Sunday, May 15, 2011

Techniques for Writing a Great Eulogy

Techniques for Writing a Great Eulogy
By John Morris

Before you start to write a eulogy, think about the person and his or her life. You might want to include a memorable event you shared or mention his or her passions in life - or not. It is up to you. No matter how you choose to write the eulogy, remember to paint a picture of the dearly departed in a positive light rather than a negative one.

1. Where Should You Start?

In order to write a good eulogy, you should start by thinking about what it is that you want to say. Chances are, if you have been tasked with writing the eulogy, you were very close to the deceased and know him or her very well. 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. Decide On a Theme

In the end, it will not matter what theme you choose, so long as it you select one in good taste. The most common themes include a narrative story, a comical outlook upon the life of the deceased, or even a collection of memories and poems.

3. Get Involved

One of the most overlooked aspects of writing a eulogy is making sure that it remains pertinent to not just you, but the audience. For example, recounting a great time just the two of you had together will not have as much impact as one that included more people. For this reason, mentioning events in the person's life that were experienced by more people will have greater effect than mentioning an experience that only you and the departed had together. Your audience will get more involved this way.

4. Pace Your Speech Appropriately

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 should 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. Make Sure It Is Perfect

Finally, be sure that your eulogy, like any public speech, has points connected in a logical order; because it is not just what you say, but how you say it. For this reason, you should practice several times beforehand. Some people feel that memorizing a eulogy is necessary, but this is not the case. You are free to bring a flash card along to help you remember what you want to say.

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