Delivering a funeral eulogy

The best advice we can give if you are going to be delivering a funeral eulogy is to remember that people speak less formally than they write.

Informal if possible

Your eulogy should sound as if you are having an informal conversation with some good friends. If possible, you should avoid reading the speech word for word.

Not too long

You should also aim to speak for no more than 4 to 6 minutes. You should leave the audience wanting more not willing you to stop. If you have practices your eulogy properly you will know the material pretty well.

Take it slowly

Avoid speaking too fast. One way is to write ‘pause’ on the left side of the speech at the appropriate junctures or ‘breath’ at the places where you should be taking a deep breath. You can even draw a smiling face next to a happy story.

Ask for feedback beforehand

Before giving the speech ask for feedback from trusted friends. You should also have the speech proof read by at least one member of the deceased’s close family. This fine tuning process will ensure that you avoid factual errors or inadvertently offending someone.

Avoid duplicating material

It is a good idea to speak to the other speakers to make sure that material is not duplicated.

At the funeral or memorial service, have a glass of water to hand and try to relax before you begin speaking. You will find that beginning the speech is the hardest part.

If worried that you wil become emotional

If you become emotional you should not be embarrassed. You are surrounded by family and friends who will understand that your speech is a noble gesture and one they will appreciate and remember.

Backup speaker

You may decide it appropriate to arrange a backup speaker if you think you might be too upset to give the speech. In this case, you should prepare the speech in exactly the way it is to be spoken.

Before the service, give the appointed person a copy of the speech and agree on a signal that indicates that they should step in.

Copies of the speech

Whilst this may seem a little too egotistical for some people you may want to print out and bring extra copies of the speech for family and friends.

Please note

The information which we provide through Lasting Post is in outline for information or educational purposes only. The information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser. We cannot guarantee that information provided by Lasting Post will meet your individual needs, as this will very much depend on your individual circumstances. You should therefore use the information only as a starting point for your enquiries.