that could distract the guests from listening to your speech. You can also practice in front of other people and ask for their feedback. Make sure to time yourself.
- Polish your eulogy speech. Based on your own observations and the feedback of others, revise your speech as necessary. Cut anything out that does not contribute to the effectiveness of your speech.
- Deliver your speech. Speak clearly, confidently and loud enough for everyone to hear. Remember to keep the atmosphere positive and as celebratory as possible.
- Number all the pages of your speech. If you begin to tear up, or are unable to speak for a moment, you will be able to begin again where you left off.
- Stand at a lectern so your notes can rest on it. Keep your hands free and use them as you would during a regular conversation.
- Take a glass of water up to the lectern. This will help eliminate dry mouth and can be sipped on when your emotions begin to take over.
- Take several deep breaths before you begin your speech, to help you calm down.