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Tips for Getting Through a Funeral Speech

Category: Words

Funeral speeches can be extremely difficult. You’ve just lost someone, you’re still in shock and now you’ve got to get up in front of people and talk about the person you’re mourning.

However, making a funeral speech can turn out to be a truly beautiful thing. This is your chance to tell everyone about why the person you’ve lost had such an impact on your life, talk about their finest moments and paint a picture of who they really were.

It’s naturally going to be a challenging task, but with the right preparation, you can do your loved one proud. You may be wondering how on earth you’re going to get through your funeral speech without crying. You may shed a few tears, and struggle to remain composed, but that’s OK, everyone at the funeral is there to support you.

Here are some top tips for getting through a funeral speech to help you feel more prepared and ready to deliver something special.

1. Look at your speech like an opportunity

The reason we have funerals for our loved ones, is that a large number of people can come together and say goodbye while paying respect and celebrating the life of the departed.

That is why you should see your funeral speech as an opportunity to leave an impression for all of those attending the ceremony.

If you can deliver a story and a summary of your loved one’s character, you will be helping their legacy to continue.

If you have a story about a time they helped you through a difficult moment or did something out of the ordinary, everybody in attendance will remember it, and the loved one, for years to come.

2. Preparation is key

Even though the loss of a loved one may be unexpected, you can expect the funeral to be hard. That is why you should make sure to practice your speech before the actual day.

Simple find a quiet room with a mirror and go through the speech several times out loud, even though you may be unable to stop crying for the first couple of attempts, you’ll be in much better shape by the 4th or 5th attempt. Have someone there for support and ask them for advice if needed.

3. Listen to your heart

When it comes to finding the right funeral words and getting eulogy tips, the most important thing to listen to, is your heart.

If you speak from the heart, then your words will be heard and well received by everyone in the room. This is your chance to say what you want to say about someone you loved so dearly.

4. Don’t worry about getting emotional

Of course, the aim will be to get through the speech without crying or getting too upset. But if you put too much pressure on yourself to be strong, it will become a stressful experience. Everyone is there for the same reason, to remember a lost loved one. It’s OK to shed a tear or two. You will never have a more sympathetic audience.

If you need a moment to compose yourself, take it. You don’t need to rush through your speech. Take your time, go at your own pace and you will be able to get through it.

5. Have a glass of water and some tissues handy

When we get nervous and stressed, sometimes our throats get a bit dry and we feel parched. Having some water nearby can also help if you need a moment. Pause, take a little sip of your drink and continue with your reading. You may also want some tissues to wipe away those stray tears.

6. Memorise parts of the speech

If you can and have enough time before the funeral, try to memorise parts of your speech. Knowing what you’re going to say will make it easier, and you can always look down at your notes if you forget. Having your speech memorised will enable you to be a bit more natural instead of looking down every few seconds. But if memorising it seems too much, write your speech on cue cards so it’s easy to read.

7. Think about eye contact

Pick a few people who you know will give you strength and look over at them for support. This will help reassure you whilst also making your speech less robotic. If you know there are certain people who will set you off crying the moment you look at them, maybe avoid looking their way whilst you’re talking. And if you definitely can’t look at anyone without crying, pick objects in the room to glance at instead.

8. Don’t rush through it

You’ll probably feel the urge to get through your speech as quickly as possible. But speeches are actually better when they are delivered at a slower pace that the audience can keep up with. You’ve spent a fair amount of time deciding what words to say, so take your time and make every word count.

9. Don’t forget to breathe!

You may feel a rush of adrenaline as you walk up to the front to make your speech. But if you concentrate on your breathing it will help you to maintain your composure. Remember to breathe when you pause and take a few slow, deep breaths before you begin.

10. Aim for quality not quantity

Wondering how long funeral speeches should be? In most cases, eulogies last between three and five minutes, with some pushing the ten-minute mark. You don’t really want your speech to be any longer than this. Time your speech at home before you do it on the day just to check it’s not too long.

11. End on a positive/high note

Think of something that will end your speech on a happy or positive note. This will make you feel good when you finish and leave the audience feeling admiration for your speech. You could touch on a lighthearted memory or positive phrase they used to say or end with a special story.