Bring your audience some comfort, a tear and perhaps even a smile on the day of the funeral as you mourn a loss, reflect and honour a life.
Starting my journey
Why the need for a speech?
Giving the Eulogy is a challenging, all-important role that can be both difficult and rewarding. Although you are undoubtedly close to the loved one you have lost, the Eulogy can bring a sense of comfort, relief and honouring your loved one as you and the audience take a journey of reflection. You will have many great moments you wish to touch upon, and so do the audience. Including the audience within the Eulogy and focusing on how you, as the Eulogy-giver, can take them on a journey that deepens their feelings of connection towards your loved one, means you have great responsibility on the day.
How do I do this?
Reflecting on your loved one’s background, anecdotes, values, characteristics and what set them apart from others are the hallmarks of a great Eulogy. Including these elements will ensure the audience gets experience they seek by reflecting upon the person they knew and “connecting the dots”. It is also important that you take the opportunity to convey how you and close family and friends want your love one remembered via a central theme. Considering both your expectations and those of your audience will ensure your loved one is remembered and honoured in way the everyone desires.
What do I need to do?
In the Eulogy, you should consider the following:
Your audience - who are you talking to and what are they looking for in the Eulogy? Give this some thought and the audience will appreciate it. Remember - the Eulogy is about both you, close family and friends and the audience, and your job is to take them all on a personal journey of reflection.
A theme - what is the overall message you are trying to send through your stories and content? Nailing this down will help get the creative juices flowing when the time comes to think of stories.
A "hook"- the very first words in your speech. A comment or story that grabs the audience’s attention immediately.
Stories and information that represent the theme – focusing on your theme within your stories will ensure you send your intended message to the audience.
Stories and information about what your loved one loved in life – holidays, sports, time spent with family and friends. These loves are part of your loved one’s identity, so acknowledging them will help your audience understand and connect with the journey.
Personal stories – you will have insights of your loved one from behind the scene. Reflecting on these provide an opportunity to highlight your loved one’s qualities.
Qualities, values and characteristics your loved one possessed and how these have positively impacted you and others – these elements differentiate your loved one from others, and describing how these have helped you and the audience honours your loved one.
Thank you messages – special circumstances, such as attendees from overseas, or those who supported your loved one towards the end, warrants a thank you message.
Close – closing by summarising your theme, describing your lasting memory of your loved one, delivering a message to your loved one and/or telling a quote will effectively complete this journey of reflection.
Your delivery - consider how you are delivering your Eulogy. There may be points within the Eulogy in which you should vary your tone and volume, and times you should use gestures. These tools will help to get maximum impact, so consider this when you write the Eulogy.
What if I get it wrong?
At SpeechForm, we believe your efforts to write your Eulogy is not to just “get it done”, but make the speech memorable and one that has people approaching you to sing their praises for your speech. There is something special about making an impact on your audience. Make sure to include the above points, otherwise you your audience may not get what they expected from the Eulogy. And always ask yourself - what am I trying to achieve with this Eulogy? Keep that in mind as you develop your content.
Remember to rehearse. The more you develop the Eulogy and rehearse, the greater the impression you will make. Confidence through a well written speech is great, but using your voice and your body effectively only comes through practice.
Get it right, and you will leave a lasting impression that your audience will remember long after the funeral.
For more on how to write and deliver a Eulogy, check out our Resources and Blog.
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