Eulogy writing takes a little bit of skill and a lot of heart. You don’t have to worry about being a great writer. The most important thing to remember when writing a eulogy is to keep it genuine and sincere. The best eulogies definitely come from your heartfelt emotions.
When writing a eulogy, it is helpful to jot down a few notes first. Think about the person you are paying tribute to. Why was that person special to you? What personal characteristics did he have that made you laugh, smile, or express any other emotion? Maybe the person you are eulogizing was a crusty curmudgeon, but that was what made him so endearing. Backing up your characterizing with humorous or heartwarming stories can bring a person’s spirit to life. Your goal here is to reach those listening and help them remember your loved one for all of the things that made them wonderful. If you see smiles, tears, and heads nodding in agreement, then you know you have done your job.
A eulogy can be anything you want it to be. You can write it as a poem or even pre-record a narrative set to a video or slide show. Whatever you are most comfortable with and whatever is appropriate. One piece of advice: think not only about what those in the audience want and need to hear; also think about how your loved one would want to be remembered. If you are not sure where to begin, you may want to look up some examples of eulogies online.
After writing a eulogy, it is a good idea to practice your delivery. Even under different circumstances, those giving a speech of any kind practice to make sure they are comfortable with their material. When giving a eulogy, you will be especially challenged as you may unintentionally break down with emotion. The more you practice, the better your chances for a decent delivery. A word of caution, however: Even the best public speakers can have difficulty giving a eulogy. It is completely understandable to react in ways you would not normally expect of yourself. Keep some water and tissues on hand in case you need them. And, if you have access to a microphone, you may want to consider using it. Sometimes, without even realizing it, your voice can soften as you struggle to deal with your feelings. Oh, and one more thing: Don’t worry if you do happen to cry or break down. It’s ok. Everyone there will understand. You may want to consider having a back-up person to finish reading the eulogy if you are unable to continue. Again, perfectly ok.
No matter how well you write or deliver a eulogy, you have been given a distinct honor. It is your opportunity to speak for others and to help them remember someone near and dear. Take your time when composing your thoughts and yourself. Your eulogy will come across from the heart.
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