Do you wonder how long it takes to deliver your speech?

This website helps you convert the number of words into the time it takes to deliver your speech, online and for free. This tool is useful when preparing a speech or a presentation. The number of minutes you will take is dependent on the number of words and your speed of speech, or reading speed.

Note: This calculator provides an indication only.

Enter details below

The overview below provides an indication of the minutes for a speech (based on an average reading speed of 130 words per minute):

  • Words in a 1 minute speech 130 words
  • Words in a 2 minute speech 260 words
  • Words in a 3 minute speech 390 words
  • Words in a 4 minute speech 520 words
  • Words in a 5 minute speech 650 words
  • Words in a 10 minute speech 1300 words
  • Words in a 15 minute speech 1950 words
  • Words in a 20 minute speech 2600 words
  • How long does a 500 word speech take? 3.8 minutes
  • How long does a 1000 word speech take? 7.7 minutes
  • How long does a 1250 word speech take? 9.6 minutes
  • How long does a 1500 word speech take? 11.5 minutes
  • How long does a 1750 word speech take? 13.5 minutes
  • How long does a 2000 word speech take? 15.4 minutes
  • How long does a 2500 word speech take? 19.2 minutes
  • How long does a 5000 word speech take? 38.5 minutes

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Average Speaking Rate and Words per Minute

November 8, 2022 - Dom Barnard

The speed at which you talk has a huge influence on how the audience perceives you and your speech. It’s important, therefore, to understand your speaking rate and how to alter it depending on the type of speech you are delivering.

In this article, you’ll learn how to calculate your speaking rate and how it compares to the average rate for popular talks to give you some context. Audio samples of speaking rates at the extremes are provided, so you can understand the difference in words per minute.

At the end of the article, exercises are provided to help you develop an adaptive speaking rate.

How to calculate your speaking rate

Speaking rate is often expressed in words per minute (wpm). To calculate this value, you’ll need to record yourself talking for a few minutes and then add up the number of words in your speech. Divide the total number of words by the number of minutes your speech took.

Speaking rate (wpm) = total words / number of minutes

You can record yourself with this  online voice recorder . Once you have the audio of your speech, there are two ways to get the number of words:

  • Manually count the words as you listen back to the audio
  • Upload the speech recording to a  speech-to-text platform

When you have the speech converted to text format, copy the text into a software package such as Microsoft Word, which provides a useful word count for the document.

Once you have the number of words, convert the time to minutes – for example, if your speech was 4 minutes 30 seconds, you need to divide the number of words by 4.5 (as 30 seconds is half of a minute).

JFK inaugural address

John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, where he slowed his usually very high speaking rate down to below 100 wpm (his average was well above 150 wpm).

What is the average speaking rate?

The average speaking rate changes dramatically for the purpose of your speech. According to the National Center for Voice and Speech, the average conversation rate for English speakers in the United States is about  150 wpm . However, for radio presenters or podcasters, the wpm is higher.

Here is a list of average speech rates for different activities.

Average speech rates

  • Presentations : between 100-150 wpm for a comfortable pace
  • Conversational : between 120-150 wpm
  • Audiobooks : between 150-160 wpm, which is the upper range that people comfortably hear and vocalize words
  • Radio hosts and podcasters : between 150-160 wpm
  • Auctioneers : can speak at about 250 wpm
  • Commentators : between 250-400 wpm

To give these speech rates some context, if the speaking pace is 130 words per minute, you’ll finish reading an A4 page (Calibri, font size 11) in 4 minutes, 51 seconds.

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Extremes of speaking rate – world record pace

Steven Woodmore  is a British electronics salesman and comedian known for his rapid speech articulation, being able to articulate 637 wpm, a speed four times faster than the average person.

Woodmore was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest talker, a title which he held for five years, taking the helm from the previous record holder, John Moschitta, Jr.

A comparison of words per minute for popular TED Talks

Let’s compare different presentation styles to show you how speech rates can vary widely. We’ll use popular TED Talks to compare words per minute for different presentations.

We’ve analyzed five TED Talks, ranging from short speeches up to 22 minutes. When we were calculating the length of the presentation, we included time when the audience was clapping and when the presenter changed slides.

We tried to pick from a wide range of speech topics to get an unbiased average.

The average speaking rate was 173 words per minute. The speaking rate ranged from 154 to 201 words per minute.

Popular TED Talk speaking rates

  • How great leaders inspire action (Simon Sinek) – 170 wpm
  • The power of introverts (Susan Cain) – 176 wpm
  • Do schools kill creativity? (Sir Ken Robinson) – 165 wpm
  • Why we do what we do (Tony Robbins) – 201 wpm
  • The power of vulnerability (Brené Brown) – 154 wpm

Average words per minute for popular TED Talks (wpm)

What influences your overall speaking rate?

Here are several factors that affect the overall speaking rate, most of which can be controlled by you.

  • Regular speaking rate  – this is the result of your environment, where you grew up, your parents, culture, friends around you, and more.
  • Nervousness  – you’ve probably noticed it yourself,  when you are nervous , you speak much quicker and take short shallow breaths as you rush through the content.
  • Saying something urgent  – understandably, we speak much quicker when there is an emergency, for example calling an ambulance or explaining an incident to the police.
  • Mental fatigue  – tiredness affects our thought process, making it harder for us to articulate ourselves, causing us to talk more slowly.
  • Complexity of the words  – longer, more complex words will take slightly longer to say, and if you are counting words per minute, it will affect speech pace slightly (although somewhat negligible)
  • Complexity of content  – if you are presenting complex content, you’ll want to speak slower than usual to give the audience time to comprehend the concepts and content.
  • Verbal pauses  – pauses are a great way to break up the content and give emphasis to what you are saying. Naturally this will slow down your speaking rate. Read  10 Effective Ways to use Pauses in your Speech .
  • Event driven pauses  – these are pauses caused by a change in slides, a demo of your product, checking your notes, and so on.
  • Audience driven pauses  – these events are caused by your audience, for example, when they laugh and ask questions.

Example audio clips of different speech rates

Example 1 – why we do what we do (tony robbins).

Sample of ‘Why we do what we do’ speech, spoken at 201 wpm.

Example 2 – We Shall Fight on the Beaches (Winston Churchill)

Sample of ‘We Shall Fight on the Beaches’ speech, spoken at 128 wpm.

Tony Robbins TED Talk - Why we do what we do

Tony Robbins giving his TED Talk, Why we do what we do, with an average speaking pace of 201 wpm.

Is speaking rate important?

In short, yes, your rate of speech does have an impact on how the audience perceive you and your message.

Generally, a slower rate is easier to understand for the audience. If you include pauses as well, you give the audience time to absorb the messages of your presentation.

However listening back to the Tony Robbins speech above, which was at over 200 wpm, you’ll probably find you were still able to understand what he was saying. This is because he clearly articulates his words and uses easy to understand language. Clarity is just as important as speech pace.

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Try to vary your speaking rate

No matter what your average speaking rate is over the entire speech, you should vary it throughout the speech. Varying your speech makes it more interesting for the audience and adds emotion to the content. Without pace variation, you’re in danger of sounding monotone.

For example, you can speak faster to convey excitement, or slower to reflect sadness or importance.

When to change your speed

  • Speaking fast  – indication of passion, urgency, excitement, and emotion
  • Speaking slow  – indication of importance, sadness, confusion, the seriousness of a point

When you’re speaking quickly, initially it is exciting for the audience, but after a minute or two, it stops being stimulating and becomes overwhelming.

When you are speaking slowly, it can grab the attention of the audience and help them process every word, but an entire talk at a slow pace will bore your audience: while waiting for you to get to the point they will lose interest.

Remember: The rate we speak at is highly individual

This is an important point to remember. If you take some well-known speeches and change the pace of their delivery, the meaning would be lost. For example, the “ I Have a Dream ” by Martin Luther King was spoken at a slow rate.

The long pauses and carefully spoken words give us time to absorb the information and plenty of time for the audience to applaud throughout. Even if you did not understand the words, the slow pace indicates that the message is important and should be taken seriously.

Cultural differences

Culture plays a big role in the pace we naturally speak at. Even locations within the  same country  can make a difference – people in London typically speak faster than people from Yorkshire for example. Also, if English isn’t the speakers first language, they usually speak a little slower as well.

How to practice: Getting the right speaking pace

Test your speaking pace.

Practice reading a transcript aloud at different paces to better understand how different speeds sound. Learn More

Here are two ways to measure and practice your speaking pace.

Use a metronome

The metronome ticks at a certain rate depending on what you set it to. If you want to speak at 130 words per minute, set the metronome to this value and practice saying a word every tick of the metronome.

This is a good start, however when actually presenting to an audience, you’ll want to vary this pace to emphasise certain points – a speech at exactly 130 wpm throughout would sound very monotone and rehearsed.

Use practice exercises

Online exercises let you practice your speech in a variety of scenarios. Practice presenting at a conference, delivering a sales pitch, answering interview questions, and more. With  VirtualSpeech practice exercises , you can get feedback on your speaking rate after your speech and adjust it accordingly for your next speech.

Example practice exercises you can use to measure your speaking pace during a speech or presentation. See all the  practice exercises here .

5 exercises to develop an adaptive speaking rate

Tips taken from  Quick & easy tips for speaking rate

1. Reading children’s stories

Read a children’s story silently several times to familiarize yourself with the flow. Go through it again, noting which passages would suit taking more quickly and which should be slower. Then read it aloud and listen carefully to how speed alters interpretation. Repeat the exercise altering your speed over particular passages, noting the differences.

Record yourself if possible doing this and all the following exercises. Save all the versions you do. You’ll then have them to refer back to. Recording takes out the guess work as you can hear exactly what you did, rather than what you imagined you did. It doesn’t lie!

2. Read factual reports

Pick an information loaded report from a newspaper or magazine.

Go through it silently to familiarize yourself with the flow of material and then read it aloud. Make a note of which passages need careful or slow reading and which can be taken at a faster rate. Re-read aloud until you feel you have the mix of speeds right.

As an extension exercise, read the report as if you were reading for an audience who knew nothing about the subject. Note what changes you made and why.

3. Experiment with one of your own speeches

Record and time yourself delivering a speech of your own at your current ‘normal’ speaking rate.

Note the time down. Now go through again having marked passages for slower or faster treatment. Note the new time and your new insights.

4. Listen to good speakers

Listen to speakers you admire. They could be radio presenters,  commencement speeches , anybody accustomed to speaking in public. Note the different rates of speech they use over the course of their presentation and the effectiveness and experiment with them for yourself.

5. Play with material you are familiar with

Read or recite part of a text you know well quickly (or slowly). If you can record yourself, do so. If not, listen and note the effect it has on you. If you’ve recorded yourself, play it back.

Ask yourself where was the speed effective? Where was it detrimental? Mark those places on your script. Read again incorporating your changes.

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Average Words Per Minute Speaking Rate

Average Words Per Minute Speaking (15 Experts Examples)

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What is the average words per minute speaking rate?

According to the National Center for Voice and Speech , the average rate for English speakers in the US is about 150 wpm. The average speaking rate can change for your project. Especially some professionals are known to speak faster purposeful ly.

Average words per minute speaking rates vary for different jobs and projects:

As you can see, presentations and conversational word per minute rates are lower. Those are situations where we care deeply about being understood. But also we have pauses and body language to capture the attention. 

Ebook publishers recommend the 150-160 wpm, which is close to the maximum speaking rate that also ensures full comprehension. 

150-160 words per minute (WPM) is also recommended for podcasts, radio hosts, and even YouTubers. This should be average for an entire show, while some of the passages should use a faster speaking rate while others slower. A smart adjustment will break the monotony and increase listener engagement.

On the fastest spectrum, there are auctioneers and commentators. Their job is to increase the hype, convey passion, and trigger a lot of emotions. 

We also cover the topic of how fast should you talk on a recording in this podcast episode:

Examples of average words per minute speaking rates by public figures

Analyzing transcripts of great and popular TED talks given by public figures, we checked how fast they talk. Talks are linked so you can check them, and they cover a variety of topics.

For these 14 talks, the average speaking rate is 167 words per minute. 

The Steve Jobs talk was not delivered as part of a TED conference, but it is included on the TED website. Above all, it is an excellent example of attention capturing and message delivery.

The fastest talker on the list, Tony Robbins, still delivers his message with clarity, and we can understand what he is saying. He achieves this by clearly articulating his words and using a simple language. His clarity compensates for his speed.

Your’ words per minute speaking rate should be perfectly adjusted to how fast people can listen and comprehend. If it is going to be too fast, you are going to lose a listener. If you are going to be too slow, their thoughts will drift away. The words per minute rate on your project should be just right.

The obvious question now is what is the “right” work per minute rate. In this article, we will discuss statistics, real-life examples, and present recommendations for making the most engaging recording.

Most people can talk quite fast when needed. Stress and other factors also can make us speed up. But it is essential to focus and slow down to speak perfectly for our audience. But always speaking at the same rate can also be too monotonous.

Words per minute - vary your speed

Can you control how fast we speak?

Definitely yes. According to professional speech coach Joan Detz:

“President John F. Kennedy was a notoriously fast talker – often topping 200 words per minute. You certainly don’t want to be that extreme. But, in general, talking a bit fast is better than talking too slow. Why? Speed projects charisma. Slowness projects lethargy and can frustrate listeners.” – “It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It.”

But for his most famous speech, his 1961 Inaugural Address, he slowed down significantly. He slowed his usually high speaking rate down to below 100 wpm. JFK projected command, vigor, and charisma. 

He achieved this using short sentences and action words. He had a focused message and he coveying it in an active voice.

JFK’s words per minute count was “Just Right” for the moment and the audience. Being this a live speech, he had some tools we don’t. He could pause, use facial expressions and body language, and keep attention focused on him. 

We can’t do this effectively during a voice-over, but there are methods to capture attention and reach optimal words per minute.

Words per minute - impact on persuasion

Is the average words per minute speaking rate important?

In short, yes, it is very important. Your rate of speech has an impact on how the audience perceives you and your message.

The speed of our speech affects comprehension, clarity, and customer experience.

  • Comprehension is essential if you want your audio to be satisfying to your listeners and, most importantly if you genuinely want to help them. Working on improving your comprehension ensures that people that came looking for your show will find the answers quickly and won’t have to search the web for better and more valuable materials.
  • With clarity , you increase your listeners’ focus, and you can help them learn and get a better result with your call to action. Clarity will allow you to get rid of the filler words. It keeps you focused on the topic. You will quickly cut away the redundant materials. 
  • Customer experience will get you more good reviews, recommendations, and sales in the long run. 

When you nail your target WPM, you will start improving your language. You will remove empty words that don’t enhance meaning. Words that get overused are: literally, really, just, wrap my head around, etc.

Improved language, more precise communication, and clearer message simply mean there is more value in your podcast for your listeners.

Words per minute - podcast talking speed

How to calculate your average words per minute speaking rate?

Words per minute (wpm) is the most common way used to determine a speaking rate.

The calculation is simple and obvious. Just take the number of spoken words and divide by the number of minutes it took you to deliver the speech.

Speaking Rate (WPM) = Total words / number of minutes

There is one more way to calculate the speaking rate, but since it is harder to figure, it is not as popular as WPM. This other way is syllables per minute (SPM), and you get it by dividing the number of syllables spoken by the length of a speech.

Speaking Rate (SPM) = Total syllables / number of minutes

Let’s review this short example of how those numbers differ and what they can tell us about our speech.

  • Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
  • Modern, sophisticated presenters using expressive vocabulary can project passion and enthusiasm, thus successfully increasing listeners’ engagement.

Both passages have 17 words. But the first one has 19 syllables while the second one has 45 syllables. If you speak them both at the same words per minute rate, the longer passage will appear faster because you are saying more.

Using shorter words can help you say more in the same amount of time without sounding rushed.

How to easily check your average words per minute speaking rate?

To do it exactly, you need to memorize a passage and record yourself. Make a few tries speaking faster and slower to get different WPMs and determine when you sound the best.

You can also approximate this by reading a passage. It, however, calculates reading and not speaking rate. The familiarity of the material can impact the reading rate, so take this under consideration.

Reading rate, however, can be useful if you will be relying a lot on the script.

What influences how fast you talk on your audio project?

Many factors influence how fast you can talk . The good thing is that you can easily control the majority of these factors and achieve the speed you need for the most significant impact. 

  • Regular speaking rate – this is highly influenced by our culture, and how people talk around. Along with a speaking rate, also pronunciation gets shaped thought the course of our lives. Thankfully all this can be influenced by a conscious effort. 
  • Fatigue – whenever you are tired, you will speak slower. This is a natural response of the brain that you slow down when you are tired. Not only speaking is impacted. The simple answer here is to schedule your recording sessions in advance so you will be well-rested.
  • New and complex content – when you will be working off a script that was completed a long time ago and is no longer familiar to you and on top contains a lot of long and complicated words. You will deliver it much slower. To avoid it, simply rehearse before recording and simplify. You can streamline your recording but splitting long sentences and using a more straightforward language.

Alongside being relaxed and prepared, other techniques can also help you sound better. Even what you drink and at what time of the day you record your voice-over can have an impact. Check here for a full list of tips to sound better: vocal tips 

Words per minute - script for podcast

How to use pauses effectively for better content delivery?

Pauses are a great way to capture attention during a speech. You have to use them smartly and strategically to engage your audience fully. 

When you make natural pauses, you automatically slow down your average words per minute speaking rate. In return, you should get more clear delivery and capture listeners’ attention.

Using pauses during a recording is a bit different than when giving a live speech. For example, on a podcast, you can always remove unwanted stops and keep only those you wish to include.

In a recording, you should use pauses to:

  • Indicate a change in tone or topic – use a pause if you want to change the mood from excitement to being more calm and reflective. Or use one if you will change what you are talking about and ease the progression of the story. Adding music can help with changing tone.
  • Emphasize key points – if you are reaching a conclusion or discuss some turning point in your story, you can pause to show that a critical piece is going to be addressed. Use those pauses in each episode to highlight the value you are delivering.
  • Improve clarity of your message – when you are getting into the most convoluted part of your episode, slow down. This will give time to your listeners to process and fully appreciate the most complex and difficult to follow part of your speech.

How to control your words per minute rate on your project?

Control your environment and record your project in a soundproofed recording room . Using a quiet studio and planning your recording sessions will allow you to avoid distractions. This will help you with your speaking rate since:

  • Adding control removes stress – having a controlled environment, and the scheduled session will allow you to speak more freely as it will remove some pressure. This will enable you to talk faster.
  • Controlling your environment removes distractions – a soundproofed room guarantees no outside noises will lose your focus and break your concentration.

Controlling your schedule and understanding how noisy is your surroundings can help you get better audio and speak at the desired WPM even if you don’t have a fully soundproofed studio. Simply follow our guidelines on how to record in a bad room .

Is it better to speak faster, or is it better to speak slower?

There is no gold standard. If you are anywhere between 140-170 WPM, you should sound great.

Generally, slower is more intelligible than faster speech. Appropriate pauses allow your audience time to digest what you’ve said and begin to process it. 

Instead of obsessing about WPM, make sure your overall delivery is on point.

Put additional effort into:

  • Simplification – use simple language, eliminate filler words, remove complex vocabulary and phrases to become more understandable
  • Clarity – focus on diction, removal of vocal inflection, sharp pronunciation, and breathing.

Words per minute - practice with metronome and measure

How to practice average words per minute speaking pace?

The simplest and most effective way to practice keeping a constant pace is by using a metronome. You can buy one online (it’s a cool office decoration) or simply download any free app for your phone.

The metronome’s role is to tick at a specific rate and provide you with a constant rhythm. This is just for practicing as if you would talk precisely to the beat of the metronome you would sound very monotone (like voice assistants do). 

But practicing with a metronome will help you to oscillate at your desired words per minute rate.

There are many free metronome apps for Apple and Android phones, so you won’t have any issues finding one (you don’t need the premium versions).

Podcast effectiveness

How to Use Rate of Speech Effectively?

There are two valuable studies to help you craft your voice that talk about precipitation formed based on a rate of speech.

  • In 1976 psychologists looked at speech rate and persuasion and concluded that faster speakers (195 wpm) were more persuasive than slower speakers (102 wpm). The results of this study suggest that speech rate functions as a general cue that augments credibility. 
  • However, in 1991 a study on rapid speech suggested a more complicated relationship. Researchers conclude that when messages were in general disagreement with the audience’s views (counter-attitudinal), fast-talking increased persuasion. On the other hand, when the audience inherently agreed with the message (pro-attitudinal), slow speech emerged as the most persuasive way of delivery.

Words per minute - podcast importance

There is only one thing to do: vary your speaking rate

Always vary your words per minute speaking rate within one recording.

Don’t deliver all the sentences at the same rate. It will improve your delivery, and allow you to convey both meaning and emotions. Adjust the speed to match what you want to project at the moment.

Varying your WPM will make your recording more interesting for the audience. Without pace variation, you will sound monotone.

Change your speed according to what you want your listeners to feel.

  • Speaking fast expresses passion, urgency, excitement, and emotion
  • Talking slow expresses importance, sadness, confusion, the seriousness of a point

Tip : There is one more trick I use to control better my talking speed. I manage how close or far I’m from my dynamic mic.

What Playback Speed Is Used for Podcasts?

Words per minute - podcast playback speed

Surveys show that one of the podcasting trends is that, an increasing number of listeners regularly use higher than 1x playback speed to listen to podcasts.

The podcast player Pocket Casts estimates the feature has saved its listeners a cumulative 2,849 years between 2015 and 2019.

It may be an indication that busy people actually may enjoy a bit higher than average WPM rate.

How long should your script be for the best words per minute impression?

Average length of podcasts played in the U.S.

From analyzing podcast listeners’ demographics and usage patterns, we know that people mostly listen to podcast shows lasting between 30 and 40 minutes.

Experiment and measure your time to find the best way for you but start with a script of about 150-160 words per minute. In this case, start and experiment with:

  • 2000 words for 15 minutes episode
  • 3000 words for 20 minutes episode
  • 4500 words for 30 minutes episode

We know that people mostly listen to podcasts between 30 and 40 minutes, but also take under consideration their attention span.

TED talks aim to be about 18 minutes. According to TED’s chief Chris Anderson, it is “long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention.” 

Information have material simply is harder and harder to digest as it goes on, so it is less satisfying for the listeners.

It is essential to care about quality and user experience with controlling the WPM speed. There are also other ways to improve the quality of your show. Besides, words per minute control my two favorites are thorough idea research and getting the best podcasting gear .

In conclusion

  • 150-160 words per minute rate is the most typical speed at which radio and podcast host speak
  • Many good speakers on TED lecture also talk close to this rate
  • There is no golden solution and many speakers successfully deliver messages speaking above this rate
  • Vary your speaking rate to avoid becoming monotone
  • Speak faster to show more excitement and enthusiasm and speak slower to show importance and focus
  • Alongside WPM rate a good speaker should also focus on clarity and simplicity
  • A most common technique to train speaking rate is practicing with a metronome
  • If you want to speak clearly and at a constant rate make sure you are rested, prepared for the recording, familiar with the material and record in a controlled and soundproofed environment
  • Currently, people often use faster playback speeds to listen to podcasts. Consider this trend and test out how your audience will react to you, talking 10-20% faster.

Did you measure you average words per minute speaking rate? What did you found to be most effective for your project?

About the Author

words per minute speaking presentation

I'm the owner and creator of ImprovePodcast.com, the site dedicated to providing actionable solutions for podcast creators. My goal is helping people to develop their podcasts into effective marketing and sales tools.

words per minute speaking presentation

Very helpful! Thanks. This will help me with my pacing and script preparation!

Very helpful. I’ve adjusted my words per minute based on this article! Thanks.

words per minute speaking presentation

I have no idea when this was written, but it’s rare to be searching the internet for new and useful information. I searched for “How many words per minute for a podcast” hoping to come across something that I might be able to adapt to my question. Wow. This article is everything I was asking for and more. You list famous Ted Talk speakers (interesting my two favorite Simon and Tony are 170/180. I think I found my model). Thank you for the effort on this. I will subscribe to this site.

words per minute speaking presentation

I’m always happy to help.

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Speaking time calculator

Type or paste your speech to instantly calculate your speaking time

How does this speech timer work

To begin, delete the sample text and either type in your speech or copy and paste it into the editor.

The average reading speed and speech rate is 200 words per minute and is the default setting above. Once you paste your speech, click “Play” and Speechify will analyze your speech by the number of words and generate a time to speak it at the default rate.

You can listen to your speech in various accents or languages. If you are aiming for a specific timeframe for your speech, click edit to either increase or decrease the number of words to see how long it would take to speak them.

You can also increase or decrease the speaking rate to gauge how fast or slow you should speak in order to get to a specific time with the number of words you have in your speech.

To get to that perfect word count to fit with the speech length time, you’ll have to keep editing between words per minute (WPM) and number of words.

The best part is that you can share your speech in audio format to your friends, relatives, or peers to review it. They can simply click play and listen to your speech.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many words are there in a 1 minute speech.

Based on the average speed of speech, there are 150 words in a 1 minute speech.

How many words are there in a 2 minute speech?

There are 300 words per minute in a 2 minute speech. 2 minutes isn’t a long time so when you speak, you could endure the average speaking rate.

How many words are there in a 3 minute speech?

On average there are 450 words in a 3 minute speech. This is based on the average speech rate of 250 words per minute. At the 3 minute mark, even a novice speaker could keep going at the rate they started – with some practice.

How many words are there in a 4 minute speech?

On average there are 600 words in a 4 minute speech. This is based on the average speech rate of 250 words per minute. Still, even a novice speaker could maintain the 150 words per minute rate. Try it in the Soundbite above. Set your words per minute and speak along to see if you could endure consistency over 4 minutes.

How many words are there in a 5 minute speech?

On average there are 750 words in a 5 minute speech. This is based on the average speech rate of 250 words per minute. While this is simple math, we after all are humans and 5 minutes can be pushing the boundaries of a consistent speech tempo and words per minute.

How many words are there in a 10 minute speech?

In a 10 minute speech aim for 1000 words. The math might tell you 1,500 words but consider your speech. You might need pauses, rest for your voice, dramatic effects, and perhaps even audience interaction. Also, it becomes quite difficult to endure a consistent 150 words per minute speech rate for 10 minutes. Consider your listeners. We doubt very few people would want to listen to a precisely 150 words per minute speech for 10 minutes. It wouldn’t be engaging. And in a speech, you should engage and communicate.

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Introducing Speech Time Calculate

Estimate how many minutes your speeches, presentations, and voice-over scripts will take based on your words per minute rate!

How To Speech Time Calculate Using This Tool?

If you have a certain number of words or a piece of text you want to time, you can either type in the word count or paste the text into the provided area. This tool will then calculate how long it would take to read that text out loud.

The talk time estimate is calculated using the average speaking speed of adults, which is determined to be 183 words per minute based on scientific studies. If you’re interested in how long it would take to read silently, it’s estimated at 238 words per minute ( This data is also backed by research )

You can adjust the slider to change the words per minute value, which will affect the talk time estimate. However, the silent reading time estimate remains fixed at 238 words per minute.

For ease of use, we’ve also provided reference points for slow, average, and fast reading rates below the slider.

To begin anew, simply click the ‘clear text’ button to erase the content and restore the slider back to its original setting of 183.

Who is This Words to Minutes Converter Tool For?

If you are a student wondering how long is my essay or you’ve been tasked with writing a speech and need to know how many words to aim for and how many minutes will it take to deliver or perhaps you are a podcaster, just starting out, who wants the ability to easily synchronize music and spoken word without having to painstakingly calculate seconds between them, then this Speech Time Calculate is precisely for you!

From now on, instead of spending long hours in front of the computer trying to figure out how many seconds it takes for one phrase or section of dialogue to end and another to begin, you can let our innovative tool do all the work and convert your text to time quickly and accurately. With this powerful tool at your disposal, whether you’re giving a TED talk or just need to nail a business presentation, your life will become a little bit easier.

So keep reading to learn more about what this fantastic words to minutes converter has in store for public speakers, aspiring students, and professional radio producers alike!

Whether you want to read the text silently or speak aloud, you can use this tool as both:

  • Reading time calculator
  • Talk time calculator

Explanation of the Reading Time

Reading time refers to the duration it takes for an average person to read a written text silently while still comprehending its content. Based on an extensive analysis of 190 studies that involved 18,573 participants , research conducted by Marc Brysbaert in 2019 suggests that the typical silent reading speed for an adult individual is approximately 238 words per minute .

To convert word count to read time for a specific text, you can do so by dividing the total word count of the text by this established value of 238. Here is the mathematical equation for determining the duration of reading time in minutes:

Reading Time = Total Word Count / 238

Explanation of the Speech Time

Speech time refers to the duration it takes for an average person to read a text out loud. Based on data from 77 studies involving 5,965 people , it’s been found that most adults read aloud at a speed of approximately 183 words per minute ( research conducted by Marc Brysbaert in 2019 ). To figure out how long it will take to read a specific piece of text aloud, you can divide the total number of words in the text by this average rate of 183 words per minute.

Of course, it’s important to note that talk time can vary depending on factors such as clarity of speech, pauses for emphasis, and use of visual aids. However, using this tool for converting the number of words to minutes can still provide a helpful guideline for planning and practicing your presentation. By having a better understanding of speech rates, you can ensure that your message is delivered effectively and efficiently.

Benefits of Using a Speech Time Calculate

Time management in presentations.

Effective time management during presentations is crucial to ensure the audience remains engaged and the information is accurately conveyed. This is where our words to speaking time converter comes in handy. By using this tool, presenters can easily determine how many words they need to include in their presentation to stay within the allotted time frame.

Not only does it help with time management, but it also ensures that the pacing of the presentation is consistent, making it easier for the audience to follow. With the use of this presentation time calculator, presenters can confidently deliver their presentations without the worry of running over time or rushing through it.

Estimated speech time for public speaking

Public speaking can be nerve-wracking, especially when you have too little or too much information to fill your time slot. You wonder only if there were an accurate public speaking time calculator available so that you could be able to allocate the appropriate amount of time to each section of your presentation, ensuring that you cover all the necessary points without rushing or going over time.

Effective pacing is key in ensuring your message is delivered with clarity and impact.

Most public speakers target an average of 130-150 words per minute for their spoken content, meaning you should aim to limit your speaking time to roughly one minute per 130-150 words. While this may take some practice to achieve, the end result is a confident, well-timed delivery that keeps your audience engaged from start to finish.

Remember, in public speaking, less is often more—take your time to breathe and emphasize key points. Your audience will appreciate your thoughtful and measured approach. For that, you can use this tool and adjust your words to speech time.

Accurate estimations for audiobooks and podcasts

As more and more people turn to audiobooks and podcasts for their entertainment and information needs, accurate estimations of listening time have become more important than ever. After all, there’s nothing worse than settling in for a quick listen only to find yourself trapped in a story that goes on for hours longer than you anticipated.

That’s why it’s great to see publishers and podcast producers taking estimated reading time seriously, providing listeners with the information they need to choose the right content for their schedule. Whether you’re looking for a quick listen on your daily commute or a lengthy distraction for a lazy Sunday afternoon, accurate estimations using this words to speak time calculator make it easier than ever to find the perfect content.

Some Popular Speech Times

how many words in a 2 minute speech

Almost 300 words

how many words in a 3 minute speech

Almost 450 words

how many words in a 4 minute speech

Almost 600 words

how many words in a 15 minute speech

Almost 2250 words

The speech time is calculated taking 150 words per minute as reference value

Common conversions (average speed)

How long does it take to read 500 words?

3.8 minutes

How long does it take to read 750 words?

5.8 minutes

How long does it take to read 1000 words?

7.7 minutes

How long does it take to read 1200 words?

9.2 minutes

How long does it take to read 1500 words?

11.5 minutes

How long does it take to read 1800 words?

13.8 minutes

How long does it take to read 2000 words?

15.4 minutes

How long does it take to read 3000 words?

23.1 minutes

As the world becomes more fast-paced, time is a precious commodity. Determining how long your script will take to read, whether for a presentation or a video, can make a significant difference in engaging and retaining your audience’s attention.

That’s where our Words to Time Converter comes in handy. It’s a valuable tool for anyone working in various professions, from broadcast journalists to teachers to executives. No matter the industry, time is of the essence, and knowing how long your speech or presentation will take is crucial for effective communication.

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What's your speech rate?

Why a flexible speaking rate is important.

By:  Susan Dugdale  | Last modified: 01-02-2022

Is your speech rate too fast, too slow, or just right?

And what is, a normal speaking pace?

The answers to both questions are not straight forward. They fall into the 'it depends' category. And what they're depending on is context. 

Context is everything when it comes to deciding whether the speed you speak at is good, extremely good, or poor.

What you'll find on this page

  • why, and when, speech rate becomes important
  • what speech rate is and how it is calculated
  • 2 ways of finding out your own speech rate
  • speech rate guidelines - what's fast or slow?
  • reasons to change your speech rate
  • exercises to develop a flexible speaking rate
  • a link to a free printable: a diagnostic resource used by speech therapists to test speech fluency and rate, The Rainbow Passage
  • a link to a quick reference guide: how many words per minute are in 1 through to 10 minute speeches .
  • links to authoritative references for more information

words per minute speaking presentation

Why, and when, is speech rate important? 

Speech rate – how fast, or how slowly a person talks, only becomes important when the speed of their speech becomes a barrier to effective communication.

If people listening are not able to fully take in or comprehend what is being said and a large part of the reason for that is speech rate, then it's time to take action. 

Image: boy with wide open mouth and the words blah, blah, blah floating upwards from it. Text: Understanding rate of speech

What is speech rate? How is it calculated?

Speech rate refers to a person's habitual speaking speed. It's calculated through counting the normal number of words they say per minute, and just like people, words per minute (wpm) can vary hugely.

Additionally, because all words are not equal, wpm is only an approximate measure. A word can be as simple as a single syllable or letter, for example “it” or “I”, or a  collection of many syllables such as “hippopotamus” or “tintinnabulation” - the ringing of bells.

One syllable is considerably quicker to say than many, just as a simple short sentence is faster to say than a complex longer one. 

How to work out your own speech rate

Here are two ways of working out your habitual speech rate.

The first is to read aloud The Rainbow Passage. This piece of text is frequently used by speech language therapists  as a diagnostic tool   to test a person's ability to produce connected speech . 

Record yourself as you read it aloud at your regular speaking rate for one minute.

How far you get through the passage will give you an indication * of your rate of speech.

Here are the first 175 words. The entire piece has 330 words.

(There's a printable pdf of the whole  Rainbow Passage for you to download at the bottom of the page.)

The Rainbow Passage

When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act as a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon. (51 words)

There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of gold at one end. People look, but no one ever finds it. When a man looks for something beyond his reach, his friends say he is looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. (99 words)

Throughout the centuries people have explained the rainbow in various ways. Some have accepted it as a miracle without physical explanation. To the Hebrews it was a token that there would be no more universal floods. The Greeks used to imagine that it was a sign from the gods to foretell war or heavy rain. The Norsemen considered the rainbow as a bridge over which the gods passed from earth to their home in the sky. (175 words)

* I've used the word 'indication' because you are reading aloud rather than giving a speech or talking to a friend. There is a difference.

You'll also need to take into account your familiarity with the text. A 'cold' reading, that is reading the passage without seeing it before hand will probably influence how much of it you get through in a minute.

Record yourself delivering a speech

The second way to test yourself is to record one of your own speeches or presentations. This will give you a much more accurate measure of your actual speech rate.

If you have the text of your speech in a word document you'll have access under the Tools tab (see image below) to the total word count.

Screenshot of word document with tools tab highlighted to show how to access total word count.

Record the speech. Then take the time you took to deliver it and use it to divide the number of words.

To give you an example I recorded the 'Hall of Fame' speech I wrote for a client a couple of years ago. I took 4.9 minutes to say it through.  The total word count of the speech is 641. 

Therefore, 641 words divided by 4.9 minutes = a speaking rate of 130 words per minute.

Speech rate guidelines

Studies show speech rate alters depending on the speaker's culture, geographical location, subject matter, choice of vocabulary and its usage (simple short sentences v complex),  fluency, use of pauses,  gender, age, emotional state, health, profession, audience, and whether or not they're using their primary, or native, language.

However, despite these variables, there are widely accepted guidelines. These are:

  • Slow speech is usually regarded as less than 110 wpm, or words per minute.
  • Conversational speech generally falls between 120 wpm at the slow end, to 160 - 200 wpm in the fast range.
  • People who read books for radio or podcasts are often asked to speak at 150-160 wpm.
  • Auctioneers or commentators who practice speed speech are usually in the 250 to 400 wpm range.

Why change your speech rate?

Generally people are not conscious of their habitual speaking speed and if they are easily understood by those listening to them there is little reason to change. Their speech could be considered too slow or too fast by people outside of their normal environment but if they are not routinely communicating with them it doesn't really matter.

However changes of audience and speech purpose can force a need to become more aware of speaking speed.

For example - a shift from one part of a country to another, from a slower speaking area to a faster speaking one, will, through audience response, make a habitually slower speaker aware of their speech rate.

Similarly someone with naturally fast speech who takes a job requiring presentations to colleagues or customers, will find themselves having to slow down in order to communicate effectively.

Having an accent makes a difference too. If the language you're using is not your first one there may be pronunciation issues which make it harder for your audience to understand you. Slowing down your rate of speech will help. 

Public speaking and rate of speech

If you're giving a speech or presentation, the concept of a normal speaking speed doesn't apply.

What does is flexibility - the ability of the speaker to mix and match pace appropriately with speech content and the audience's ability to comprehend it.

Experience and audience reaction will teach you that a one-size-fits-all approach will be far less effective than careful variation in rate.

Exercises to change speaking rate

If you know you speak either too fast, too slowly or without speed variation then exercises to develop flexibility are what you need.

Here are   Quick and Easy Effective Tips for Speaking Rate Flexibility

These six exercises specifically address the undesirable audience responses brought on by a speaker either talking too quickly or too slowly. Have fun with them!

How many words per minute in a speech?

Speaking trumpet on yellow background. Text: bla, bla, bla. How many words per minute in a speech?

When you have a speech to give with a strict time limit it's useful to have an estimate of how many words will fit comfortably into the time allocated, before you begin to write.

For more see:  How many words per minute in a speech: a quick reference guide  for 1 through to 10 minute speeches.  

Do you know what your voice says about you?

Find out about Voice Image First impressions count and they're not only about looking good, but sounding good too!

References and additional information

Miller, N., Maruyama, G., Beaber, R. J., & Valone, K. (1976). Speed of speech and persuasion . Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34(4), 615–624. 

Smith, S. M., & Shaffer, D. R. (1991). Celerity and cajolery: Rapid speech may promote or inhibit persuasion through its impact on message elaboration . Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 17(6), 663–669. 

Rodero, E. (2012). A comparative analysis of speech rate and perception in radio bulletins . Text & Talk, 32 (3), pp. 391–411 

Apple, W., Streeter, L.A., & Krauss, R. M. (1979).  Effects of Pitch and Speech Rate on Personal Attributions . Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37( 5), 715-727

Optimal Podcast Words per Minute Rate for Biggest Impact - an extremely thorough article by Chris Land of improvepodcast.com

What is the ideal rate of speech?   Public speaking coach Lynda Stucky 'shows and tells' about speech rate. She's made 7 variations of The Rainbow Passage so that you can hear the difference speed makes.

Speech Pace: do you talk too fast or too slow? Take this test . - a YouTube video by speech teacher  Laura Bergells.

Perfect Your Speed Talking at This Auction School  - a YouTube video showing how The Missouri Auction School teaches speed speech. ☺

Download The Rainbow Passage

Click the link to download a printable pdf of   The Rainbow Passage .

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Speech calculator:  how long does it take to deliver your speech?

With this speech calculator, you can easily calculate how long it will take you to deliver a speech.

How many words per minute?

In the English language, people speak about 140 words per minute. A fast speaker will get to 170 words per minute, a slow speaker will use around 110 words.

Professional speechwriters use this speech calculator to find out how long a speech takes.

speech calculator

Copy your full text and paste it in the box below:

The entire analysis happens within your browser. The text will NOT be stored and NOT be sent over the web.

Word count:

Your speech rate:

Speech duration:

FAQ’s

How many words is a 3 minute speech  .

A speaker with an average speaking speed will need 420 words for a 3 minute speech. A fast speaker will need 510 words while a slow speaker will only need 330 words.

How many words is a 5 minute speech?  

A speaker with an average speaking speed will need 700 words for a 5 minutes speech. A fast speaker will need 850 words for the same speech length. A slow speaker will only need 550 words.

Is this a word count calculator?  

The speech calculator is a word count calculator. Insert your text and the tool will automatically calculate the word count.  It will then also calculate the speech length depending on the selected talking speed.

How to best select the right speaking speed?

Fast, average or slow? The answer depends on the speaker, the speech type and the speech setting.

The speaking speed of the speaker

Some speakers are natural fast or slow speakers. The best speakers keep a variance during their speeches. They speed up to keep momentum and slow down to put special emphasis on other parts.

The speech type

The type of speech matters a lot in selecting the right speech speed. If you read the whole speech word for word from paper then your average speech speed will be lower. If you intend to use the written speech as speaker notes then your average speaking speed will be much higher.

The speech setting

An informal setting will have a faster average speaking speed compared to a more formal setting.

Keeping all three factors in mind you will able make a better judgement about selecting the right speech speed in the speech calculator.

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Average Words Per Minute Speaking: Why It Matters

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Average Words Per Minute Speaking

  • Last Updated On: December 11, 2023

Speaking is one thing that we all do each and every day, and few of us give it any thought. Knowing how fast you speak can, however, be invaluable – this can help you to understand your own speaking style as well as the way in which others perceive you.

We took a closer look at your average words per minute speaking speed, as well as the tips you can use to improve your talking speed, and your overall presentation skills.

What Is The Average Words Per Minute For Speaking?

Average Words Per Minute Speaking

One may wonder, “How many words does the average person speak per minute?”

The average speaking rate is 150-160 words per minute (WPM) for podcasters. This can vary with context and individual differences, ranging from 110-250 WPM . Radio presenters or podcasters may speak faster than the average rate.

Average Words Per Minute (WPM) by Speaking Context:

Words to minutes calculator – podcast episode timing.

Planning your podcast episode? Use this simple calculator to find out how long your script will take to deliver. Enter your script length and choose your speaking speed. Get results instantly to help manage your episode timing perfectly. This free tool is great for podcasters who want to plan their episodes and keep their audience engaged.

How to Determine Your Speaking Rate:

Being able to calculate this and adapt your average WPM can greatly enhance one’s communication skills and ensure effective delivery of information.

Speaking Rate Calculation Formula

  • Select a passage or piece of text that is around 200-300 words long. This length is ideal because it’s long enough to get an average rate but short enough to be manageable.
  • Before you start reading, set a timer. Smartphones usually come with a stopwatch function that will work perfectly for this.
  • Read the passage out loud, just as you would in a conversation or presentation. Ensure you’re not rushing or deliberately slowing down; aim for a natural pace.
  • Once you’ve finished reading, stop the timer and note down the time taken.
  • To determine your speaking rate in words per minute (WPM), divide the total number of words in the passage by the time taken in minutes to read it.
  • Your speaking rate can vary depending on context, mood, or the complexity of the content. It might be helpful to repeat the process with different types of passages (e.g., technical content vs. casual conversation) to get a range of your speaking speeds.
  • If you feel your speaking rate is too fast or too slow for your intended audience or purpose, practice adjusting it. Using a metronome can be helpful to maintain a consistent pace.
  • Sometimes, we’re not the best judges of our speaking pace. It can be beneficial to get feedback from peers or mentors. They can provide insights into whether you’re speaking too fast, too slow, or just right.
  • Several apps and online tools can automatically calculate your speaking rate by analyzing a recorded sample of your speech.

Remember, while determining your speaking rate is useful, it’s also essential to pay attention to clarity, intonation, and enunciation. The goal is to communicate effectively, and sometimes that might mean adjusting your pace to ensure comprehension.

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Want more awesome stats, check out the latest podcast statistics .

Speaking Rate (WPM) of Professional Speakers

The average speaking rate of professional speakers is 167 words per minute (WPM).

Average Words Per Minute Speaking Rate Professional Speakers

It’s important to note that while Steve Jobs’ talk isn’t from the regular TED conferences, it’s featured on the TED website. This presentation, given by the late visionary, stands as a masterclass in capturing audience attention and delivering a poignant message.

Tony Robbins, the fastest speaker on our list, epitomizes that speed need not compromise clarity. His crystal-clear articulation and lucid language ensure his message is understood, irrespective of the brisk pace.

For any speaker, it’s paramount to adjust their speaking rate to match their audience’s listening comfort. Racing through content might lose listeners, while a languid pace could let their attention drift. The art lies in striking that perfect equilibrium.

Optimal Script Length for Podcast Episodes

As podcasting continues to gain traction as a favored medium for content delivery, understanding the ideal script length for varying episode durations can be invaluable. The table below provides a guideline for scriptwriters and podcasters, ensuring content remains engaging and concise for listeners. By aligning the script length with the intended duration, creators can better plan, structure, and deliver their content for maximum impact. Dive in to discover the recommended word count for your next episode!

See: How Long Should a Podcast Be

Factors That Influence The Speed Of Speech Of The Average Person

words per minute speaking presentation

There are many factors that influence the speed that an average person speaks, including:

The Culture You Were Raised In

It might sound crazy, but the culture you were raised in can have a significant impact on the speed with which you speak. Some cultures and languages naturally speak at a much faster speed than other languages and cultures, and this can have a serious impact on your words per minute.

If you grew up speaking a first language that is naturally fast-paced, such as Spanish or Italian, then it is likely that you will speak at a faster rate than someone who grew up speaking a language with slower speech rates, such as English .

Slower speakers might take two seconds to say a word, while faster speakers could say the same word in half a second. This difference may not seem like much, but it can add up over time. If you speak for five minutes, you will likely say twice as many words as the slow speaker.

Additionally, if you are used to hearing the average person speak quickly, you may find it difficult to adjust to slower speech patterns. Slow speakers can often be frustrating for natives who speak faster, who may find themselves impatient or lost.

The good news is that, no matter what your natural speech rate is, you can learn to speak at a slower pace if you need to.

Just remember to take your time and focus on speaking clearly, rather than worrying about the number of words you are saying. With practice, you will be able to find the perfect balance for you.

How Confident You Feel

Your confidence level also has a huge effect on the speed with which you speak. If you feel confident, you’ll naturally speak slower and evenly than if you are feeling insecure.

If you are nervous, you are more likely to rush your speech with faster than average speaking speed and trip over your words. A good speaker is able to control their speed and use it to their advantage.

World Fastest Speaker

Stephen Peter Woodmore (13 December 1959 – 6 February 2023) was a British salesman recognized for his extraordinary speech speed, articulating at 637 words per minute (wpm) — four times faster than average.

He held the Guinness World Record for the world’s fastest talker from August 1990, succeeding John Moschitta Jr. However, in 1995, Sean Shannon from Canada surpassed him with a speed of 655 wpm. Source: Wikipedia .

How Comfortable You Are With Public Speaking

Finally, the comfort level that you feel when you are speaking in public can have a major impact on your speaking rate. If you are not used to being in front of large groups of people, you may find that you struggle to keep up a steady pace, thus speaking faster, and may rush your speech.

Good speakers, such as those from popular Ted talks, have often had a lot of practice and experience in public speaking, which has helped them to become more comfortable and confident when addressing large audiences.

Tips To Improve The Speed Of How The Average Person Speaks

words per minute speaking presentation

As you can see from our list above, several different aspects affect the speed of your speech. However, there are some simple things that you can do to improve your speaking rates.

Slow Down When Talking About Difficult Topics

When you are discussing difficult topics, such as politics or religion, it is important to think carefully about what you say. If you speak too quickly, you are going to run the risk of making mistakes and sounding awkward.

Instead, try to speak slowly and deliberately, and make sure that you pause between each sentence.

Practice Before Giving Presentations

Practice makes perfect, and this applies to speaking as well. If you are planning on giving a presentation, practice speaking slowly and pausing frequently.

Try to avoid rushing through your speech, and instead focus on getting all of your points across without any mistakes. This will help you to feel more confident and relaxed and will allow you to speak more easily.

ALSO SEE: Lapel Mic For Podcast

Practice Reading Out Loud

Reading out loud is one of the best ways to improve your talking speed because it forces you to slow down and pay attention to how you speak, especially when you’re reading complicated words. It also helps you to learn to control your breathing, which is another factor that affects your speaking speed.

Speak Clearly And Slowly

You should always aim to speak clearly, slowly, and at a comfortable pace – even if you are nervous. If you speak too fast, you are more likely than ever to trip over your words, and this will only add to your stress levels and mental fatigue.

As we mentioned earlier, nerves can cause you to breathe faster, so take note of your breath rate, and try to slow it down slightly.

Take Deep Breaths

Taking deep breaths before talking will help you to relax, and will give you time to prepare yourself for your presentation. People speak more quickly when they are nervous or anxious, so it is important to try and stay calm.

If you are tackling complex content, it can be helpful to slow down your thoughts by taking a few moments to pause and think about what you want to say before you start speaking. This will help you to organize your thoughts and ensure that you are saying what you want to say.

Taking deep breaths will also help you to calm down, and will reduce the chances of you tripping over your words, as well as help you maintain a regular speaking rate.

Why Does Speaking Speed Matter?

Why Does Your Speech Speed Matter?

When you are speaking publicly, the speed of your speech is important and can offer you a number of advantages when delivering a speech. These include:

Increasing Your Credibility

If you have a high speaking rate, then you are at risk of sounding as though you are trying to convince everyone around you that you know what you are talking about.

This is something that many speakers would want to avoid, but if you speak at an appropriate pace, then you can be seen as credible and trustworthy.

Radio hosts and TED Talk speakers are known for speaking slowly and deliberately, as this helps to engage the audience and build trust.

Improving Your Audience’s Attention Span

Speaking too quickly can lead to your audience losing interest in what you are saying. They may find themselves nodding off, or they might start to look bored, which means that they won’t be paying close attention to what you have to say.

By contrast, speaking slowly allows them to listen carefully and absorb everything that you have to say.

ALSO SEE: How To Make Your Podcast Popular

Avoiding Slips Of The Tongue

Speaking too quickly can mean that you are more likely than usual to slip up and accidentally say something embarrassing.

For example, if you are talking about your favorite movie, and you say “I love watching movies with my friends”, then you could end up saying something like “I love watching movies alone”. This kind of slip-up is not acceptable, and it is easy to see why.

Understanding Speaking Rates: Common Questions Answered

How fast does the average podcaster speak.

The average podcaster speaks at a rate of approximately 150 to 160 words per minute. The average professional speaker is slightly higher at 167 WPM (words per minute).

How long is a 2 minute speech?

A 2-minute speech is typically 300 to 320 words, based on an average speaking rate of 150-160 words per minute (WPM).

How many words is a 5 minute speech?

A 5-minute speech would be around 750 to 800 words using the average speaking rate.

Is 100 words per minute fast speaking?

Speaking at 100 WPM is slightly below the average conversational rate, so it’s not considered fast.

Is 150 wpm speaking fast?

Speaking at 150 WPM is about average for most people, especially in presentations and general conversations.

Is speaking 200 words a minute fast?

Speaking at 200 WPM is faster than average and is typically seen in enthusiastic or rapid conversations.

How long is a 700 word speech?

A 700-word speech would last roughly 4.5 to 5 minutes at an average speaking rate.

Is 150 words per minute good for a speech?

Yes, 150 WPM is a good rate for a speech as it’s comfortable for listeners and ensures clarity.

Is it possible to speak 300 words per minute?

Speaking at 300 WPM is extremely fast. While some individuals like certain record-holders can achieve it, it’s beyond the average speaking rate for most people and can challenge comprehension.

Final Thoughts On How Many Words You Can Say Per Minute

Your speaking speed isn’t fixed, it’s something you can change with time. By utilizing our guidelines, not only can you determine your words-per-minute rate, but you can also refine your speech to be more composed, captivating, and effective for your listeners.

Other sources: Science Focus

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What is the Average Speaking Rate?

What’s the average speaking rate ? Is it better to speak faster or is is better to speak slower?

In this article, we answer these questions and look at the factors which influence your speaking rate , a critical component of your delivery.

  • Speech Pauses
  • Filler Words (um, ah)
  • Speaking Rate
  • Vocal Volume
  • Vocal Projection
  • Vocal Strength Exercises

How to calculate your speaking rate

The most common way to express one’s speaking rate is in words per minute (wpm). To calculate this, simply take the total number of words spoken and divide by the number of minutes it took you to speak them.

Speaking Rate (wpm) = Total words / # of minutes

Another way to measure speaking rate is in syllables per minute (spm):

Speaking Rate (spm) = Total syllables / # of minutes

Why syllables per minute? Not all words are equal. Consider these two sentences:

  • Modern readability tests are designed to indicate comprehension difficulty when reading a passage of contemporary academic English. (17 words; 41 syllables)
  • Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. (17 words; 19 syllables)

If you were to speak these two sentences at the same rate in words per minute, the first passage would seem considerably faster because you are saying more.

Despite the sensibility of using syllables/minute, the words/minute measure is more commonly used, because it is generally easier to calculate.

How to determine your speaking rate

A really quick estimate of your speaking rate can be obtained by timing yourself while reading a selection of text with a known word count. Then, simply calculate using the method above.

But, this is not really your speaking rate. It’s your reading rate . Even if you read out loud, it’s not the same thing as a speaking rate.

The best way to determine your speaking rate is to time yourself delivering a real speech with a real audience. (Video helps — you can count your words from it too.)

What is the average speaking rate?

The average speaking rate will vary across languages and situations. But, rather than dodging the question entirely, let’s come up an estimate given a fairly narrow speaking situation —  TED talks  — which we often study in Six Minutes  speech critiques.

I analyzed 9 TED talks which have been critiqued on Six Minutes . These talks ranged from just under 7 minutes in length to just under 20 minutes. Some speakers used visuals, some did not. Their topics were widely variable. [Click the links in the table below to view these speeches and read the critiques. Note that the Steve Jobs talk was not delivered at a TED conference, but is included on the TED website.]

  • For these 9 talks, the average speaking rate is 163 words per minute .
  • Two thirds of the talks are clustered in a narrow range between 153 and 168 words per minute.
  • Remember that this average and range do not necessarily apply to all speaking situations.

One can also calculate the speaking rate for the 9 TED talks in syllables per minute, and these results are shown below, sorted in the same order as in the words/minute chart above.

  • The most notable difference using the syllables/minute measure is that of Majora Carter. She has a much higher syllables/word count (1.62) compared to the others, which all fall between 1.43 and 1.54. More frequent use of longer words is one factor which contributes to my perception that she’s talking too fast.

What influences your overall speaking rate?

There are many factors which influence your overall speaking rate:

  • Your normal speaking rate This is a product of your birth, your culture, and your history (family, profession, etc.) Some people talk faster. Some people talk slower. Neither is inherently  good or bad .
  • Nervousness and stress Speaking under pressure tends to make you speak faster. I am not immune to this trait. If I’m speaking with notes of any kind, I’ll often write “SLOW DOWN” in red ink in the margin as a reminder.
  • Mental fatigue If you are tired, you will tend to speak slower. You’ll also tend to make more mistakes which further slows your effective speaking rate.
  • Complexity of the words If you’re measuring speaking rate in words per minute, then longer words will usually slow down your speaking rate.
  • Complexity of content Longer sentences and more complex speech content means more pauses are necessary, and this will slow down your speaking rate, too. This is desirable because it helps your audience — they need more time to mentally process longer sentences and more complex content. However, it would help them more to simplify your content and shorten your sentences.
  • Verbal pauses Insertion of natural pauses in your verbal delivery will slow your speaking rate, but the gains in understandability are worth it!
  • Extra pauses induced by you Every time you stop to checking your notes, think to search for a word, show a prop or slide, or demonstrate something, your speaking rate drops. Often, the benefits of doing these things outweighs the drawbacks. [Some of these pauses can be reduced by more thorough preparation.]
  • Extra pauses induced by your audience When your audience applauds or laughs, this slows you down too. Larger audiences tend to induce larger delays.
  • Extra pauses induced by the environment These are harder to predict, but you should allow for them. For example, loud noises outside the room or other distractions may force you to pause, or repeat yourself.

All but the last two factors are completely within your control, and even those last two factors can be predicted somewhat.

Is it better to speak faster or is is better to speak slower?

It depends, but if you are anywhere close to the range of the speakers analyzed above (133 to 188 words/minute), you’re fine.

Generally, slower is more intelligible than faster speech. Appropriate pauses allow your audience time to digest what you’ve said and begin to process it. However, instead of worrying too much about your numerical speaking rate, it probably would be better to focus on improving your clarity and lowering the complexity of your language.

  • Clarity : Good enunciation, sharp pronunciation, and proper stresses will produce clear language and make it easy for your audience to hear each word.
  • Complexity : By simplifying words and simplifying your sentences by eliminating unnecessary words, you become much more understandable.

Vary your speaking rate!

No matter what your average speaking rate is over the entire speech, you should always vary it within a speech. Don’t deliver sentence after sentence at the same exact rate. Varying your speech rate adds life to your vocal delivery, and allows you to convey both meaning and emotional content.

For example, you can speak a little faster to convey excitement, or a little slower to reflect sadness or confusion.

Final Thoughts

I know very few people who speak considerably too slow, but many who speak too fast. Because of the common tendency to put too much content into our presentations, we tend to speak at a blazing speed to get through it all. So, in general, slow down!

Like many delivery characteristics, the best way to be aware of whether you are doing it well is to solicit feedback. Ask trusted audience members whether your pace was too slow, too fast, or just right.

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27 comments.

Great post Andrew. I love the analysis. Research shows that Australians generally speak slower than other english speakers, and I recently ( http://wp.me/p2k3hy-Ev ) suggested that we speak around 100 wpm. Quite a difference! Despite this, I have a flash card that I take into every high school speech class and I use it a LOT. It says “slow down”.

Fascinating! I wasn’t aware of the speaking rate difference in Australians. Do you have a reference to the research handy?

it is said that the normalspeaking rate is 140_160 word per minute

Thanks for this post Andrew. I think it also depends on the nature of the speech. My experience in Toastmasters tells me that, when telling stories and trying to convey emotion, I’ll speak much slower than when speaking about plain facts and figures. Is this your case as well?

Yes, it certainly depends on the nature of the overall speech and, as you have pointed out, on the nature of what you are presenting at a given time within the speech.

I agree that emotional content and stories (which have more dramatic pauses) tend to be delivered slower than factual details, but even that isn’t a hard rule.

Andrew, As always I appreciate your thoroughness and your practical approach to dealing with the challenges of public speaking. I agree with this article and thank you for your approach using syllables rather than words to assess rate of speech. One thought, another situation affecting ROS is the fact that people may not practice speaking at the slower pace often enough. This is where it is helpful to read a piece aloud that has the desired number of words in it (or syllables) and time yourself to be able to read it at the correct pace. If you do that often enough, you get the “feel” of that pace and can more easily duplicate it under pressure. And you’ll also notice that when you slow down you are more able to add nuances and variety, making the slower pace actually MORE interesting than the faster one, in case you are worried about boring people when speaking more slowly.

Up to now, I’ve never seen syllables used to express speaking speed, but it makes such sense – as the comparison of sentences with the same word count but vastly different syllable counts clearly shows in this post.

A while ago, I published a piece about using fewer syllables when speaking. It lists 14 terms that people often use when speaking (or writing), and it gives low-syllable equivalents (up to 80% shorter) for each term: http://remotepossibilities.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/minimise-blur-firstframework-part-1m/#bb3

If you make simple changes like those, you can avoid rushing, and your audience can absorb your message far better.

Here’s another tip related to speaking rate, which I’ve found really handy when listening to recorded speeches or webinars: By using Windows Media Player (or a similar tool), you can play recordings slower or faster than normal speed.

Typically, speakers talk too fast. So you can use Media Player to slow down the recording, and/or you can keep clicking Pause to give yourself time to digest what was just said.

Conversely, for slow or well-paced speakers, you can play a recording at (say) 150% speed, so for instance you can hear a 1-hour webinar in only 40 minutes. What a timesaver! (I’m in Australia like Claire, above, but the slowest speaker I’ve come across is actually a well-known CEO from the US. In a live speech, the slow speed lets you absorb what he’s saying, but in a recording it can get frustrating unless you speed it up.)

If your version of Media Player’s like mine, you’ll find the speed control by choosing View > Enhancements > Play Speed Settings. (In Media Player on Windows 7, instead you choose Play > Play Speed, which gives you just 3 speeds to choose from.)

I hope you find that as handy as I have!

Thanks for the tip, Craig. I’ll have to try that out.

Andrew, This is extremely helpful for novice public speakers. I am forever being asked how much can I say in a minute? What’s interesting about the numbers for me is that they look so high. Once you allow time for audience reaction and time to pause to let your points sink in, I always find that even the fastest public speakers struggle to get much more than 140 words per minute. 150 tops. It’s our nervous novices that speak at 180. I’d be interested to know: Why is it that these experienced hands say so many words? Does their experience mean that they can command an audience’s attention and compress more content into less time? Or would they be better if the slowed down?

Without a great deal more data, it’s hard to answer your questions. However, I think it is fair to say that these TED speakers are able to deliver at a higher words/minute rate because [1] they are extremely well-prepared, and thus rarely make any verbal slips which would slow them down and [2] the culture of TED talks tends to allow for a pretty high information density.

As for whether these talks would be better if slowed down, I leave it up to the audience.

As a trainer of professional actors I can assure you that there seems to be more of a correlation of slower speed with “reading” and faster speed with passion. Perhaps the TED speakers are a bit more passionate about their ideas?

Wow. I couldn’t disagree more. If a person is aligning operative words then TEMPO has almost no bearing on the speech. If someone is passionate then they are going to speak at a faster rate (SPM), but they will also hit words in such a way as to convey meaning. Anything between 160-210 (wpm) is common in everyday speech. Why should conveying ideas in a “speech” be different?

Love your pages! However, please take caution when using the word ” slower”. It is an adjective. When speaking of how something is done, the proper use is ” more slowly”. 😉

I agree with you SO much that I filed a federal lawsuit asking court and other public officers to SLOWDOWN. My lawsuit is called Ovitsky v. Washington County, etc. It’s less about money and more about understanding what people are speaking, for me most of the time it is “too fast,” quite literally. Federal relay types about 60 wpm. Court officers speak 100+ wpm. If I can walk away with one non financial gain, it would be a federal order asking the locals to slow down and also asking FCC to hire faster typists to transcribe calls for deaf. I write for myself, I cannot read 100+ wpm, I can read about 80 wpm and I can hear maybe 60 wpm with pauses and repeats, which is why I use deaf telecom, I need a SLOWDOWN more than I need the visual but after seven years, I’m accustomed to doing both. I am in Oregon, not far from where ye hail from? Au Canada? In any event, thank you for your wonderful article and I appreciate your posting it. I re-posted it on my FaceBook page with a link back to this site.

Hi, Andrew, Congratulations for your blog! It’s terrific! I also write about public communication, but I focus on phonetics. I’ll keep reading your posts, thanks!! Carolina (Madrid, Spain)

Ray Hull, Ph.D. recommended 124 wpm.

That was great to read your research Please advise the top 10 speech or speaker in a world

Many Thanks

Nice article, I came here looking to learn what speed I wanted to be able to play guitar at. I was wondering if you might have an article you could direct me to which delves deeper into the mood tone/frequency or as you put it an article that tells me what speed rates convey what sorts of meanings and emotions?

Andrew, thank you! One of the 1st training segments of Accent training ( Not “accent reduction” – rather “Accent Addition”) is to train folks how to monitor their speaking rate. We do this by doing an analysis of TED speakers on the # of words per minute ( WPM). The Syllables Per Minute (SPM) analysis that you have done is phenomenal. A person cannot change how they move their speaking/articulator-voice muscles until they can be attuned to and control the speed of their speaking movements. Additionally, they cannot be attuned to how their listeners are responding or understanding if they cannot use effective pauses. Your analysis of the WPM and SPM of top TED speakers helps others to strategically garner specific tactics to be more effective speakers. Again, Thank you!!!

Thank you for this post Andrew! I learned a lot of details about public speaking while browsing through your blog. It actually inspired me to create an app which estimates the speaker’s speaking rate, pauses, pitch and volume (a digital presentation coach). Now available for free on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quantle/id1241930976 Thanks again for your valuable pages!

a very good job. I hope you will creat a a android version of the app. Thank you.

Hi Andrew. Thank you for your very interesting post on speaking rate. I am interested in doing this at a more academic level, in a paper, for instance. Do you have any papers/references on calculating speaking rate? Thank you in advance for your help.

Interesting that the fact of deafness are not being dealt with enough. Some deaf persons (especially older persons) has big difficulties in following newsreaders. It must be remembered that with the years all functions slow down a little bit with extreme cases here and there.Also older persons tend to listen more to radio and tv and find it very difficult in understanding than in the past.I am very fond of news channels but find that some readers (especially women ) are faster readers than their male colleges.To all out there please speak slower!

Do you have DVDs to help with practice sounds

Recently I reviewed a video where the speaker talked at 230 wpm! (I linked to this post for comparison with other talks.)

You might think that’d be WAY too fast, but in that case I think the speaker pulled it off.

If done well, one benefit of speaking so fast is that it conveys passion for the topic. See what you think…

The reason why Majora Carter’s spw is so much higher is because she says ‘sustainability’, ‘environmental’ and ‘sustainable development’ a lot.

You could also say that: • the avg wpm of those “2/3 between 153 and 168 wpm” is 160; and that • the avg spm of those talks is 274, and 237 amongst without the 3 fast-talking women and slomo Gore.

Personally, I’m more interested in how fast can people listen. Any clues?

Recent Tweets

163 words per minute is an average speaking rate for presentations. http://t.co/Tknk8f0A0O #speaking — @anthea_rowe Sep 10th, 2015
This was helpful to me as I’m preparing a talk: What is the Average Speaking Rate? https://t.co/oA8Scl26sx by @6minutes — @cesarbrea Oct 19th, 2015
@AlexWattsEsq about 90 hours by my very unscientific estimate. Used average speaking rate here: https://t.co/8CHXhuUt5K — @InfiniteClock Dec 2nd, 2015
What is the Average Speaking Rate? Very insightful 🙂 @GitteWBruhn and @SCThatcher https://t.co/UmmT6sa4N3 by @6minutes — @ClaireLauper Dec 18th, 2015
@grace_elliot Varies quite a lot. Some useful info here https://t.co/lXLdUZty91 😊 — @DamianSomebody Apr 20th, 2016
The average speaking rate of English as 1st Language TED speakers in Words & syllables https://t.co/ekitKC9jw6 — @accentcoach Jun 14th, 2016
#TuesdayTips Too fast, too slow, or just right? Good article by @6minutes on pace of speech. https://t.co/hPXErFUsVX — PitchVantage (@pitchvantage) Jul 5th, 2016
.@6minutes Found today. Looking forward to following. https://t.co/yWCQwBzJjg — @realestaterossi Nov 19th, 2016
¿sabías que la velocidad media de hablar óptima en un discurso está entre 153 y 168 palabras? #apor1600kwds https://t.co/bbwrBgo7BU — @DanielRDelPino Oct 17th, 2017
What is the Average Speaking Rate? https://t.co/Th6LajR5J8 — @BigDru Jul 6th, 2018

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Hearing | Sherry Chandler — Nov 17th, 2012

Featured Articles

  • Majora Carter (TED, 2006) Energy, Passion, Speaking Rate
  • Hans Rosling (TED, 2006) 6 Techniques to Present Data
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  • Steve Jobs (Stanford, 2005) Figures of speech, rule of three
  • Al Gore (TED, 2006) Humor, audience interaction
  • Dick Hardt (OSCON, 2005) Lessig Method of Presentation

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Savvy Calculator

Speech Length Calculator

About speech length calculator (formula).

The Speech Length Calculator is a tool used to estimate the duration of a speech or presentation based on the number of words and the speaking rate. The formula for calculating speech length is as follows:

Speech Length = Number of Words / Words per Minute

  • Speech Length: The estimated duration of the speech or presentation, usually measured in minutes.
  • Number of Words: The total number of words in the speech.
  • Words per Minute: The average rate at which the speaker delivers words, typically measured in words per minute (wpm).

This calculation helps presenters and speakers plan their speeches and allocate appropriate time for each segment. It also ensures that the speech fits within a given time limit, enhancing the overall effectiveness of communication.

The Speech Length Calculator is particularly useful for event organizers, public speakers, educators, and anyone delivering a presentation. By using this tool, speakers can manage their time effectively, engage the audience, and convey their message clearly and concisely. It’s important to consider factors like pauses, audience interaction, and potential questions when planning speech length.

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Speech Rate Calculator

Calculate your speech rate based on the given inputs

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Speech analysis often involves understanding speech rate and speech length. Our speech rate calculator pairs effectively with the speech length calculator , aiding in speech analysis and delivery.

How to Use the Speech Rate Calculator

The Speech Rate Calculator is a user-friendly tool designed to measure your speech rate. Speech rate refers to the speed at which you speak and is typically measured in words per minute. By calculating your speech rate, you can assess the efficiency and effectiveness of your delivery, adapt your pace to suit different audiences, and make necessary adjustments to improve your overall communication skills.

Primary Applications of the Calculator

The Speech Rate Calculator has several primary applications, including:

  • Presentation Preparation: When preparing for a presentation, it's crucial to estimate your speech rate to ensure you stay within the allocated time frame. The calculator helps you determine if you need to adjust the length or content of your speech.
  • Public Speaking Events: Whether you're delivering a keynote address, participating in a panel discussion, or giving a TED Talk, understanding your speech rate can enhance your stage presence and enable you to connect better with your audience.
  • Podcast Recording: Podcasters can benefit from the Speech Rate Calculator to maintain a consistent and engaging pace throughout their episodes. It allows hosts to deliver information effectively and capture listeners' attention.

Instructions for Utilizing the Calculator

To utilize the Speech Rate Calculator effectively, follow these simple instructions:

  • Speech Duration (in minutes): Enter the duration of your speech or the time allocated for your presentation. This value should be provided in minutes.
  • Word Count: Enter the total number of words in your speech or the script you plan to deliver. If you're unsure about the exact count, you can estimate it using word processing software or online tools.
  • Language: Select the language in which you will be delivering your speech. Choose from English, Spanish, or French.
  • Audience: Choose the appropriate audience category for your speech. Select from General if your speech targets a broad audience, Technical if it focuses on specialized knowledge or industry-specific terminology, or Academic if it is aimed at an academic audience.
  • Notes: This field is optional but can be used to include any additional information or reminders related to your speech.

Once you have filled in the required input fields, click the Calculate Speech Rate button to obtain the results.

Output Fields and Interpretations

After clicking the Calculate Speech Rate button, the Speech Rate Calculator will generate the following output fields:

  • Speech Duration (in minutes): This field displays the speech duration you entered, reaffirming the provided information.
  • Word Count: This field shows the total word count you entered, ensuring accuracy.
  • Language: The selected language is displayed in this field, indicating the language in which your speech is delivered.
  • Audience: This field reflects the audience category you chose, helping you consider the appropriate tone and level of complexity for your speech.
  • Notes: If you included any notes, they will be shown in this field, serving as a reminder or reference for your speech preparation.
  • Speech Rate: The calculated speech rate will be displayed in this field. It represents the number of words you are estimated to speak per minute, rounded to two decimal places.

Speech Rate Calculator Formula

The Speech Rate Calculator utilizes the following formula to determine your speech rate:

Speech Rate = Word Count / Speech Duration

In plain English, the speech rate is calculated by dividing the total word count of your speech by the duration of the speech in minutes.

Illustrative Example

Let's consider an example to illustrate the usage of the Speech Rate Calculator:

Suppose you have a 10-minute presentation and your speech consists of 1,500 words. You enter these values into the calculator, select English as the language, and choose the General audience category. Additionally, you include a note reminding yourself to speak slowly and emphasize key points. After clicking the Calculate Speech Rate button, the calculator generates the following results:

  • Speech Duration (in minutes): 10
  • Word Count: 1,500
  • Language: English
  • Audience: General
  • Notes: Speak slowly and emphasize key points
  • Speech Rate: 150 words per minute

Based on this example, the calculator estimates that you would speak at a rate of 150 words per minute during your presentation.

Illustrative Table Example

Suppose we have a table with multiple rows of example data, showcasing various speech durations and word counts. The Speech Rate Calculator can help us determine the speech rate for each scenario. Here is an example table:

In the table above, the Speech Rate Calculator was used to calculate the speech rates for different scenarios, taking into account varying speech durations, word counts, languages, audiences, and additional notes.

The Speech Rate Calculator is a valuable tool for anyone involved in public speaking, presentations, or podcast recordings. By understanding your speech rate, you can adjust your delivery to engage your audience effectively. By following the instructions outlined in this article and utilizing the calculator, you can enhance your communication skills, improve your speech pacing, and ensure your message resonates with your listeners.

About the Author

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Shuvo Shaha Python Developer

Shuvo Shaha is a skilled Python developer with expertise in developing efficient and user-friendly web applications. He is passionate about writing clean and maintainable code and is always exploring new technologies to improve his skills. With a strong background in computer science, Shuvo has experience working with a variety of frameworks and libraries, including Django and Flask. He is a collaborative team player who is dedicated to delivering high-quality work on time and on budget.

words to time logo

Words To Time Converter

Estimate how many minutes your speeches, presentations, and voice-over scripts will take based on your words per minute rate!

Words per Minute: 183

How To Convert Words to Minutes Using This Tool?

If you have a certain number of words or a piece of text you want to time, you can either type in the word count or paste the text into the provided area. This tool will then calculate how long it would take to read that text out loud.

The talk time estimate is calculated using the average speaking speed of adults, which is determined to be 183 words per minute based on scientific studies. If you’re interested in how long it would take to read silently, it’s estimated at 238 words per minute ( This data is also backed by research )

You can adjust the slider to change the words per minute value, which will affect the talk time estimate. However, the silent reading time estimate remains fixed at 238 words per minute. 

For ease of use, we’ve also provided reference points for slow, average, and fast reading rates below the slider.

To begin anew, simply click the ‘clear text’ button to erase the content and restore the slider back to its original setting of 183.

I. Who is This Words to Minutes Converter Tool For?

If you are a student wondering how long is my essay or you’ve been tasked with writing a speech and need to know how many words to aim for and how many minutes will it take to deliver or perhaps you are a podcaster, just starting out, who wants the ability to easily synchronize music and spoken word without having to painstakingly calculate seconds between them, then this words to time converter (or speech time calculator-you may call it if you are a public speaker) is precisely for you! 

From now on, instead of spending long hours in front of the computer trying to figure out how many seconds it takes for one phrase or section of dialogue to end and another to begin, you can let our innovative tool do all the work and convert your text to time quickly and accurately. With this powerful tool at your disposal, whether you’re giving a TED talk or just need to nail a business presentation, your life will become a little bit easier.

So keep reading to learn more about what this fantastic words to minutes converter has in store for public speakers, aspiring students, and professional radio producers alike!

Whether you want to read the text silently or speak aloud, you can use this tool as both:

  • Reading time calculator
  • Talk time calculator

II.I Explanation of the Reading Time

Reading time refers to the duration it takes for an average person to read a written text silently while still comprehending its content. Based on an extensive analysis of 190 studies that involved 18,573 participants , research conducted by Marc Brysbaert in 2019 suggests that the typical silent reading speed for an adult individual is approximately 238 words per minute .

To convert word count to read time for a specific text, you can do so by dividing the total word count of the text by this established value of 238. Here is the mathematical equation for determining the duration of reading time in minutes:

Reading Time = Total Word Count / 238

II.II Explanation of the Speech Time

Speech time refers to the duration it takes for an average person to read a text out loud. Based on data from 77 studies involving 5,965 people , it’s been found that most adults read aloud at a speed of approximately 183 words per minute ( research conducted by Marc Brysbaert in 2019 ). To figure out how long it will take to read a specific piece of text aloud, you can divide the total number of words in the text by this average rate of 183 words per minute.

Of course, it’s important to note that talk time can vary depending on factors such as clarity of speech, pauses for emphasis, and use of visual aids. However, using this tool for converting the number of words to minutes can still provide a helpful guideline for planning and practicing your presentation. By having a better understanding of speech rates, you can ensure that your message is delivered effectively and efficiently.

III. Benefits of Using a Words to Time Converter

Time management in presentations.

Effective time management during presentations is crucial to ensure the audience remains engaged and the information is accurately conveyed. This is where our speaking time converter comes in handy. By using this tool, presenters can easily determine how many words they need to include in their presentation to stay within the allotted time frame.

Not only does it help with time management, but it also ensures that the pacing of the presentation is consistent, making it easier for the audience to follow. With the use of this tool, presenters can confidently deliver their presentations without the worry of running over time or rushing through it.

Estimated speech time for public speaking

Public speaking can be nerve-wracking, especially when you have too little or too much information to fill your time slot. You wonder only if there were an accurate public speaking time calculator available so that you could be able to allocate the appropriate amount of time to each section of your presentation, ensuring that you cover all the necessary points without rushing or going over time. 

Effective pacing is key in ensuring your message is delivered with clarity and impact.

Most public speakers target an average of 130-150 words per minute for their spoken content, meaning you should aim to limit your speaking time to roughly one minute per 130-150 words. While this may take some practice to achieve, the end result is a confident, well-timed delivery that keeps your audience engaged from start to finish.

Remember, in public speaking, less is often more—take your time to breathe and emphasize key points. Your audience will appreciate your thoughtful and measured approach. For that, you can use this tool and adjust your words to speech time.

Accurate estimations for audiobooks and podcasts

As more and more people turn to audiobooks and podcasts for their entertainment and information needs, accurate estimations of listening time have become more important than ever. After all, there’s nothing worse than settling in for a quick listen only to find yourself trapped in a story that goes on for hours longer than you anticipated.

That’s why it’s great to see publishers and podcast producers taking estimated reading time seriously, providing listeners with the information they need to choose the right content for their schedule. Whether you’re looking for a quick listen on your daily commute or a lengthy distraction for a lazy Sunday afternoon, accurate estimations using this speaking time calculator make it easier than ever to find the perfect content.

IV. Some Popular Speech Times

V. conclusion.

As the world becomes more fast-paced, time is a precious commodity. Determining how long your script will take to read, whether for a presentation or a video, can make a significant difference in engaging and retaining your audience’s attention.

That’s where our Words to Time Converter comes in handy. It’s a valuable tool for anyone working in various professions, from broadcast journalists to teachers to executives. No matter the industry, time is of the essence, and knowing how long your speech or presentation will take is crucial for effective communication.

words per minute speaking presentation

Presentation Time Calculator

PT Time Controller

보다 정확하게 측정하고 싶다면, Customize를 이용하세요.

1. If you scroll right or left, it will calculate PT time according to corresponding speed. 2. You can consider your speech speed and the interval of your PPT pages .

140 WPM (Words Per Minute)

* 매우 천천히 설명하는 발표는 330 CPM까지도 내려갑니다.

1. Read your script for 20 seconds using below stopwatch. 2. Enter the script as much as you just read and it will calculate PT time about total script. 3. If you have PPT, enter the number of PPT pages, the interval of PPT pages and the time to view materials.

2021.03.18. Modified