Delivering a eulogy. What a thought that is. For those of you that are not accustomed to speaking in public, at first glance it can seem absolutely daunting.
Like any other public speaking, delivering a eulogy requires one to be calm and collected. People may have assumptions about an objective summation of a person’s life but it actually not.
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If you are starting at the beginning when you have to deliver an eulogy you should see our article about writing a eulogy.
It is impossible to speak about one’s whole life in one document that you are supposed to deliver within just a few minutes. However, delivering a eulogy, you might consider writing it first-hand, and keep it personal. This means that you may tell your own story, the memories you shared with the deceased. Once you have the eulogy ready, you will have to recite it, making sure that you are ready.
1. Tell happy stories.
Eulogies don’t have to be all sad. When you are delivering a eulogy, you may tell the audience about your happy memories with the deceased. This will lighten up the mood and people will get to see the happy side of the loved one.
2. Speak slowly.
When reading the eulogy out loud, ensure to take it slow. You will want your audience to relate to what you are saying and be able to feel the mood. At the same time, you might be overwhelmed by emotions and pausing every now and then will allow you to take in deep breaths and avoid crying too much.
Also, this time will allow the audience to reflect on the memories you are sharing and thus painting a picture of what the deceased was like.
3. Maintain eye contact with your audience.
Even though you are going through a rough time, it is important to make eye contact with those gathered in order to get their attention. If you find it hard to look at the audience, you can just keep your head up and look at any spot rather than keeping your head down all the time.
4. Dress for the occasion.
People have expectations as to what one should wear during a funeral service. Failure to wear something appropriate will attract attention and the fact that you will be addressing the audience, you may not want to feel like you are the odd one out.
In most cultures, men will wear black suits while ladies may go for a decent dress of the same color. Avoid unnecessary attention to yourself.
5. Keep the eulogy to a reasonable length.
Reasonable length means the length that you are comfortable with. However, you should keep time in mind and also make sure that the audience does not get bored. Organizing your eulogy and choosing what to share carefully will enable you to keep it straight to the point and also maintain the audience’s attention all through.
Delivering a eulogy can be difficult, especially if you were close to the deceased. You will need to be composed to avoid being too emotional. However, this can prove to be a little difficult for some people. Below are some of the tips to help avoid being too emotional while delivering a eulogy;
Reading an emotional eulogy, especially for people who are not used to public speaking can bring about a lot of anxiety. In fact, some people break down while standing on the stage, which is embarrassing even though the audience may understand.
While reading the eulogy, people expect you to be strong enough and every time you feel overwhelmed and the urge to hold your breath, remember to take slow deep breaths.
2. Prepare yourself mentally.
After writing down the eulogy, it is helpful to reread it severally in order to make sure you are familiar with your text. This way, you will be mentally prepared for your content and the emotions that might come along with it.
It is advisable to visualize what is going to happen beforehand so that you can get rid of stage fright and also be able to withstand the emotional turmoil that may come with remembering the deceased in the eulogy.
3. Use Humor.
This is an effective way to control your emotions by making others laugh. However, whatever humor you decide to use, make sure it is appropriate and does not redirect the theme of the eulogy. For instance, you may share a joke you used to exchange with the deceased right after introducing yourself and the relationship with the deceased.
Remember that funerals unite people in celebration of a loved one’s life and so a funny memory of the deceased could also help you get a hold of your emotions.
4. Keep a bottle of water close.
Delivering a eulogy while trying to keep yourself together can be difficult, especially if you are keeping your tears from falling. This might lead to chocking up which is a little embarrassing.
Keeping a bottle of water on the podium, where you can easily reach for it is advisable. The water will help you gain composure and get back to delivering the eulogy successfully.
5. Understand your theme.
There is a reason why a eulogy is read by the person who prepared it; because they understand the purpose of the eulogy. This way, you stay true to your emotions and stick to your defined theme.
For instance, a eulogy might be used to pay tribute, celebrate the life of the deceased, and comfort the mourners among other reasons. By understanding the purpose of the eulogy, you will be able to maintain your composed nature through the entire moment when delivering a eulogy.
As much as crying in front of the audience can seem a little embarrassing, remember that you are surrounded by family and friends.
In case you are unable to stop yourself from tearing down, they will understand that it is a difficult task that has been assigned to you. Remember that your audience is there to support you through this difficult moment and not to judge you.
If anything, they will understand chocking up but it is also important not to get uncontrollably emotional when delivering a eulogy. Keep in mind that everybody is grieving as much as you are and so offering them comfort might help you regain composure.
Don’t be scared of the task in front of you to deliver a eulogy please see the advice we offer right here.