Giving a speech at a funeral is a great honor, but will certainly add stress to an already difficult time. Learning how to write and practice the speech will properly prepare you to deliver a memorable speech at the funeral.
Writing and giving a speech at a funeral is one of the most difficult things that you will have to do, but it can be the most fulfilling as well. Delivering a speech is one of the best ways to pay tribute to your deceased family member or friend. The relatives and friends in attendance at the funeral will appreciate hearing your stories and fond memories about your loved one who passed away.
Writing a funeral speech does not need to cause you added stress. Remember that you are honoring and paying tribute to the life of a loved one. Everyone at the funeral will appreciate hearing your stories and memories about the deceased. Don’t worry about making the speech perfect, simply think back about all of the wonderful memories you shared with the person and write the speech from the heart. Follow the instructions below and you will be on your way to writing a beautiful speech to read at a funeral.
Writing A Funeral Speech
1. Collect Your Thoughts
Before you begin writing the eulogy you should spend some time brainstorming. Get a pen and paper and jot down everything that comes to mind. Recall all of your favorite memories you had with the deceased including serious moment and lighthearted ones. Write down facts about the deceased including their interests, hobbies, favorite activities, education, career, family and so on.
2. Speak To Others
Now that you have brainstormed and written down your memories you should speak to others and collect some information from them. Call some of the deceased’s closest friends and family members and ask them for information for your speech. Ask them similar questions as what you asked yourself. What are their favorite memories with the deceased? What information about the deceased’s life including childhood, career, family life, and so on can they contribute. This will help fill in any missing information and will be helpful when writing your speech.
3. Write Multiple Drafts
Start by deciding how you want to structure the speech and organize the information you collected. Next, write a rough draft that takes the notes you have collected and turns them into properly structured paragraphs. Your first draft will include spelling and grammar errors and should be far longer than your final speech. That is ok, in the next draft you will correct any grammatical errors and remove any unnecessary information. Do this a few times until you have a final version that is ready to be shared with others.
Giving A Speech At A Funeral
4. Practice The Speech
After you have written the final draft we recommend that you share it with a few of your friends or family members. Read the speech to them out loud, which will give you practice speaking the speech to others. The people that you read the speech to may give you some helpful feedback that you can use to improve the speech. The next step is to read the speech aloud over and over again to yourself. Even though it is important to practice reading the speech, it is not necessary to memorize it. Reading a speech at a funeral for someone you love is a difficult and emotional task and the more prepared you are, the easier it will be. Even though preparation is important you shouldn’t worry about memorizing the speech. It is ok to have a copy of the speech with you at the funeral and it will be less stressful knowing that you have the speech there to read off of when needed.
5. Give The Speech
Now that you have practiced reading the speech it is time to deliver it at the funeral. Try not to worry too much about giving the speech, your friends and family will appreciate your loving tribute to the deceased. When delivering the speech at the funeral speak slowly and loud enough that everyone in the audience hears all of the wonderful words you wrote about your loved one. It is ok to get emotional during the speech and if you do, simply pause and take a deep breath and continue.
Now that you have learned about writing and giving a speech at a funeral you can begin to write your own 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: October 10, 2012