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When it comes to talking about writing and delivering a eulogy, we often quote the words of journalist Peggy Noonan, who wrote: “I love eulogies. They are the most moving kind of speech because they attempt to pluck meaning from the fog, and on short order, when the emotions are still ragged and raw and susceptible to leaps.” If you're currently faced with the task, we've got some valuable insights on how to deliver a eulogy to share with you. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves: what about writing a eulogy? What's involved there?
Chris Raymond, in the online article, "How to Write a Eulogy: 5 Tips for Success" (see Online Sources for a full citation) offers this observation about the task: "Writing and delivering a eulogy or remembrance speech can seem daunting. In addition to the grief and sorrow you're already feeling as you cope with the loss of a loved one, you must find the time to organize your thoughts, put them down on paper, and deliver your speech–all within the fairly compressed timeframe between the death and the funeral or memorial service." All too true: there's not a great deal of time to prepare. He offers these suggestions to make your job of writing easier:
His fifth tip is one we'll look at in the section of this page which focuses on delivering a eulogy with confidence: keep it in writing. "...if the professionals use a written copy of their speeches, then you should too...there is absolutely no reason to feel you must deliver your remarks from memory."
The experts at MindTools have this to say about effective public speaking: "with thorough preparation and practice, you can overcome your nervousness and perform exceptionally well". We agree; certainly preparation and practice both go a long way in helping you in delivering a eulogy at a loved one's funeral or memorial service. Here are two of their recommendations:
Other suggestions to help you build confidence both prior to, and at the time of delivering a eulogy include:
Two more things which will help you in delivering a eulogy (these again from our own professional experience):
Look no further; our years of experience have rewarded us with insights about how to deliver a eulogy. If you're tasked with writing and delivering a eulogy in tribute to a loved one, and now find yourself overwhelmed by writer's block, indecision and anxiety (not to mention grief); we can help. Simply pick up the phone and call us at 212-473-2220.
Toastmasters International, "10 Tips for Public Speaking", accessed 2014
Raymond, Chris, "How to Write a Eulogy: 5 Tips for Success", About.com, updated June, 2014, accessed October, 2014