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24/09/2018: Research is the key to successful celebrancy

Before you even get to the stage of making the opening statement as discussed in a previous article, you must be intimately acquainted with what you are going to say throughout. The key to making this appropriate and engaging is to carry out thorough research beforehand.

To take a funeral eulogy as an example, the bare facts of dates, family members and friends worthy of mention is a given. However, the real value in the work of a celebrant is to highlight the best of the person concerned. This can only be done by getting as much information as possible from those who were most closely involved.

When talking to family members and close friends, one golden rule is to ask the questions, then question the answers. "What were his/her hobbies?". The answer may be… "Oh, downhill skiing, macrame and whippet racing.". That begs the prompt "Quite a variety, so tell me more, for example, achievements, awards, amusing incidents and people concerned.". The response provides the key jig-saw pieces that you will need to make a truly personal resumé of the life that person lived. Favourite sayings, newspaper cuttings and family mementos can all be factored in to weave a beautiful tapestry of a life lived.

Getting information on music they enjoyed, poems or readings that were meaningful in their life and places that were important to the person or had significance in the events they experienced can all help to ensure the complete ceremony is absolutely personal and all those present can identify with the life that is being celebrated.

Copious notes are needed at this stage, so that nothing relevant is missed. As the old saying goes, when you write something down, you have earned the right to forget it. It will still be there when you come to compile your eulogy from the information you have collected.

Research techniques that are part of the training and CPD regimen at the Celebrant Society, help to find the right people and ask the right questions to get the most meaningful information.

Powerful research tools are just a part of the training programme at the Celebrant Society and are one of the most important when it comes to differentiating a professional approach from the far too common mediocre. Call us now or email for more information about taking on the challenge of successful celebrancy, armed with the skills that you will need to really stand out.

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