How to Organize a Eulogy
Once you have gathered the pieces of the eulogy, it is important to organize them in a way that makes sense. It is critical to hit the most relevant points without rambling or getting lost. Using the following organizational method will help you stay on track.
- Brainstorm – think of all the main points you want to include and write them down.
- Economize – filter down the points from your brainstorming session to a few important ones.
- Outline – include an introduction, middle, and a closing. The beginning of your outline should introduce the theme, the middle should go into details about the larger points, and the end should sum up the points and reaffirm the theme.
There are many ways to organize your main points once you are ready to get into the details of the outline. Generally, the type of theme you have chosen for the eulogy will dictate how you organize it.
- Chronological Organization – It is customary to use this method when your theme is a life history of the deceased. You can move chronologically from birth to death, or in reverse from the later stages of life and move back through time.
- Shared Memories – In a more personal theme, you can take your memories of the deceaseded and share them in a logical order. Make sure you have good transitions from one memory to another. These memories can have a shared theme such as ways the deceased has been generous with you and/or to others. You could also share memories about places the deceased traveled to. Those are just two examples of common theme memories. You may think of many others.
- Three Points Method – This is a common method that helps the speaker stay concise and logical. You choose three main pieces of information about the deceased that you want to share, or three key points that you want those present to receive from the eulogy. The vast majority of your speech will stay focused on those three points. Be sure to include them in the beginning of the speech, and summarize them and show how they relate to each other at the end of the eulogy.
After you accomplish your detailed outline, write a draft of the speech. The outline will make this easy. Follow your outline like a road map. After you get your eulogy written, you can polish it up and revise it to make it be the best fit for you and the theme you have chosen.