How To Give An Effective Funeral Eulogy

January 3, 2023

5 min read

A eulogy is one of the most important parts of any funeral service, and there comes a time when we are given the honor of delivering it at a loved one’s funeral. But let’s face it, eulogies are difficult to write and even more challenging to deliver.

If you have never given a eulogy, it can be daunting to know how to begin. You want your words and actions to honor your loved one and make sure that everyone knows what an amazing person they were. So, how do you give the perfect eulogy?

This article will give you tips on how to give an effective funeral eulogy and how you can use Yoodli AI to help you prepare by eliminating filler words and focusing on a strong delivery.

What Is A Eulogy?

A funeral eulogy is a speech given at a funeral or memorial service in tribute to the deceased. It is an opportunity for friends and family to express their love, respect, and admiration for the person who has passed away, and to share memories and stories about their life.

A eulogy is typically given by someone who was close to the deceased, such as a spouse, parent, child, or close friend. It is a way to pay tribute to the person’s life and accomplishments, and to offer comfort and support to those who are grieving.

Here’s an example of President George W. Bush delivering an emotional eulogy for his father, President George H.W. Bush:

George Bush delivering his father’s euology

If you have been asked to give a eulogy, it can be a challenging but a rewarding experience. It gives you the chance to honor your loved one and to support those who are grieving their loss.

With the right delivery, a eulogy can be a powerful tool to help the family and friends of the deceased come to terms with their loss. You can share your loved one’s most memorable moments and achievements of their life through a celebration of their existence.

It’s also an opportunity for you to share memories of your loved one in a way that will be meaningful to those who knew them best.

Since a eulogy is delivered during a very important ceremony, it’s crucial to focus on your word choice and delivery throughout the speech.

Why Word Choice Is Important When Delivering A Eulogy

Content is king, and in order to have strong content, you need to tie together a strong list of words that have impactful meaning. When delivering a eulogy, there are a few things you need to consider in regards to your word choice:

Filler Words

Using filler words such as “um”, “uhh”, “yeah”, “basically”, “like”, “ahh” signal a lack of confidence and a sign of nervousness. One great way to replace these filler words is by incorporating deliberate pauses throughout your speech.

We can use Yoodli’s feedback tool to analyze President George Bush’s eulogy from above and see that he didn’t use any filler words during his presentation. Instead, he deliberately utilizes pauses and deep breaths to replace these filler words.

Use Yoodli Feedback Tool To Track Your Filler Words When Delivering Your Eulogy
Use Yoodli Feedback Tool To Track Your Filler Words When Delivering Your Eulogy

Top Keywords

When you’re delivering a eulogy, pay attention to the top keywords that you use throughout the speech. In the eulogy above, President Bush uses words such as: love, life, taught, inspire, motivate which are all appropriate words to use throughout the speech. Focusing on using the right words will make your speech be well received by the audience.

Inclusive Words

Using inclusive words creates a sense of community with the audience. You don’t want specific members or groups of the audience to feel left out. It’s very common to use non-inclusive words such as “guys”. Instead, be mindful of your word selection. For example, instead of “guys”, you can use “folks” to foster inclusivity.

Tips To Deliver An Effective Funeral Eulogy

When you’re delivering your eulogy, there are a few factors that you should consider so that the speech comes across in the an appropriate way:

Speak at a relaxed pace

A relaxed pace is typically between 125 and 170 words per minute. If the pace is too slow, then it indicates fear in delivering the speech. If the speech is too fast, then it indicates excitement – which is not the type of message that we want to convey at a funeral eulogy.

When analyzing President Bush’s eulogy using Yoodli’s feedback tool, we see that his speech averages 133 words pre minute which is in the range of sounding relaxed:

President Bush Eulogy Speech - Pace Analytics With Yoodli
President Bush Eulogy Speech – Pace Analytics With Yoodli

Use Pauses For Emphasis

Eulogies typically consist of a variety of different stories that convey beautiful messages. You can use pauses to build anticipation and create emphasis around certain words or ideas in your eulogy.

Pauses can also be used to avoid filler words, make transitions and in general are great to use during public speaking.

Use pauses to improve your public speaking

Incorporate Eye Contact

Eye contact is crucial to connecting with the audience. While you may have some notes written down, be sure to maintain eye contact with the audience. In a big auditorium, you can hold your gaze with each section for a few seconds before transitioning to create emphasis.

We see that in the eulogy above, President Bush looks down at his script for much of the speech. The Yoodli feedback tool shows that he could have had better eye contact throughout his speech:

Eye Contact Is Crucial To Connecting With Your Audience - Yoodli Analytics
Eye Contact Is Crucial To Connecting With Your Audience

Smile During Appropriate Moments

It’s important to remember that while a funeral is an event for grieving, the eulogy is a moment to remember and cherish the beautiful moments that both you and the audience shared with the individual who passed.

When you’re telling a story that has positive messages, be sure to smile. It’s even okay to say a few jokes to lighten the mood. The contrasting parts of your speech can make your eulogy that much more memorable and powerful.

Practice Your Eulogy With Yoodli’s AI Speech Coach

Yoodli AI is a great tool to use when practicing a eulogy. The integrated speech coach can analyze your word choice and delivery to make sure you’re incorporating the right keywords, avoiding filler words, speaking at a relaxed pace, and maintaining eye contact.


Start practicing with Yoodli.

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