How to Give a Eulogy

When someone dies, their funeral is one of the most important days in one’s life. Not only are there many steps to plan for the service itself, but planning out what to say before and during a eulogy can be incredibly difficult. Here are three tips on how to give a memorable eulogy that your loved ones will appreciate

The “eulogy examples” are a way to give a eulogy. Eulogies can be given for different occasions, such as funerals or memorials. The following is an example of a eulogy that was written by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Man giving eulogy at funeral illustration.

I had the distinction of giving the eulogy at my grandfather’s funeral last September. I had no idea what to do since it was the first one I’d ever written or given. But, after reading and viewing a number of eulogies online and getting some advice, I was able to put something together that I felt did a very decent job of honoring my grandfather’s incredibly rich and dignified life. With everything that Grandpa accomplished over his century on this planet, no eulogy could possibly do him credit.

If you’re asked to deliver the eulogy at the funeral of a friend or loved one, you’ll likely feel both honored and concerned about how to provide a speech that completely honors the deceased’s life while also providing comfort and catharsis to those left behind.

It’s impossible to avoid the reality that delivering a eulogy is a huge responsibility, but it’s one you should attempt to embrace. It’s not every day that you get to stand up and make a meaningful contribution to one of life’s most important rites. You’ll be alright as long as you prepare carefully and arrive to the funeral with meaningful statements and a full heart.

From my personal experience, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions for writing and delivering eulogies. Maybe they’ll be able to assist you as well.

How to Give a Summation of an Eulogy

  1. Make a decision on the kind of eulogy you’ll deliver. Either personal experience, shared recollections, or a combination of the two.
  2. The eulogy should be written for your audience, not for yourself.
  3. Be both amusing and depressing.
  4. Make a copy of your eulogy. Don’t attempt to make it up as you go along!
  5. Keep it short and sweet. 
  6. Practice, practice, and practice some more (to get the cries out).
  7. You’ll still weep, but try to retain your composure.

Make a decision on the kind of eulogy you’ll deliver. You have two fundamental sorts of eulogies to choose from:

  • History of your life. This is a kind of eulogy in which you just go through the life narrative of the recently dead person while stressing their accomplishments. You may usually simply read the obituary or use it as a starting point for writing a life history eulogy. This sort of eulogy is straightforward and fact-based, and it’s an excellent choice if you don’t know the dead well.
  • Memories that were shared. You give up width for depth in this sort of eulogy. You focus on a few select shared recollections that you and the audience have about the departed rather than detailing the whole life of the deceased. These comprehensive anecdotes often emphasize a characteristic or virtue of the dearly departed, but they mostly serve to help the audience to remember about pleasant experiences they had with him or her.

You may perform either one or a hybrid eulogy by combining the two. I went with the latter option for my granddad. I built the eulogy on his obituary and made a quick “detour” when I came to a couple of his accomplishments/milestones to share a relevant memory I and the audience had about that time or scenario in my grandpa’s life.


One thing you should do is inquire about the funeral’s preliminary program from whomever is preparing it, as this will help you choose what kind of eulogy you should deliver. Other persons may be requested to provide vignettes of various shared recollections of the dead, for example. If that’s the case, focus your eulogy on your life narrative.

This occurred during my grandfather’s funeral. My uncle and a couple of my cousins shared recollections of my grandfather, and a forester with whom my grandfather worked told anecdotes about their time together as part of the event. Knowing this, I limited the amount of my eulogy dedicated to shared memories to a minimal and concentrated on my grandfather’s life narrative.

The eulogy isn’t for you; it’s for your audience. Keep in mind that you’re giving a eulogy to a group of people who have had their own experiences and recollections with the dead. As a result, discussing recollections or life experiences with him or her that just touch on your personal interactions with him or her is a bit impolite. By all means, share personal recollections, but also look for methods to connect with the rest of your audience. If colleagues are expected, for example, try if you can come up with an amusing anecdote about the dead that they can connect to. Include a story about the deceased’s time working with a community group if members of that organization will be present. If there will be a lot of grandchildren at the funeral, tell a tale that you and your cousins can all remember. You get my drift.

If you don’t recall many anecdotes about the dead, call or contact people and ask them to share their recollections. The majority of individuals would be delighted to share their positive memories of the recently deceased.

Combine the weighty with the light for extra gravity. Yes, it’s a funeral, but you don’t want your eulogy to be excessively solemn since it will distract from the event’s gravity and poignancy. To really grasp the bitterness of a loved one’s death, you must contrast it with the sweetness of their happy, even light, and humorous times. So don’t be scared to include a little levity in your eulogy! Make the people in your audience laugh.

The noises of both joyful laughing and sorrowful sniffling from the audience are an excellent measure of the efficacy of your eulogy. It signifies you have the correct balance of heavy and light in your mix.

Make a list. You won’t be able to offer a eulogy on the spot. As you give it, your emotions will be near to the surface, thus the chances of you being choked up and forgetting what you were going to say are great. To prevent this, prepare your eulogy in advance and read it from the pulpit or rostrum. Of course, you don’t want to be reading with your nose buried in your notes. Work on your oratory talents. Glance down to see what you’ll say for the next line or two, then look up and towards your audience before delivering those remarks. Rinse, wash, and repeat until everything is clean.


When I was telling about how Grandpa taught us grandchildren how to ride horses, I got a little worked up. I would have fumbled through the remainder of my eulogy if I hadn’t written it down.

Another reason to write it down is because audience members will almost certainly desire a copy as a souvenir. You may also include it in any family history research you perform.

Keep it short and sweet. While the eulogy is a crucial component of a funeral ceremony, there are other elements to consider. Keep your eulogy short to avoid the funeral lasting longer than it needs to, even if the organisers indicate you have unlimited time. Aim for a 10-minute speech; it will give you enough time to say what you need to say without feeling like the speech is going on forever. 

Practice, practice, and practice some more (to get the cries out). When previously said, emotions will be at the forefront of your mind as you offer your eulogy. That isn’t always a negative thing. Emotion indicates your genuine loss, and a funeral’s goal is to elicit a catharsis in the audience – a time for them to experience and express their own grief.

However, a funeral in general, and a eulogy in particular, should instill hope and strength in those in attendance. When you’re able to keep it together, you’re demonstrating that life will carry on even though your sorrow is severe.

Furthermore, choking sobbing will impair your capacity to give a well-received eulogy at this last public opportunity to honor and celebrate the deceased’s life.

As a result, you must strike a balance between bringing emotion into your eulogy and expressing its words with clarity and lucidity. That means communicating with genuine emotion rather than being overcome by uncontrollable sobs.

Get all your emotions out the night before by rehearsing the eulogy over and over again to avoid such outbursts when giving the eulogy. Read your speech over and again until you don’t weep when you read it, even at the most emotional sections. 

You’ll still weep, but try to retain your composure. Seeing the emotional faces of loved ones and friends as you share sweet recollections of the recently dead will make you weep no matter how much you rehearse or how much you sobbed the night before. That’s OK. It denotes that you are a sentient entity with a heart. But, as previously indicated, although a few tears or choked-up moments are OK and may even add to the poignancy of the speech, don’t allow it degenerate into uncontrolled sobbing.

Bring a tissue or a hankie with you. If you get choked up while reading, take a few deep breaths, wipe away any tears or snot, and resume reading. There’s no need to apologize loudly or make a big issue about the fact that you choked. People are aware of it. You’ve arrived for a memorial service. Simply say, “Excuse me,” and return to your business of giving your eulogy.


I couldn’t say, “I hope someone dies so you can get to speak about them!” since the circumstances that compel writing a eulogy are undoubtedly tragic. But truly, I hope you have an opportunity to write and deliver a eulogy someday; it implies you had a particular connection with the dead, and their loved ones believe you valued them enough in life to be trusted with honouring them in death. Giving my grandfather’s eulogy was one of the most humbling experiences of my life, and the process of preparing and delivering it inspired me to improve myself in order to honor his legacy.



The “how to start a eulogy” is a difficult task, but one that is necessary. This article will help you get started.

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