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Writing a eulogy

Recognise the honour
For many people the fear of public speaking makes writing and delivering a eulogy intimidating.
Recognising the honour and the opportunities can help calm these fears and make the speech more

Realise your task
The task for the eulogist is to bring the person back into the minds of those assembled.

An effective eulogy uses words to paint a picture for the audience. Creating a picture of the person
for the audience can be done by reminiscing, sharing anecdotes, telling stories and talking about the
many aspects of the person’s life ‐ their family, friends, interests and unique qualities.

A eulogy lets everyone remember the person‐‐who they were, what they did and what they enjoyed
about life.

It is a good idea to practice reading the eulogy to someone beforehand and ask them for their

Pointers and Ideas

  • Who am I speaking to? – make the eulogy appropriate to your audience
  • How would the person like to be remembered?
  • What made them special?
  • Favourite pastimes and interests, likes and dislikes?
  • When were they happiest?
  • Who was really close to them?
  • What did I really like about them?
  • What did other people really like about them?
  • What are the highlights of their life story?
  • If I could say only three things about them, what would they be?
  • Who can help me check my facts?
  • Is anyone else planning to speak about the person at the funeral?
  • If yes, do we need to avoid saying the same thing twice?
  • Be conscious of how long you want your eulogy to be