Handling Emotions During A Eulogy
The death of a loved one is a stressful and emotional time. Dealing with the loss under normal circumstances is difficult enough. However, adding the extra task of giving the eulogy is particularly challenging. It is a definite possibility that your emotions will come to the surface during your speech. Don’t fret it; it’s normal and even expected.
Keep eye contact to a minimum. If you are particularly concerned about maintaining your composure, consider avoiding eye contact with the audience. There will be guests that will react emotionally to parts of your message or just to the funeral itself. Emotion is contagious. Instead of looking the guests in the eyes, try to look just above the audience or just at the audience as a whole.
Speak slowly. During your speech, there will be some parts that will evoke emotion more than others. If you are concentrating on the flow of your speech, you will not be thinking as much about the emotionally charged parts of your speech.
Have a backup speaker lined up. There are two reasons for this. It is possible that you could get caught up in the emotion of the occasion and just not be able to finish. It is important to be able to complete the eulogy you worked so hard to put together. In addition, knowing that there is a backup, will give you confidence and ease some stress. You know it isn’t all on your shoulders and that may provide you enough security to help you get through.
Dealing with emotions is normal when giving a eulogy. Do not let it scare you from the job. When the guests see you dealing with the same grief that they are, they will feel connected to you and the eulogy.