Eulogy Writing Strategies That Never Fail
by Paul Graham
As if speech writing wasn't difficult enough already, a eulogy
incorporates a snapshot of the essence of a persons life in a
single speech. Eulogies can include stories, jokes, quotes,
poems, and memorable events about that persons life. There are
many different kinds of eulogies and no one of them is right or
best - it's up to you. Just remember to make it personally
relevant so that the audience can relate.
1. Where Should You Start?
The trick to writing a great eulogy is to just start writing one
- jot down whatever comes to mind as long as it is from the
heart. You will be able to sort out your thoughts later in a
first draft. You should think about what that person held as
important in life, what they chose as their profession, and how
they affected the world around them.
2. Set The Theme
In the end, it won't matter what theme you choose so long as it
is done in good taste. The most common themes include a
narrative story, a comical outlook upon the life of the
deceaced, or even a collection of memories and poems.
3. Make It Memorable
The most essential part of writing a eulogy is to touch upon the
life of the deceaced. It isn't just about how the person has
affected you but what that person did to affect others. If you
can, try to involve the audience emotionally. Make them smile,
make them cry, help them pay their respects for the deceaced and
be able to move on with their lives a little easier.
4. Prepare Your Eulogy Well In Advance
Now, mind you, unless you are writing a narrative type of eulogy
that goes over the life of the individual chronologically,
something that most people are advised not to do anyways because
those kinds of eulogies can become quite dull and are often seen
as unemotional, you will want to stick to a series of points or
stories connected in logical fashion. Be sure to have a first
draft of your eulogy proofread by a friend or family member
before you move on to writing your final draft.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Finally, be sure that your eulogy, like any public speaking, has
points connected in a logical order. Moreover, because it isn't
just what you say but how you say it. For this reason you will
want to practice several times beforehand. Some people feel that
memorizing a eulogy is necessary but this isn't the case. You
are free to bring a flash card along to help you remember what
you want to say.
article re-published 10 October 2006