There is no doubt that a funeral speech is one of the toughest speeches you will ever have to write and give; this is because it comes with the anxiety, pain and grief of not being able to see the departed again. However, it can be easier if you approach the speech as though you are celebrating the departed person’s life, rather than bidding them goodbye. Use your speech as an opportunity to share your favorite thoughts and memories of the departed with their friends and family in attendance. Remembering love and memories then turning them into a speech is difficult and using the funeral speech advice below will make the process of writing and giving the speech easier.
You will find that a funeral speech typically revolves around formal eulogies, tributes, informal reflections and stories. It is always good to have all of this mixed together with some facts and personal details about the deceased. A funeral speech will also allow you to share your final words about the deceased. The closing paragraph is where you should reflect on your relationship with the deceased and reiterate how much you will miss him or her.
The best advice for a funeral speech to is make it personal and share a lot of fond memories about your loved one. Try to remove the pressure on yourself and just speak the truth about what you remember about the person, how much they meant to you and how sad you are about their passing. The following funeral speech advice will give you more helpful tools for writing the perfect speech.
Funeral Speech Advice
The first step to writing the speech may be the most difficult. Begin by taking a pen and paper and brainstorming all of the fond memories you had with the person. Think about your loved one and what they meant to you. What were your favorite memories with them, what are your favorite stories that they told you and what did you learn from them. Looking at old photos may help you remember important memories.
The next step is to write down all of the facts about the person that you can think of. For example, when were they born, where did they grow up, where did they go to school, what was their career, what were their favorite activities, and so on. Don’t be afraid to call family members or friends of the deceased and ask for help. They will be able to give you more information about the deceased that you may not know.
Organize The Information
Now that you have written down a number of stories and facts, read over the information you collected and organize it into chronological order. Now is a good time to remove any information that you don’t think is relevant. Do not try to write everything, your speech should just be a highlight of the person’s life with more emphasis placed on personal stories and memories.
Choose A Tone
Before writing the speech you should decide on the tone. The speech can be serious and speak about facts and more serious memories. Or, the speech can be more conversational and lighthearted. Some of the best speeches include funny stories and are less formal, which can help temporarily alleviate the grief and sadness.
Now that you have the information and know what type of speech you want to write it is time to begin writing the funeral speech. The first draft is not meant to be perfect and spelling and grammar errors are all okay. Next, read over the first draft a few times and edit spelling errors and remove unnecessary information. Next, you should write a more polished second draft. Continue this process of editing and rewriting the speech until you have a version you are happy with.
Read It To Others
When you have your final draft it is recommended that you read it to others. This will give you practice reading the speech in front of people. Also, the other people may notice mistakes that you overlooked. Reading the speech out loud will also help you determine if you want to change the order of information, or if your speech is too short or long.
Write The Final Copy
After you have practiced the speech once or twice, wait a few days then read it again. This will help you pick out any additional mistakes and write the final copy. When writing the final copy it is helpful to use double line spacing and a large font. We suggest that you print the speech and have it with you at the funeral. This will make you feel more comfortable knowing that you can reference the speech as needed.
Practice The Speech
Read the final copy of the speech to yourself a number of times. Do not worry about memorizing the speech. You will have a copy of the speech at the funeral that you can read if needed. Also, the best speeches are casual sounding and include personal stories and memories. You do not want the speech to sound over memorized; instead, it should sound conversational.
Deliver The Speech
Be brave. Everyone will understand that this is a difficult situation. They will be happy to hear all of the kind words you wrote about the deceased and will not be concerned with how well the speech is delivered. If you get emotional during the speech, simply pause and catch your breath then continue. It can also help to have a glass of water that you can sip if you start to feel nervous or emotional.
You have been chosen to give a speech at a funeral of your loved one, which is a great honor. Do not be afraid to let your tears out and cry a little, since the more you hold in and try not to cry the more difficult it will be. After all, it is not easy to lose a loved one and everyone present is just holding back his or her tears as well.
Using the advice above should have given you all of the tools you need to write a memorable funeral speech for your loved one. For more help writing funeral speeches we recommend that you read our sample eulogies or other articles on writing speeches.
Updated: August 17, 2012