Just be yourself – you’re with friends.
There’s no need to speak in a formal way if it is not authentic.
Don’t worry if your voice breaks or you have a few tears or you lose your way. Remember emotions are normal and it’s what people are expecting at a funeral. The audience is empathising with you, and quietly thankful you are doing the job and not them.
If you make a mistake, say it again. If you are too overwhelmed with emotion, and need a few seconds to compose yourself be prepared to take a few deep breaths, pause, go slowly, be calm and take all the time you want before starting again.
You can tell the audience that you need a few moments to compose yourself. You might have to do this a number of times, and that is fine as well. This is not a performance you are being judged on. It is one of the most difficult tasks you will ever be asked to perform, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
It is a good idea to have another person on ‘stand-by’ with a copy of the eulogy, who can step in if needed, and either take over for a short time or finish reading the entire eulogy. It is also wise to have a glass of water and tissues nearby.