Calculate your speaking pace

medium_26109113When drafting a speech, how do you know how many words to write to fill the time you have allotted? Use this trick:

For one minute, time yourself reading aloud an excerpt from a favorite book or article. Make sure you are familiar with the content, and inject the appropriate pauses and intonation as you speak.

After a minute, stop and count the number of words you’ve read. That will give you an approximation of your speaking pace. Once you understand that, you can write enough words to fill the time frame as needed.

Note: Some experts suggest that 125-130 words per minute is ideal when you are giving a presentation. So if you speak much faster or slower than that, work on adjusting your rhythm until you feel comfortable speaking at that pace.

– Adapted from “Words per Minute When Speechwriting,” Rich Watts,

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One response to “Calculate your speaking pace

  1. Pingback: What did you say? | Jacqui Senn

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