Eulogizing a loved one is a great honor. Whether you’ve been asked to write a eulogy for the funeral of a friend, relative or colleague, it can be difficult to know where to start. You want to authentically honor the unique characteristics of this person in a way that’s appropriate for the larger audience in attendance at a funeral service.

Here we’ve outlined some tips that can help you compose a eulogy that’s a fitting tribute to the person who passed — one that showcases his or her accomplishments, unique characteristics and memorable traits.

Decide on an appropriate tone before you begin

Think about the personality of the person whose eulogy you are writing. Were they fun-loving, serious, cheerful, quiet or maybe extroverted? Age, mannerisms and lifestyle of the subject should determine the theme of the eulogy you compose, to properly honor them.

How to organize a eulogy

You should speak naturally and conversationally when presenting a eulogy. It helps to have an outline of what you want to say. Be sure to print a paper copy of the eulogy, double spaced and in large print, so you can refer to it as you speak. Don’t just read the text quickly. Speak at a normal pace, pausing at appropriate points for emphasis. You want to connect with your audience, so try to look up and make eye contact if possible.

The general structure of a eulogy should include:

  1. An introduction containing basic information
  2. Sharing of memories and two or three stories
  3. A brief summary of the person’s legacy
  4. A conclusion — thank everyone for coming

Getting started: Introduce yourself and mention basic information

Tell the audience your name and mention how you knew the person who is the focus of your eulogy. Cover the basic history of the person you’re writing about. Where did they live and work? What were some major accomplishments? What hobbies or goals were they passionate about? Mention their family members as well.

Make your eulogy personal — include favorite memories

Special memories help make eulogies a positive celebration of the life of the person who passed away. They help funeral attendees cope with grief and remember that, though we can no longer interact with the person, their spirit lives on in the memories of those whose lives were touched by their presence.

Two or three personal stories is the recommended number. Eulogies aren’t meant to be long. Five-minute presentations of 1,000 words or less is the best length for most.

Legacy statement and conclusion

Sum up the legacy of the person who passed in a short, positive statement that ties together the theme of your presentation. What will they be most remembered for? Finally, end the eulogy by thanking everyone for being there.

If you are pre-planning funeral services for yourself or handling the planning for a loved one, Strouf Funeral Home is here to make a difficult process easier. Contact us today for help honoring a life well lived.