Most people assume that if they are going to read a poem at a funeral it is just a matter of printing a copy and going up and reading, this is not actually the case. Reading in public is a skill that takes some practice to learn, especially when you are doing the reading in a large setting like a church. You are going to want to take some time before you read the poem to make sure that you pick up some of the basic skills that are required for reading in public.
The first thing that you have to do in order to read a poem at a funeral is to make sure that you have a printed copy, don’t even think about trying to memorize it. You will also want to make sure that it is in fairly large letters with a lot of space between lines, the last thing that you want is to lose your place while you are reading.
One of the things that you are going to want to work on when you are reading out loud is to make sure that you speak slowly. Most of us speak way to fast when we are speaking in front of a group. There should be brief pauses before every line in the poem, the same is true if there are any commas in the poem. You are actually going to want to vary the speed at which you speak so this is something that you will want to work on as well.
It is important to make sure that you do not speak with a monotonous voice, it is both boring and hard for the audience to listen to. You need to change your inflection as you speak. It is also a good idea to emphasize certain words. Pick out the most important words in the poem and underline them, when you come to them in the speech really give them emphasis.
The most important tip for reading a poem at a funeral is to make sure that you practice ahead of time. Do not just assume that you can go up there and start reading. The best bet is to practice in front of a mirror so that you can make sure that you are not looking down while you read. It is also a good idea to practice in front of other people so that you can get feedback from them.