Notes for Speakers

Speaking at a funeral can be a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to someone you loved; it can also become a stressful experience if you’re not used to speaking in public.

You may also worry about whether the emotion of the occasion may make it difficult to do your friend or family member justice.

Timing is really important; an individual speaker is just part of a larger order of service and while we would all like to be able to take longer than expected, most venues usually have another booking directly after yours.

To help to make sure everything runs smoothly, we ask that anyone who is speaking lets us have a copy of their words and an estimate of how much time they need. We will let you know the signal we will give you if you are running significantly over time.

We have put together this checklist to help you prepare, but remember, we will be right behind you on the day. If you seem to be struggling, we will quietly offer to step in and complete your reading or notes.

  • Introduce yourself and your relationship to the deceased
  • Keep it short, no more than three to five minutes
  • Keep it simple
  • Choose anecdotes that illustrate the deceased’s character and significance
  • Use affectionate humour where appropriate
  • Avoid stories that may, inadvertently embarrass any family or friends
  • Speak slowly and clearly. Remember that emotion and nerves will make you want to speak much faster than you do normally.
  • Look at your audience
  • Write it down in case someone needs to take over from you
  • Practice reading your speech out loud, if possible in front of someone else
  • Make sure you know where your slot comes in the order of service.

If you’d like to talk to use about supporting you with a funeral service, just get in touch with us by telephone or WhatsApp on 07779 294910, or by email at hello@elspethanderson.co.uk.