- Death & Loss of Life
Eulogy Speeches Using Multimedia
Using various types of multimedia in eulogies is becoming more common especially as people opt for more contemporary funerals and memorial services. Photos, music and videos are naturally being integrated into the tribute as a way of truly focusing on the deceased person's life and not necessarily his or her death.
In a traditional religious funeral or memorial service, a close family member or friend of the deceased typically delivers the speech. The speech usually includes a brief biography, condolences to the family and a few stories or anecdotes about the loved one's life. They are pretty straightforward and elicit varying emotions from the guests including sadness and despondency.
However, eulogies don't need not be somber as long as they are appropriate. Today's tributes are sentimental or humorous and include various images, songs or videos to enhance the speech and make it more meaningful.
These types of eulogies allow guests to connect more personally with the loved one who died by seeing him or her in happier times or hear some of his or her favorite songs. If the speechmaker really knows how to write a eulogy, incorporating a little something extra like this shouldn't be a problem.
Integrating Multimedia into a Eulogy Speech
There are many ways of incorporating various mixed media into a eulogy speech. Make sure what you add is suitable and not disrespectful or embarrassing in any way. For instance, don't use inappropriate or distasteful images and songs with explicit lyrics or subject matters. Ways to integrate multimedia into a eulogy include:
- Slideshow: One of the most popular additions to a eulogy is a simple slideshow with photographs of the deceased person at various stages of his or her life. Use your own personal images or ones borrowed from friends and family members. Simply scan the images to your computer's hard drive -- or use modern digital ones -- and use a simple program such as iPhoto or iDVD (for a Mac) and Windows Movie Maker or iMovie (for a PC). Once created, you can save the slideshow to a DVD or CD. Make sure you have a computer and an appropriate screen to project the slideshow during or after the eulogy. You can also add some soft music to enhance the presentation.
- Video: Tug at your guests' heartstrings by showing old home movies of the person who died. View the slideshow during or after the eulogy. There are various types of DVD burning software available to do this including Movie DVD Maker (free download), iDVD (for a Mac) or Windows Movie Maker (for a PC). Your loved may have even created a video before his or her death telling everyone goodbye. Although extremely emotional, it is still quite appropriate. Set the video to some music (maybe his or her favorite songs) for a more effective eulogy.
- Music/Audio: Soft background music is common at most funerals, memorial services and Celebration of Life service, but playing some your loved one's favorite songs is a better idea. For instance, if your father or grandfather was a fan of country crooner Johnny Cash, having some of his songs on rotation will bring a few smiles -- and tears -- to your guests' faces. During a eulogy, you can also pause during the speech and play an audio recording of the deceased person's voice, maybe him or her singing or even casually talking and offering some advice on life.
Keep in Mind
Not every venue will allow or even have the capabilities to handle all types of multimedia, including extra outlets, extension cords, projection screens or speakers. It's best to check with your funeral director ahead of time, even before you outline the eulogy's presentation. You will also want to make sure that all the guests can hear and see the eulogy, including the piped in back-up music or audio. You want your guests to come away from the funeral or memorial with a feeling of closure or at least satisfied with the service.