Rate of Speech:

Speed of Speech, Words per Minute, and More

Do you know how fast you talk? How many words per minute do you average when speaking in public?

What about rate of speech - how does that affect your ability to be understood by others?

In this article, we'll discuss :

  • what it is
  • how it affects communication
  • and some tips on how to adjust your speech rate for maximum impact
  • Eminent speakers
  • Lot's more

If this is what you are looking for then, Stay tuned - it's time to start talking faster!


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What is Speech Rate? How is it Calculated?

Speech rate is the number of speech units produced per unit of time. It is typically measured in words per minute (wpm). To calculate speech rate, simply speak for a few minutes and then tally up the number of words in your speech. Now, divide the total number of words by the total amount of time your speech lasted.

For example, if someone speaks 200 words in 2 minutes, their speech rate would be 100 wpm. While speech rate varies from person to person, most people speak at a rate of around 150 wpm. However, rates can vary depending on the situation. For example, people often speak more quickly when they are nervous or excited. Additionally, some languages are spoken more quickly than others.

I read an article in which it was stated that Spanish is spoken more rapidly than English. The main difference between the two languages is that, in English, the typical syllable is closed (consonant-vowel-consonant), whereas in Spanish, the typical syllable is open (meaning consonant-vowel).

There are other factors too.

Considering the above hypothesis, on the flip side, you might come across some of your Spainish friends who are speaking slowly or who speak slower than other Spanish people.

What about people whose first language is English but has a foreign accent? In most cases, they should have a slower rate.

Ultimately, speech rate is affected by a variety of these factors, not to mention individual physiology and personal choice.

Great. Now coming to the next bit of information.

rate of speech various factors

Is the Average words per minute spoken rate important?

The average words per minute spoken rate is important because it can help to determine how well a person can communicate. Your speech rate has an influence on how the audience perceives you and your message. For them, a slow speech is usually easier to comprehend. You provide your audience time to absorb your message by inserting pauses in between.

So they don’t lose interest.

In short, the speaking rate is highly individual.

Awesome! This leads to the next question. Can you practice pace variation?

How to practice average words per minute speaking pace?

According to the National Center for Voice and Speech, the average person speaks at a rate of about 150 wpm in the US. However, many people find that they speak faster or slower than this depending on the situation. There are a few things you can do to either hasten or slow down your pace.

One method is to memorize a short passage and then read it aloud at a slow and steady pace. Another way is to read aloud and record yourself reading a passage at your regular speaking rate. Save the file and then count the number of words you say in 60 seconds using a stopwatch.

By practicing these techniques, you can learn to control your speaking speed and maintain an average rate of 150 words per minute.

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

This is a question that many people ask, and there are a few things to consider before deciding on an answer.

First, decide the words per minute rate that you want to achieve. For most people, a rate of around 150 words per minute is ideal.

Second, consider the length of your presentation. If you’re giving a short speech, then you’ll want to keep your script relatively short so that you don’t run out of time.

However, if you’re giving a long speech, then you’ll need to include more content in your script to keep the audience engaged.

Finally, think about the overall tone of your presentation. If you’re trying to be funny or lighthearted, then a shorter script might be best so that you don’t lose the audience’s attention. On the other hand, if you’re delivering serious information, then a longer script might be necessary so that you can cover all of the important points. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing the length of your script. It simply depends on your individual goals and needs.

Most people prefer podcast duration not to exceed 30-40 mins.

(Quite obvious)

Because it is hard to keep your concentration going.

This brings us to the most interesting part in this article.

List of Good Speakers & TED Talks

Here are some of our recommended Ted talks that you should definitely watch to figure out how leading speakers speak.

Jennifer AakerBehavioral scientist

Trevor Aaronson – Journalist

Karim Abouelnaga -Education entrepreneur

J.J. Abrams-Filmmaker

Marc Abrahams -Science humorist

Jad Abumrad -Radio hosts, producer

José Antonio Abreu -Maestro

Allan Adams-Theoretical physicist

Shai Agassi -Green auto pioneer

Chris Anderson -Drone maker

Apart from this, you should also check out videos on how Martin Luther King delivered “I Have a Dream” or Tony Robbins delivering his motivational speeches.

(Very engaging)

Ok. So, let’s understand the speaking rates now.

What is the Correct Rate of Speech?

There is no correct speech rate, as everyone speaks at their own pace. Some people speak quickly, while others take their time between words. However, according to National Center for Voice and Speech, the average rate of speech is 150 wpm for English speakers in the US.

While there is no one right way to speak, some experts believe that speaking at a moderate rate is most effective. This allows listeners to process what is being said without feeling overwhelmed. It also gives speakers the opportunity to emphasize important points and choose their words carefully. Ultimately, the best speech rate is the one that feels natural for both the speaker and the listener.

High Speaking Rate

The world record for the highest speaking rate is held by Steve Woodmore, who spoke at a rate of 637 words per minute in 1990. This breaks down to around 10.6 words per second. In comparison, the average speaking rate is around 150 words per minute, or 2.5 words per second.

To put it simply, this means that Steve Woodmore can say in one minute what the average person would take nearly four minutes to say. While it’s certainly impressive, it’s worth noting that Steve’s world record is not without controversy. Some experts have questioned whether his rapid-fire delivery is actually comprehensible, and whether it counts as ‘speaking‘ in the traditional sense of the word. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that he holds the world record for the highest speaking rate!

What is Rate Tempo in Speech?

Tempo is the rate at which speech is produced, typically measured in words per minute (wpm).

How long is a 500 word speech in minutes?

The average speaking rate is about 150 words per minute. This means that a 500 word speech would take approximately 3 minutes 30 seconds to deliver using the formula,

Rate of Speech(wpm) = Total number of words spoken/Total time taken

However, it’s important to keep in mind that speech rate can vary depending on the situation. For instance, people tend to speak more quickly when they’re nervous or excited. As a result, a 500 word speech could be delivered in as little as 3 minutes, or it could take up to 5 minutes. The key is to find a balance between speaking too quickly and too slowly. By maintaining a steady speech rate, you’ll be able to deliver your message effectively and keep your audience engaged for a comfortable pace conversational between the two parties.

Important Fixes You Need to Know for Windows 10

Why is dictation not working on my Windows 10?

Follow the below steps to fix this issue in Windows 10:

  1. Ensure your microphone isn’t muted.
  2. Reduce the amount of background noise.
  3. Set the input level on your microphone.
  4. Consider using an external microphone instead of a built-in one.

How do I reset Windows voice recognition?

Following the below steps you can reset Windows voice recognition:

  1. Open Control Panel
rate of speech control panel ease of access
  1. Click on Ease of Access > Speech Recognition >Advanced speech options
rate of speech control panel advanced speech options
  1. Under Recognition Profiles > Click New to set up a new profile.
rate of speech control panel recognition profiles

Why is my speech recognition not working?

In case speech recognition is not working, ensure “online speech recognition” is turned on. The steps are as below:

  1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Speech
  2. Under Speech look for “Online speech recognition
  3. Toggle the slider to the right to turn it On.

Can Windows 10 turn on speech recognition?

Yes, using voice recognition you can teach Windows 10 to recognize your voice. Here’s how:

Prerequisites: Make sure your microphone is set up correctly.

1.Go to Settings > Time & Language > Speech

rate of speech settings time and language

2.Look for Microphone, and then tap Get started.

rate of speech settings microphone

FAQ: Speech Rate

Is speaking 200 words per minute too fast?

There is no one definitive answer regarding whether speaking at 200 words per minute is too fast or not. Some people might find it difficult to keep up with someone who talks so quickly, while others might welcome the challenge of trying to process and engage with such a rapid pace of speech. Ultimately, it depends on your individual preferences and what feels natural and comfortable to you. 

How many words is a 10 minute presentation?

That depends on how fast you talk. The average speaking rate being about 150 words per minute, so a 10 minute presentation would be about 1500 words long. However, some people have a faster rate while others have slower rate than the average, so the actual number of words in a 10 minute talk can vary. If you’re planning this, it’s a good idea to time yourself so you know how long it will actually take. That way, you can make sure you have enough material to fill the allocated time.


So that was rate of speech for now. What is your wpm?

Can you measure that and let me know? Also let me know if you know of any other way to vary pace? I would love to hear back from you in the comments below.

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