Accepting the death of a loved one is challenging on its own. To write and dedicate something about it could be an even more dreading task. However, we always believed that eulogies are a gift. Being given the chance to talk about a person that meant a lot to many is a blessing in its own.
Writing a eulogy for the first time is no easy feat. In fact, many have turned down the chance to do so simply because they believe they can’t do it. If you are however, been chosen to do it, then you’re in the right place.
Today, we will talk about how you can deliver the best possible eulogy you can. Do keep in mind that there is no set formula. You have full freedom on how you want to do it. A few tips and techniques can however help you do it well. Below are a few things worth keeping in mind.
Why prepare for a eulogy?
A eulogy is a speech but it can be quite different from all the other speeches you may have given in your life. That’s why it pays to have a sense of direction before delivering it. Preparing for a eulogy allows you to stay focused on what you want to say. Moreover, it prevents you from drifting too far off and losing track of what you intended to say in the first place. It’s also important to prepare your speech ahead of time because it helps you anticipate your emotions. It helps you convey them without being overwhelmed with your feelings, or being caught off guard by them.
How to prepare for a eulogy?
Once again, there are no hard-and-fast rules in coming up with a eulogy. The following tips are only here to guide you. Some are seasoned in giving eulogies. If you are currently at a loss on how to do it, then consider the following.
- Work with the time you have
In many services, eulogies last anywhere between three to five minutes. Sometimes, the one who will talk is given the full liberty of time. It pays to work with the time you have, no matter how much or how little you have. This allows you to say what you really want to say without leaving anything out.
- Write it down
Eulogies are very far from wedding toasts. With emotions riding high, you would need a sense of guidance as you go through your speech. Do not hesitate to write it down. People are here to commemorate the life your beloved departed has lived, not to assess how well you speak on stage.
- Stick to small truths
Most make it harder on themselves by trying to come up with elaborate words and sentences. Sometimes, the result is they lose track of the main essence of what they wanted to say. One of the best advices we can give you is to stick to small truths and short sentences. They don’t have to be truths everyone will agree on; just ones they will recognize. Consider the person’s most outstanding qualities or the little gestures that are distinct to them. It will also help to talk about the person’s little quirks or funny flaws that are recognizable to many.
- Tell a story
It can be hard (or sometimes, a drag) to bring with you a “laundry list” of who the person is. It can also be hyperbolic if you pack your sentences with far too many similes. One of the best things to do is to make it more focused by telling a story. It can be a major life-turning point, a funny story, a big event or a small moment that will exemplify your beloved departed.
- Have a loose sense of organization
Again, you don’t have to be too strict on your eulogy. However, it does help to have a sense of organization when you’re creating a draft. It can come with an introduction by recognizing the presence of the people in the room, particularly the ones on the front row. The next is to have a middle part of your content and transitioning to a conclusion. This way, your speech feels a lot more complete and cohesive.
- Keep it positive and personal
Perhaps this is the most important advice we can give you. A eulogy is a gift that lets you talk about the departed in your own, personal way. Your speech becomes a lot more relatable when you speak from experience, rather than packing it with generic statements. Moreover, it pays to keep it on a positive note. It goes without saying that everyone in the room, including you, want to remember the person in the best way possible.