Not everyone has the gift of confidently speaking in front of others. And often the thought of public speaking throws many people into a panic. Add to that fear the common discomfort of discussing death, and it's easy to understand why the idea of delivering a eulogy can be disconcerting. If you've been asked to write a eulogy, take heart. This article will give you 6 easy ways to make sure you write the best eulogy to honor the one you’ve lost.
•Be honest and focus on the person's positive qualities. This first one is pretty simple and self-explanatory but it’s important to remember to take time to mention the person’s positive qualities. This can be anything from personal memories you have, to stories you’ve heard about the person from others. Focusing on their positive qualities will keep the eulogy encouraging.
•Humor is acceptable if it fits the personality of the deceased. Even though death is a somber event, it can be very appropriate to use humor in your eulogy if it fits the character of the deceased loved one. It can also be a very much needed laugh for those listening as they remember their loved one.
•"If you are inclined to be a perfectionist, lower your expectations and just do what you can given the short time-frame and your emotional state," writes Schaeffer in "Labor of Love." No one expects you to be an oratorical genius. Instead focus on being genuine and honest. Being able to do that will go a long way.
•Keep it brief. Five to ten minutes is the norm, but it's a good idea to verify that with the minister or funeral director. Again, this is pretty simple and understandable, but it is helpful for you to know that you don’t need to write a long speech but also keeps in mind the attention span of those who are grieving along with you. As always, make sure to communicate with the funeral director about expectations so the service flows easily.
•Leo Saguin recommends interviewing family and friends in his book "How to Write and Deliver a Loving Eulogy." Friends and family are a great resource in writing your eulogy. Not only is it helpful for you in coming up with the best eulogy, it also give others the satisfaction of being heard and helps them through the grieving process as well.
•Put the eulogy on paper - at least in outline form. It’s always best to have at least an outline of your eulogy for reference. That way if nerves or emotions make it hard for you to focus, you have your notes to guide you through. Having the notes will only give you more confidence in speaking about your deceased loved one.
These 6 easy tips will help you write the best eulogy of your life. You can honor your deceased loved one and make yourself proud by keeping these simple tools in mind. And best yet, you won’t need to pull the fire alarm to get out of speaking in front of your friends and family!