Talking in front of a crowd of people can be an intimidating prospect. Talking in front of your loved ones’ family and friends at their funeral can be even more daunting. The fears that usually face a public speaker are amplified by additional worries. Due to the emotional nature of a funeral, you may be worried that you’ll cry or be so upset that you’re unable to speak. To help you prepare for your eulogy, we’ve put together this simple guide.
Don’t Be Afraid
If you’ve chosen to speak at a funeral, then it’s likely that you had a close relationship with the departed and wanted the chance to share a sentiment in their honour. Try to see this as an opportunity. Your eulogy is a beautiful way to share stories and respect for your loved one with everyone who attends the funeral. Although those who have died are no longer with us physically, they still live on in our memories. The eulogy keeps the memory of your loved one alive.
Write, Rewrite & Write Again
You probably have several ideas for what you want to say. Start by writing out all the ideas that you have, no matter how good or bad you think they are. When you’ve got everything together, choose your favourite parts and piece them together.
You can put the eulogy aside for a day or two and come back to it with fresh eyes. At that point, you may want to make a few final adjustments to polish it off. Don’t be afraid to be a little light-hearted. A eulogy doesn’t have to be totally serious. If you have a funny memory or something silly – but appropriate – to share, this could make the delivery a little easier for you.
Take Your Time
Practise delivering your eulogy alone, or in front of a mirror. Don’t rush yourself. It’s better to speak a little too slowly than too fast, as people will be able to hear you better and understand each word that you say. If you can, try practising with a trusted friend who you feel comfortable with. If you do find yourself getting emotional, let it happen. Your friend can support you, and you can go over your eulogy again and again until you feel more confident in your ability to deliver it.
Accept Your Emotions
Sometimes it’s inevitable that there will be tears. Having some acceptance of this will help to take the pressure off. It’s okay to cry at a funeral. You’ll never have a more understanding audience than those who you’re delivering your eulogy to. Know that if you do end up crying, it’s okay to take the time to wipe your tears, take a deep breath and steady yourself before continuing. If you’re really worried that your emotions will leave you unable to go on, give a written copy of your eulogy to a trusted friend who can take over if you need them to.
Tips For The Funeral
When you’re reading the eulogy at the funeral, remember to relax and take some deep breaths. Try not to make eye contact with anyone who you think might cause you to get upset. You can focus on an object in the background instead, if needs be.
Make sure you have some water and tissues with you, so you can clear your throat or wipe away any tears. Having a glass of water also gives you an opportunity to take a sip and create a natural pause in your speech. If you can feel your voice catching, give yourself a moment. It might help to look upwards and take a deep breath before continuing with the eulogy.
For Further Advice, Speak To Us
If you need any help with planning a funeral service, give our friendly team a call. We can help you to make sure that the funeral is exactly as you want it to be, to give your loved one the best possible send off.