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8 Tips for Writing Memorial Service Speeches
Stay positive and add humor
A funeral is a very sad occasion. The eulogy provides you with an opportunity to put a smile on the face of friends and family. Instead of discussing the sadness you are feeling over the loss, speak about the wonderful life the person lived. Also, include his or her positive qualities. Sharing a humorous story will help to break the tension in the room and add laughter to a somber situation.
Make it conversational
The best memorial service speeches are conversational. Think of the speech as a conversation you are having with a close friend. Oftentimes, people reading a speech will read a list of facts about the person and read a story or two. It is not necessary to share every piece of information about the person. The goal is to engage the audience and share with them what made the deceased person so special to you and everyone else.
Be inclusive of everyone
The memorial service will include friends, family, coworkers, and other acquaintances. Not everyone attending the funeral will know the deceased as well as you did. Do not assume that everyone knew him or her the way you did. It is ok to share personal memories. Try to choose stories that emphasize a personal quality of the deceased person. That way, even though people attending the funeral were not there for the situation, they will still be able to relate to the story.
Don’t be afraid to show emotion
The most important tip to remember when delivering a eulogy is to not be afraid to show emotion. Everyone attending the funeral will be sharing in your grief. They will understand how difficult it is to read a eulogy about your loved one who passed away. We recommend bringing a glass of water with you to the podium. If you find that you are getting emotional during the speech, pause, take a deep breath and drink some water, then continue. This will help you to collect your emotions and continue with the speech.
If the emotion is too great, you can request that a friend or family member continue reading the speech on your behalf.