I recently attended my uncle’s memorial service and it was wonderful to watch 4 of his 6 children talk about him. There is no doubt that all were experiencing butterflies as they stood at the lectern but they did an excellent job controlling their nervousness. The expression of their emotions, however, varied greatly.

With his dry sense of humor, the oldest son held his tears in check as he provided the audience with laugher in his message which was both touching and humorous. Following was his only daughter who gave a loving depiction of her father with gentleness and grace. The next son to speak had the most difficult time of the 4 because he is the most passionate of the all of the siblings. His tears made everyone in the audience cry. The last to speak had tears as well; however, as one who is accustomed to public speaking, he was able to allow for his emotions and continue none-the-less.

There is no doubt that my uncle’s children loved him deeply. There is also no doubt that my uncle will be greatly missed. So why did 2 of the speakers cry openly while the other 2 did not? Because of their nature. Those who keep their emotions bottled up inside of them often display less emotion in speaking than those who do not.

Unlike other forms of public speaking, the eulogy is different from the wedding toast, the campaign speech, the valedictorian address, or the sales presentation. Because the message is about the death of a loved one, a dear friend, or even a colleague, your emotions play a great role in how your words will be delivered. In that sense there is no right or wrong. Admittedly, you may shed tears of joy or sadness when talking about an extremely emotional experience in other forms of presentations or speeches; however, it is not common to cry when addressing an audience. Such is not the case with the eulogy. Tears of sorrow are to be expected and even welcomed.

Yes, the funeral or memorial service runs the gamut of emotions. At times you be may be serious; at times you may be laughing. Whatever your emotional state, do not be afraid to allow for others to see and feel your emotions. Tears are not a weakness – they are a means of showing your love for the person who has passed.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover how to speak with emotion.