An effective funeral speech (eulogy) tells us about a friend or loved one and honours their life. The little details tell us about a person – things from their life – and how they said and did those things. This applies to a funeral speech for a relative, friend or other loved one.
Although you might have known the person well, it can be challenging to organise and communicate your thoughts when you are called upon to deliver a funeral speech. Here are a few tips for creating a funeral speech to remember and honour the person who has passed away.
Funeral speech for a friend
If you are delivering a funeral speech for a close friend, you can highlight the positive aspects of their personality and how they will be missed. You can achieve this by including examples and stories. These can be funny or touching stories that stand out in your memory. For example:
I first met John 30 years ago on a large construction project in Dandenong when I was the administration manager, and he was a quality engineer. We became housemates in a unit in Oakleigh. Being young, we loved having parties in the unit, going out to cafes and chatting with the waitresses, and playing video games. We also enjoyed comparing whose mum was the better at Greek cooking. We would swap the dishes our mothers prepared for us and rate them.
A few stories will show the personality of the deceased to the funeral service attendees. In a eulogy for a friend, you will want to use examples that show the positive aspects of their life and personality. It could be how your friend helped others, was a hard worker or had a good sense of humour.
Funeral speech for mother or father
Whatever your relationship was with your mother or father, a funeral speech for one of your parents can be challenging to write. You can begin by telling a bit about their life in chronological order. This could be a bit about their youth (although you might not know much about it), your first memory of them, and how they helped you grow up. Even if you didn’t have a great relationship with your mum or dad, you can speak about their positive qualities and their positive impact on family and friends.
If you’re giving a eulogy for your father, here’s an example where the son spoke about his dad’s life.
My Dad, Robert Johnson, was born in Dover on the 7th of June 1941, 80 years ago. It was a grim period in Dover’s history as the city was extensively bombed throughout World War II. That same year and that same month was also a grim period in British history because British-controlled Singapore fell to the Japanese.
Nevertheless, I’m sure Dad’s arrival into the world at this time was a happy event in an otherwise gloomy part of the world’s history.
His parents Fred and Janet cared for Dad and his sister Ella as best as they could in such dire times during the war and its aftermath.
Once the war was over and the nation moved into a state of reparation, Dad would have grown up observing people around him making do with whatever they had on hand. He would have seen positive examples of innovation, resilience and, importantly, turning any job into a fun job. Just to keep spirits up. This is the environment he grew up in and throughout his life, he constantly displayed the same personal traits. He was a joy to be with.
I’ve heard Dad tell of idyllic childhood stories of playing on the beach, building boats, playing football, boxing and smoking woodbines. Remember, we are talking about the 1950s here.
Dad left school as soon as he could and went to work as a shipwright in Dover. However, the shipbuilding industry in Dover was declining and almost ceased in the early 1960s. So Dad moved to Shrewsbury with his first wife, Melissa.
This was delivered online from Australia, so it had an international audience.
For a funeral speech for a dad from a daughter, you could do similar things: share stories you remember from experience as well as what you heard about his early life. In general, funeral speeches for mothers and fathers are very similar in style and structure. If you are an older brother or sister, you might have more memories of your parent’s early life than your siblings, but younger members of the family can always ask their surviving parent or another relative about the person’s life.
Dealing with the fear of public speaking
Whether a eulogy for your dad, your mum, a friend or other loved one, you will probably experience some nervousness about delivering it. Having a written funeral speech is a good idea to build your confidence. It’s okay to read your eulogy, as no one will expect you to deliver it from memory, even if it’s a funeral speech for a friend. It’s a good idea to take some deep breaths before you start. The important part to remember is that people attending are there to hear about contributions and the life of the deceased, and support each other.
Our funeral speech writing services
Unfortunately, words are all we have when it comes to sharing our thoughts and feelings about a friend or family member. In the midst of all the personal upheaval, it’s hardly your fault if you can’t find the right words. This is where a eulogy writer can help.
Our specialty is writing funeral speeches and can work with you to remember the person and the story of their life. Every life is cause for celebration and remembrance. We help you honour and remember your friend or relative, whether they had a high-profile life or simply made an impact on close friends and family members.
An effective writer knows where to look for these telling details and how to bring them to life on the page. Our funeral speech writing services are designed to fit your needs and include:
- Creating questions for you to answer to get the background information needed
- A short follow-up phone conversation if more information is needed
- Writing the first draft of the funeral speech for you to review
- Revising the draft based on your feedback to make sure you are satisfied with the final version.
The entire process usually takes two to three days, or quicker if you need to deliver the eulogy sooner.
If you need to write a eulogy and don’t know where to start, contact us by email or give us a call on 1300 731 955. We will be glad to discuss funeral speech examples and provide a quote and timeframe.
About Michael Gladkoff, Professional Speechwriter and Funeral Speech Writer for Australia
Michael has been writing speeches for over 30 years, starting in his late teenage years when he joined Toastmasters International. He began writing speeches professionally in 2005. Since then, he has written hundreds of speeches for people across Australia. Besides being a funeral speech writer, Michael writes speeches for business and social events.