Seven Easy Steps To Writing A Eulogy

Both writing and delivering a​ eulogy are emotional,​ but at​ the​ same time a​ step towards healing. It’s never easy to​ put into words what someone’s life meant to​ you and to​ summarize their life in​ just a​ few minutes. By following the​ seven steps below you’ll be on​ your way to​ creating a​ memorable and heart felt eulogy.

Step One: Gather information. Jot down as​ many personal notes about the​ deceased as​ possible. Look at​ photos. Flipping through photo albums may remind you of​ important qualities and memories of​ the​ person who died. Answer a​ few questions: What made your loved one truly happy? What inspired you to​ write this eulogy? What were your loved one’s passions? What will you remember most about this person? Keep in​ mind that a​ eulogy is​ not a​ biography but more your personal thoughts and remembrances from your point of​ view. You may want to​ ask co-workers,​ friends and others for their stories and memories. You should see some repetition in​ your notes and this will lead to​ the​ main theme.

Step Two: Begin to​ organize your content. Outline the​ eulogy in​ these steps:
I. a​ beginning to​ establish your theme.
II. a​ middle section to​ build on​ your theme with personal stories,​ information,​ quotes,​ comments,​ sayings,​ poems and other content. This information should make up 90% of​ the​ eulogy.
III. a​ short conclusion to​ summarize your thoughts and restate your theme.

Step Three: Work first on​ the​ middle section (Part II). Once you have this part the​ beginning and summary will be easy. Develop the​ outline by grouping similar themes from your notes from Step 1. For example,​ you might want to​ gather all the​ achievements together. Merge the​ comments about the​ deceased’s philosophy of​ life.

Step Four: Organize the​ conclusion (Part III). a​ conclusion reminds the​ listeners of​ the​ theme and imprints the​ strong feeling you have about the​ loss. the​ key is​ to​ conclude effectively and quickly. Here is​ an​ example:
“We will all miss Jackie’s sense of​ humor,​ her talent for knowing what is​ really important in​ life and her famous chocolate chip cookies” (a little humor doesn’t hurt as​ long as​ it’s not offensive to​ anyone).
“Her example lives as​ an​ inspiration for all of​ us to​ follow.”

Step Five: Write the​ beginning of​ the​ eulogy (Part 1). This usually starts with an​ attention getter. it​ will set the​ theme and can be in​ the​ form of​ a​ short story,​ a​ poem,​ a​ saying,​ lyrics to​ a​ song. it​ will introduce the​ goal and theme you used when you began the​ process.

Step Six: Polish it​ up. Your best bet is​ to​ walk away from it​ for a​ few hours or​ overnight if​ possible. Work on​ it​ so it​ sounds like a​ conversation. You want to​ talk to​ the​ audience as​ naturally as​ possible.

Key tips: Keep it​ short,​ 4-8 minutes long,​ 3-7 typed pages.
Type it​ out using 14 pt type so it’s easy to​ read.
Vary sentence length.
Number the​ pages.
Practice the​ eulogy aloud and time yourself.
Read it​ to​ friends and family and get their feedback. Edit where necessary.
Keep the​ content in​ good taste and keep it​ positive.

Step Seven: Delivering the​ eulogy.
While normally speakers do not read word-for-word,​ because you are more than likely going to​ be emotional,​ don’t be afraid to​ read word for word. This way you won’t leave out any key points you or​ others wanted said.
If making eye contact with members of​ the​ audience will make you emotional,​ either try and keep your eyes on​ the​ page or​ look just over the​ top of​ the​ audience to​ the​ back of​ the​ room.
Feel free to​ pause,​ take a​ deep breath and drink some water. Everyone will understand. They are emotionally distraught also.
Speak as​ naturally as​ you can just as​ if​ you were telling someone about your loved one. Speak up. It’s very important that you speak clearly and loudly so that everyone can hear you.
Keep the​ written eulogy as​ a​ memento. You can add it​ to​ your memento chest and share it​ with others who may want a​ copy.

By following these steps,​ writing and delivering a​ eulogy will become less stressful and more of​ a​ healing process.

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