Writing a eulogy and then delivering it is an important part of any funeral. It’s a way to remember a friend or family member and celebrate their life.
If you are writing and delivering a eulogy, here we offer a few tips
Writing a eulogy
A funeral speech will look back at the deceased person’s life, positive aspects of their personality and the impact they had on others.
You might not have all the information you need. For example, if you are a son or daughter of the person, writing a eulogy for mother or eulogy for father, you won’t know everything about the early years. In this case you might have to ask family and friends about their earlier years in the life of the deceased person.
The word ‘eulogy’ comes from the Greek word for ‘praise’. In fact, in the past, the word was used more broadly to define other speeches, such as a retirement speech. So keep in mind that your speech should focus on the positive aspects of the person’s life and personality.
Some of the aspects to think about are interesting or touching events or stories about:
Birth and early years
Parents and siblings
Schools years – academic, sports and other achievements
Marriage and family
Hobbies and interests
Favourite music and sports
Difficult times in life and how they overcame them
Beliefs and causes
Impact on others – how they changed the world for the better.
A large part of a meaningful eulogy will include sharing stories from the person’s life. If it’s a eulogy for your mother, you would talk about you mother’s life and important things your mother taught you. If it’s for your father, you could talk about what your father loved to do. You might include insight from a close friend who he grew up with or worked with.
Length of a eulogy
There’s no rule for how long your speech should be. You will want to share the most interesting and important aspects of the person’s life and personality. It could be as short as five minutes or as long as 10 minutes. As a general rule, you probably don’t want to go over ten minutes.
A good rate for delivering this speech is around 125 words per minute. So, for example, if you want to speak for six minutes, you will want around 750 words.
Delivering a eulogy
When you are happy with what you have written, it’s time to work on delivery. This can seem daunting if you are not experienced in public speaking. Given the timeframe and circumstances, people won’t expect to remember your speech, so it’s okay to read the eulogy. At the same time, you will want to look up from the page and make eye contact with the audience. While you won’t need to memorise the speech, you will want to read it several times to become familiar with it. If you can, practise it at home by reading it out loud to yourself. You might also discover some spots that are not clear or are hard to deliver. In this case, you will want to do some editing.
Stage fright is another consideration. But the more prepared you are, the more confident you will be. If you feel nervous before your turn to speak, do some deep breathing to relax. While delivering the eulogy, speak slowly. If you are nervous, you will tend to speed up your speaking rate, so focusing on speaking slowly will help you stay in control.
Eulogy writing services
If you don’t think you can create a meaningful eulogy, we’ll be glad to help. As professional speechwriters, we have helped thousands of people over the years with their speech writing needs.
The process of creating your eulogy includes:
Providing a list of questions to answer to get the background material required
Following up with a short phone discussion if more information is needed
Creating the first draft of the speech for review
Making changes to the draft based on your feedback.
The entire process usually takes two to three days, or faster if you need to deliver the eulogy sooner.
The fee for writing a five to seven-minute eulogy is $330. This includes the points outlined above.
Contact us using the form on this page or give us a call on 1300 731 955.
About Michael Gladkoff, Professional Speechwriter and Eulogy Writer
Michael has been writing speeches for over 30 years. He started during his teens when he joined Toastmasters International. He began writing speeches professionally in 2005. Since then, he has written hundreds of speeches. Besides being a eulogy writer, Michael writes speeches for business leaders and special events.