CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP MAY 26, 2021 – SPEAKING AT A MOMORIAL SERVICE
If you aren’t sure what to say in a memorial service speech, it’s best to do a little research first. Memorial services and funerals allow mourners to express their sentiments and pay their respects to the person who has died. When asked to speak at one of these ceremonies, you are given a unique opportunity to publicly express your thoughts and feelings about the deceased.
What to Say in a Memorial Speech
Prepare yourself to speak before a memorial service. This event will be an emotional time which can make it difficult to find the right words.
Write Your Thoughts Down
Never speak at a memorial service unprepared. You may feel you know what to say, but when the time comes, you could be overcome with emotion or grief that you will forget. Take some time and organize your thoughts. Ask friends and family members to share memories as inspiration. You can also look at old photos, videos or letters for ideas. Take all this inspiration, then write from your heart. Make drafts and put final thoughts on note cards you can fit in your pocket or purse.
Make Personal Statements
There is no universal phrase which makes grief-stricken people feel better, so try for words to show you care or can be helpful in some concrete way. Make statements about the person you are talking to or the deceased, not cliché phrases or things about your experience with grief.
- I’m sorry for your loss, it won’t be easy, but you won’t be alone.
- You’ll always have your memories of him to make you smile.
- I can’t take your pain away, but I can be here to talk or reminisce if you want.
- She was a great person who added so much to every life she touched.
- Take time to cry and to remember the happiness you felt with him around.
- I’m not sure what to say, I just want you to know I’m here for you if you need me.
- I can’t honestly say it will get better, but I know it will get a little easier as time goes by.
- All these people paying their respects are a testament to the kind of man he was.
- I wish we were together under different circumstances, but I’m glad we’re together.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Whether it’s in front of a mirror or with your best friend, practice what you are going to say. Videotape or record yourself so you can hear what you sound like and how you look. Make sure to stand up straight and look at your audience. If this is what makes you nervous, pick a spot or two in the room and keep those as your focal points. This is especially important if you’re speaking to a group. Whether you were selected to write and or read the main tribute, or eulogy or the service includes an opportunity for members of the crowd to share personal memories, practice what you’re going to say. Keep your memory brief to allow time for others to share and start with a phrase like:
- When we were kids…
- The first time I met…
- My favorite memory of John was…
- I knew Jane as an (insert adjective) person, this one time…