Adventure 1 minute speech, how many words

Calculating speaking time: How many words per minute do I speak?

Do a few slides, start talking and in the middle of it all notice how the audience groans because the coffee is getting cold outside? Hardly anything is more embarrassing than not having your speaking time under control. As a professional speaker, you will of course get a solid spot landing. How? Here you can read how to master your timing perfectly.

Here, too, the script method will do you the best possible service. Once you write down your presentation in full, you will get a feel for its proportions, but more of that later. First of all, here is the simple answer:

1 minute of speaking time corresponds to about 110 written words- including breaks. That’s a thumbs-up, but it works quite well. There are 3 variables to consider:

  • The bigger the audience and the worse the acoustics, the slower I have to speak. If I am equipped with professional sound technology, I can chat by the hundreds as if in a close circle. It is different in places with a noisy backdrop, for example at trade fairs: Here I have to slow the pace to get across. In addition, I often have to take breaks when something noisy interferes. And then pick up the thread again. That eats up time. I subtract 15% of the time and then calculate about 95 words per minute.
  • The more official or devout the occasion, the slower I speak.A snappy sales presentation has more WpM - words per minute - than an eulogy. Here I subtract 10%. I then calculate with 100 words per minute.
  • The more freely I speak, the more I say.When I am completely familiar with the text and the subject, I improvise. Which usually means: I'll invent around 10% more. I plan that in advance.

I usually do it like this: I script my presentationMinute pages with 110 words and leave at least 10% air.So for a 20-minute lecture, I scripted 18-minute pages. Minute pages * are pre-formatted pages in Word on which I write my speeches, lectures or presentations. Then I always know: 1 page of text is 1 minute of speaking. Even while writing, I can see when something is getting out of hand, no longer fits and, above all, when the end of my lecture is approaching. With this way of working, the coffee during the break can be enjoyed fresh - and everyone will rave about your lecture, how entertaining it was.

* You can find out here how you can format your minutes page yourself.