There’s a new book out called, “Farewell, Godspeed: The greatest eulogies of our time”. Morbid I know, but the authors share some examples of powerful communication concepts. It was written by Cyrus Copeland, who was in advertising for a number of years, he left that to pursue of truth, beauty, and narratives that last longer than thirty seconds of memory. Here are their five key points to delivering a great eulogy.
1. Start strong. Madonna eulogizing Gianni Versace said “I slept in Versace’s bed.”
2. Personal is best. Great eulogies tell what the person meant to you with your style however, captures the uniqueness of the individual.
3. Tell the truth. You have to be sincere. We can sense when a person is not.
4. Be specific. Point to specific areas the person has made an impact.
5. Finish memorably. James Wood on Bette Davis – “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy eternity.”
Eulogy’s share more in common with job interviews than near death experiences. Like a job interview, a key meeting, or pitching your message – eulogies are an example of capturing a message to share with a specific audience. The principles of great communication are the same (even if a eulogy carries a far more emotional message). Also, like a eulogy you have a limited time to share your message and leave a lasting impression. One final thing about a great eulogy..you get a sense of connection with the person..which I believe is the most powerful influencer on who gets the job.