Learning how to write a speech for funeral services, wakes or other funeral events is an important task. Once a loved one has passed on it is usually one of the closest family members who is charged with the responsibility of preparing and delivering the funeral speech. This is the last respect you will be paying to the deceased person. Writing the speech can be a difficult experience as it forces you to remember some of the most intimate moments you shared with the deceased. However, if you properly prepare it will be easier to write and deliver your speech.
A speech for funeral can be delivered in different ways. You can deliver the speech in a somber and serious way or a lighthearted and humorous way. The speech may also be short, simply highlighting a few memories with the deceases, or it may be longer, going into more detail on the person’s life. Generally a speech for funeral will put together the history of the deceased, his or her interests and achievements, and shared memories and reflections on their life. In most cases the speech does not follow a standard format and is usually very unique and personal in terms of its delivery and contents. Factors such as culture, values, nationality, religion, personality, and beliefs of the involved will determine the type of speech given.
Writing A Speech For Funeral
A good speech for funeral will follow some basic guidelines; which if followed, will help you when writing the speech.
The most difficult part of writing the funeral speech will be thinking of all of the fond memories you had with the deceased. Before you start writing, sit down and spend some time thinking about your loved one and what they meant to you. Now, take a pen and paper and write down as many facts, memories, stories and whatever else you can think of. Also, it can help to call friends and family of the deceased to ask them for information. They can give you facts you may not have known or provide their own stories and memories.
Organize The Information
Read over everything that you wrote down and organize it into some sort of order. You could organize it chronologically or in sections (interests, education, family, etc.). As you organize the information you should remove anything that you don’t think is relevant. The speech for funeral is not meant to cover the person’s entire life, just key facts and memories. Also, before you begin writing the speech you should decide on the tone. The speech can be serious or lighthearted, but a good speech keeps the same tone throughout.
Write A Draft
Now that you have collected all of the information it is time to begin the eulogy writing. The first draft is not meant to be perfect and spelling and grammar errors are okay. Always remember to start with yourself; even though the day is not about you, people need to know who is eulogizing the deceased. So you will need to give a brief introduction of who you are and how you are related to the deceased. You should also recognize the guest who are gathered, especially those from out of town, and thank them. Next, turn all of the information you collected into properly structured sentences. After you have written the first draft, read over it a few times and edit spelling errors and remove unnecessary information.
Practice The Speech
When you have your final draft written we recommended that you read it to others. Reading the speech aloud will give you practice speaking in front of people and the other person may notice mistakes that you overlooked. You should also read the speech to yourself a number of times. Do not worry about memorizing the speech. You should print the speech in a large font and bring it to the funeral and refer to it whenever needed.
Deliver The Speech
Be brave. Everyone will understand that this is a difficult situation and be patient with you if you get emotional during the speech. Friends and family of the deceased will be happy to hear all of the kind words you wrote about their loved one. If you get emotional during the speech, simply pause and catch your breath then continue. If you speak slowly and clearly and pause throughout the speech you will be able to deliver a well-written speech for funeral to everyone in attendance.
If you consider the above guide to writing funeral speeches than you should have everything you need to write a memorable speech. For more help writing funeral speeches we recommend that you read our sample eulogies or other articles on writing speeches.
Updated: August 16, 2012