Tips For Speaking At A Loved One's Funeral

Posted on: 16 December 2015

Public speaking is a difficult task for many people, regardless of the occasion. Speaking at the funeral of a loved one can be incredibly difficult because you are speaking in front of a group of people and there are a lot of personal emotions involved. If you have been asked to speak at a loved one's funeral, here are a few tips to help you get through the pressure and stress. 

Write Your Speech In Advance

The first thing you should do is sit down and write your speech out before the funeral. It can be really difficult to come up with a speech off the top of your head, which is why crafting it ahead of time can be extremely useful, especially in this type of situation. 

It's Okay To Keep Your Speech Short

Your speech does not have to be extremely long. One or two double-spaced pages of typed text will allow you to deliver a nice speech that is long enough for you to express your feelings and make it through. 

Keep Your Speech Focused

As you write your speech, try to keep it focused. Share a few personal memories that other people could relate to and that celebrate the life of the deceased. If you want, you can also acknowledge how the loss has affected you.

Keep your speech focused on your own personal feelings and experiences. No one is expecting you to philosophize on the meaning of life or death; just celebrate your loved one's life. 

Practice Your Speech

After you write your speech, take some time to practice it. Stand in front of a mirror and practice reading it out loud. Practice giving the speech until you feel comfortable with everything that you wrote.

You should be able to mainly give your speech from memory, without having to refer to the paper. That way, when you get up there, you will be able to rely on your memory. 

Print It Out Big

For the day of the funeral, print out the speech using large font. Large font will help you more easily read your speech when you are in front of your family and friends. If you get nervous or get tears in your eyes, large font will help you more easily see your speech. 

Remember Your Audience

You are not speaking in front of a bunch of strangers or at a corporate event. You are speaking in front of individuals who also cared about the person who just passed away. They will understand if you get emotional or need to pause while giving your speech. Everyone will be rooting for you and will be understanding of whatever happens during your speech.

Find Somewhere To Focus

Finally, while giving your speech, find somewhere or someone to focus on. If there is someone who you know will smile and nod and give you the encouragement you need during your speech, focus on them. If you prefer not to focus on any particular person, pick an object in the middle of the room and focus on that while giving your speech.

If you follow the tips above, your speech at your loved one's funeral or memorial service should go off without a hitch. Just remember to rely on your personal experience while crafting the speech, and practice before hand so you are comfortable when you are in front of everyone. 

For more information on the funeral proceedings, make sure to speak with local funeral homes and directors, such as those at Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home.