May 22, 2010 by admin
Filed under Connecting with the Audience When Delivering a Eulogy, Tips for Delivering a Eulogy
When delivering a eulogy, as with any type of public speaking, it is important to try and connect with the audience. Doing so will allow your words to have more of an impact and to be remembered even after the service is over.
While first year public speaking classes offer tips on how to connect with an audience, all of those tips may not be appropriate when delivering a eulogy. For example, starting a speech with a joke is usually a good way to draw the audience in. When delivering a eulogy, however, this is not appropriate. You can use humor in a eulogy, but it should take the form of funny anecdotes from the decedent’s life rather than jokes. Instead, consider starting the eulogy with a quote. The quote could be from a famous person or from the decedent. It should be powerful, brief and interesting.
A well chosen quote can help you get the attention of the listeners, and this will help you to connect with them throughout the rest of the eulogy.
Eye contact is another effective means by which a speaker can connect with his audience. Even though you may feel a bit nervous, resist the urge to continually look down at your notes. Instead, look at members of the audience. Move your eyes over the crowd rather than looking at the same person all of the time.
It is difficult for the audience to connect with you if they have trouble understanding what you are saying. Be sure that you speak into the microphone. Also, speak slowly. If you are not accustomed to public speaking, this can be a challenge. A good rule of thumb is that you should feel as if you are speaking just a bit too slowly, then you will know you are speaking at the proper speed.
Pointing and hand gestures are another means by which you can try to connect with the audience. If you are telling a story that includes someone who is present, it is fine to motion toward them. If you use a phrase such as “all of you”, you can make a sweeping motion with your hand.
Remember, to best honor the decedent with a eulogy, you must present it in a way that those listening actually hear what you are saying. By seeking to connect with the audience, you will help them to not only hear what you say, but to remember it for some time to come.
photo credit: Loozrboy