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.

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