9 Tips for Planning and Executing Successful Preneed Presentations

Funeral service is about sharing stories, and your funeral home has an important story to tell about how advance funeral planning helps make the most difficult days in families’ lives just a little easier. One impactful way to share this story is to host a community presentation at your funeral business.

Hosting a preneed presentation helps you leverage your skills to share the benefits of prearranging. Not only will you help educate families about this important service, but you’ll also have the chance to showcase your facilities and the exceptional events your firm is capable of hosting. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you plan a community presentation:

1. Develop Goals

As you prepare for the presentation, review what you want the audience to gain from their time with you. The goals of a community presentation often include:

  • Building trust and confidence in you and your firm.
  • Introducing the benefits of planning ahead.
  • Explaining the components of funeral services.
  • Outlining considerations for planning and funding in advance.
  • Providing information about the next steps for prearranging.
  • Generating preneed leads.

If you’re planning a presentation about a more specific topic, you can review and adjust your goals accordingly. As you present, don’t forget to periodically recap what you’ve covered and ask for audience feedback to ensure you’re meeting those goals.

2. Promote the event effectively

In order to ensure good attendance at your presentation, promote your event early and often through communications that reach your intended audience in meaningful ways. Make use of your funeral home social media channels and funeral home blog to explain the benefits of attending the event. For example, you could create a video in which presenters share a preview of what participants can expect from the presentation, and post it on your social media pages.

Reach out to local groups whose members may be interested in attending and make a relevant case for why the event is worthwhile. You can also issue a press release to local media to share details about your event and ensure it is included in community event calendars.

3. Put the participants at ease

Many community presentation events include a social component, such as a light lunch, which helps the participants feel comfortable in the setting. This also allows you to introduce yourself to each participant personally and learn more about their needs.

At the beginning of the presentation, affirm that beginning a conversation about memorialization is an important first step, even if it may be uncomfortable to discuss. Outline the goals of the presentation in your introduction so participants can consider how the points in your presentation apply to them.

4. Share Your Story

Great presenters establish credibility with their audience right away and continue to earn trust. Start the presentation by explaining your background in the profession, your connection to the community and why you value the important work you do.

Take advantage of opportunities to provide context by sharing your own experiences throughout the presentation. Your expertise will keep the audience engaged and help you build relationships. Plus, your own experiences and examples may prompt additional discussion.

5. Share real stories

As a funeral professional, you’ve personally experienced how advance funeral planning helps individuals ensure their own wishes will be met and removes emotional and financial burdens from families. Include these stories in your presentation as compelling testimonials about what an important gift prearranging can be.

6. Encourage reflection through questions

As you share stories about families who have experienced the benefits of advance funeral planning, encourage personal reflection by asking rhetorical questions. This will invite the participants to consider how prearranging could help them and their families. When you reach natural breaking points in your presentation, invite participants to ask you questions before continuing.

7. Ask for Input

Effective presentations are tailored to meet the needs of the audience. By encouraging feedback from the audience, you can adjust the information you provide to meet their needs and hold their attention.

As you start the conversation about planning ahead, you could ask the audience members if they know someone who has prearranged. For those who respond, “yes,” ask what those who already prearranged shared with them about their experience and reasons for prearranging. Their responses can help guide further discussion about why families choose to plan ahead.


Because you’re so knowledgeable about funeral service, it can be easy to forget that others may not be familiar with the planning process. Walking through the key components of a funeral service during your presentation can proactively dispel common misconceptions and address questions the audience may not feel comfortable asking.

9. Follow up with participants after the event

You most likely already have a process in place to follow up with families you have served and have discovered how valuable this feedback can be. Don’t forget to ask people who attend your community event to evaluate their experience, too. Gathering survey feedback about what elements were successful (and what could be improved) will help you become more efficient and effective at future events.

Beyond gathering feedback, be sure to show your appreciation to the people who attended the event. Personalize your follow-ups as much as possible to reflect the person’s participation. For example, if a person asked an astute question at your presentation, acknowledge this and offer to provide additional information about the topic if applicable.

Homesteaders’ free Community Engagement Program provides the content and resources you need to share the components of a meaningful funeral service and the advantages of planning ahead. The presentation toolkits include:

  • A customizable PowerPoint presentation
  • A presenter’s checklist to ensure success before and after the presentation
  • A presentation guide with script suggestions
  • A promotional postcard to personalize with your funeral home’s information
  • A sample press release to announce your event to the community
  • Templates for social media posts to promote your event
  • Evaluation/surveys to collect feedback and leads
  • A follow-up tip sheet

What are your tips for success when presenting funeral planning information to a group? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Community Engagement Program: Get free resources to help you plan and give programs in your community. (Download Now)

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