[Image by Gerd Altmann of Pixabay]
Most of us have heard the expression quality over quantity and it truly applies in this instance. If you’ve been asked to prepare remarks for the passing of an individual, know that this is an honor. Therefore, this is your chance to help others remember this person fondly through the words you share. Recently, a client came to me asking for assistance and I was happy to assist. Here’s what I advised:
- Focus on meaningful, vivid words; avoid being overly concerned with the amount of time. The best rule of thumb is to remember short and sweet is often best.
- As with any speech, you’ll want to think about your opening or introduction. Some options are a quote stated by the person him or herself, or a favorite quote the person often referred to or used. Alternatively, you may want to start with a song lyric that was particularly important to the person.
- Add in how you knew this person (e.g., childhood friend, colleague, mentor, family, etc.), which will give a context for your words.
- Next, stories are extremely appropriate. People tend to enjoy hearing a story and it helps to give an interesting perspective.
- Close with the impact this person made on you and/or others and why that matters.
- Remember to take your time and emphasize your delivery, using pauses as appropriate.
- Practice your message aloud and make any necessary changes.
- Be sure to look at people to create intimacy.
- Have glass or cup of water nearby in case you have to hydrate.
- Take a handkerchief or tissue with you in the event you get emotional.
If you want to discuss this topic or any other business communication needs, I’ll do my best to assist you. Please write or call and we’ll schedule time. You may reach me at email@example.com or 518-664-6004.