A eulogy is intended to be more personal than an obituary, and summarizes what the deceased person meant to the speaker. Good eulogies offer vivid, specific memories and examples of the deceased person's best qualities.
Some obituaries begin by starting with the deceased person's origins: where he or she was born, family history and childhood. They tie in the person's background with who they became as an adult and what they treasured most. Often, heartwarming stories about what the person was like as a child are shared. Humor is sometimes used in recalling special memories, and can have a healing quality at a celebration of a deceased person's life.
Next, many eulogizers speak about what the deceased person did with his or her life. Career, family and any special hobbies and volunteer activities all make good subjects. The speaker should highlight the person's biggest accomplishments and what he or she was most known and respected for, whether it is becoming a renowned expert in their career field, being an extraordinary parent or devoting time to those less fortunate. As with childhood stories, anecdotes help provide a more complete picture of the person's legacy.
Lastly, it is often a good idea to extend heartfelt sympathy for the closest family members. The bereaved tend to appreciate the eulogizer offering support and emphasizing how much their loved one will be missed.