How Many Words is a 5 Minute Speech?
You’re preparing to write a speech but there’s a 5-minute time limit. Now, you’re faced with the big question: How many words should you use then?
Any resource will tell you that you can only approximate the number of words it would take to write a 5-minute speech.
Publication coach Daphne Gray-Grant says that the average person speaks about 125-150 words per minute—meaning 5 minutes of talking would entail about 625-750 words. That’s about the typical length of a blog article!
Here’s a fun exercise for you—we’re keeping this blog article to 750 words so you can read it out loud to see if it would fit into the 5-minute time limit. How’s that for an experiment?
When you do this oral exercise, keep in mind that there are other factors which might affect the results. People speak in varying speeds—some speak slowly, others do the exact opposite. The good news is, it is easier to adjust the speed of delivery as compared to the number of words used. Beyond the word count, being able to communicate the essence of your speech clearly and eloquently is more important.
Pacing yourself helps you articulate better and emphasize the most salient parts of your speech. You’re not just putting yourself out there to say something — retention is key. You have to make your message (or at least the crux of it) memorable to your audience.
Just like a novel, the content needs to pack a punch in order to sustain the audience’s interest. If you think about it, a speech should work even harder because (1) it’s shorter and (2) it’s purely an aural experience which requires the full attention of your audience.
Before you start writing, Jeff Schmitt of Forbes advises keeping these two objectives in mind: “Make a good impression and leave your audience with two or three takeaways.”
Schmitt also highlights the importance of “striking the right tone.” Know your audience well, their reasons for wanting to listen to your speech, and what they want out of it.
Matt Eventoff of YPO elaborates on several “memorable ways to open a speech or presentation.” A quote, “what if” scenario, or statistic are some of the methods you can utilize to captivate your audience.
To make your speech more interesting, Gray-Grant advises “to tell stories or give examples” because stories “stick” and people actually recall them. Another approach is to use humor to break the monotony, but only when it serves an “organic” and relevant purpose for your topic or message. Try not to detract from the flow and coherence of your speech or from the essence of your message.
Just like what chapter breaks are to a novel, remember to integrate cues for pauses or breaks in between points of your speech in order to signal the end of one topic and to smoothly transition to the next.
Keep your language simple and conversational to maximize engagement with your audience. Scholastic gives some tips like using short sentences, contractions, and colloquialisms in your speech.
Avoid tongue-twisters or big words that are difficult to articulate in one breath. You will only subject yourself to potential blunders. This will deflate your confidence in delivering the speech effectively.
Most importantly, get your facts straight. Any speech can be engaging and witty, but people look for truthfulness and credibility more than anything. Citing concrete examples to prove a point is a persuasive method as well. Real-life actualizations are truths in the minds of your listeners. Thus, they will remain engaged on what else you have to say.
Toss a question or two for a bit of introspection. Some people actually do this either at the beginning or at the end of a speech. Making your audience think brings your message across more effectively because it opens up the opportunity for them to contemplate on an application of your insight into their daily lives.
After writing your speech, review the entire material for clarity and brevity. Simplify and tighten the language if need be.
Attention spans are shorter these days (8.25 seconds, according to a study made by the Static Brain Research Institute) so the more succinct you are, the better.
If you can, divide the word count equally among each salient point of your speech. For example, 750 words with 4 key topics would mean around 187 words dedicated for each topic.
Be concise yet comprehensive—and remember to use our word counter to keep it brief.
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5-Minute Speech Word Count + Crucial Writing & Speaking Tips
If you’re faced with the frightening notion of giving a 5-minute speech, whether for business or “pleasure,” you’ll need to know roughly how many words to write. Nobody enjoys listening to someone drone on for too long, or witnessing a speech that is shorter than Danny Devito’s trousers. The timing of your speech needs to be just right, and perfectly suited to the occasion.
In this article, we explore the 5-minute speech word count, what affects it, and provide some writing and speaking tips for delivering an excellent, memorable speech. We also outline the word counts for other timed speeches, depending on your average talking speed. Let’s get to it.
What is the 5-minute speech word count?
The 5-minute speech word count is roughly 750 words. This is based on the average talking speed of 150 words per minute (WPM).
Of course, the timing of your speech will vary depending on how quickly you talk, as well as the words that you use. Monosyllabic words are shorter than multisyllabic words, so if your speech is filled with long-winded academic language, or you’re trying to show people how clever you are by using engorged, flowery words (like I just did here), you’ll probably need far fewer for your 5 minutes. We strongly recommend against this kind of thing anyway—people usually prefer listening to speeches with simple, easy-to-understand language (more on this below). As for your natural talking speed, this can also drastically affect how many words you need to use for your 5-minute speech, so once you’ve finished writing it, the best course of action is to read your speech through and time yourself. It’s the only real way of knowing whether you’re going to hit the 5-minute mark.
Nerves play a part in speed too, and while it’s nigh-on-impossible to vanquish your nerves entirely, try to keep your natural speaking pace so that you stay close to 5 minutes. Even if you come in a little shorter, it’s unlikely to be a problem unless you happen to have a deranged supervisor with a stopwatch. Practising the speech will also help to combat your nerves—you’ll be much more familiar with the text, and will have practised any difficult or awkward words that are easy to trip over.
Writing tips for your 5-minute speech
Good writing is the foundation of every first-rate 5-minute speech. If it’s badly written, it will probably sound bad when it’s spoken. But don’t panic—there are some key writing principles you can follow that will help you to pen a great speech:
- Be conversational— unless you’re a glutton for punishment, you’d probably prefer to be spoken to than lectured to. A speech that is conversational tends to be more engaging, interesting, and goes down much more easily. Try to be as friendly and conversational as you can, and write how you would naturally talk.
- Use short words —as we touched on above, short words are not only easier for people to understand, they will make your speech easier to say, and will feel less like a lecture and more like an informal chat. It’s obviously fine if you need to use long technical words, but try to keep them at a minimum, and briefly explain them if necessary (this depends on your audience, which brings us to our next tip).
- Remove unnecessary words— you can almost always remove unnecessary words from your speech to make it sharper. Words like “that,” “just,” and “completely” are just a few examples, but there are many many more .
- Use the active voice— this is a style of writing where the subject of the sentence is doing something, rather than having something done to them. For example: “the team hit their goals” uses the active voice and is more vivid than its passive variation: “the team’s goals were hit.” If you use the active voice where possible, your writing will sound more direct and confident.
- Anticipate your audience’s wants and needs— try to align the purpose of your speech with what the audience wants or needs to know. If you hit the nail on the head, they’ll come away with information that is genuinely useful to them, and will naturally be more interested in what you have to say.
- Tell stories— as humans, most of us enjoy listening to stories more than anything else. They tap into our primal need for meaning, and help us make sense of the world in ways that we are familiar with. If it works, try to include a narrative throughout your speech that has a beginning, middle, and end. This can be challenging, but it could make your speech captivating. If you’re interested, check out our article on digital storytelling for more info on this topic.
- Give examples— dry theoretical facts are hard to digest, but they can be made more interesting and vivid with examples, and will help people to remember them.
- Use comedy —if it’s appropriate, try to sprinkle some humour into your speech, as it will instantly become much more engaging. Just try to avoid anything sexist or racist. And the Holocaust. Don’t joke about the Holocaust.
- Summarise your main points— if appropriate, wrap up your speech with a short summary of points. This helps people to remember the material, and is especially useful for business presentations.
If you really struggle with writing and have a crucial speech to make, you can always consider hiring a professional ghostwriter . Politicians and other famous people do this all the time.
Speaking tips for your 5-minute speech
Now that you’ve written your beautiful 5-minute speech, and your word count is spot on, you can start preparing for its delivery. Here are a few key speaking and preparation tips that will help.
- Accept your nervousness —unless you’re in the lucky 10% who don’t mind public speaking, you’re going to be nervous. Probably very nervous. And there’s nothing to do but accept them, as uncomfortable as they are. Fighting just makes them worse, so try to reluctantly acknowledge them and remember that you are going to be ok.
- Take some deep belly breaths— breathing deeply through your belly (called diaphragmatic breathing) reduces the stress hormone cortisol in your body, and will help you calm you down. It takes conscious effort too, so can be a welcome distraction until you take the stage.
- Practise— print your speech, stand in front of a mirror, and practise the hell out of it. The more you practise, the more familiar you will become with the words, the cadence of the sentences, and the right speed. When it’s time to deliver the speech, you’ll be a pro.
- Take your time— nervousness causes people to talk faster, which can corrode the quality of a speech. Try your best to talk at your natural speed, with plenty of regular pauses (this is especially important when you shift from one point to another).
- Look up regularly —the eyes are the window to the soul, and if yours are glued to your speech for the full 5-minutes, it risks becoming soulless. Try to look up as frequently as you can, even if it’s every 30 seconds.
- Interact with the audience —if appropriate, interact with your audience by asking questions, using props, or any other tool that will get people talking. This can make your presentation more engaging, and may also reduce your nerves because the spotlight will be temporarily away from you.
Word counts for other speech times
If you’re looking for word counts for other common speech times, you’ll find them below. As with the 5-minute speech word count, this is a rough guide because the times vary depending on the length and syllables of words in your speech.
5-minute speech word count—summary
The 5-minute speech word count is about 750 words, but this varies depending on how quickly you talk, and the words used in the speech. So practising and timing yourself is the best way to get close to the 5-minutes. Good luck—we hope you smash it!
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How Many Words Are in a 5 Minute Long Speech?
Answer: At the normal speaking rate of 130 words per minute (wpm), a 5 minutes long speech will have about 650 words .
Speech and publication coach Daphne Gray-Grant found that, on average, people speak at a rate of 125 to 150 wpm so a 5 minutes long speech uses between 625 to 750 words.
You can use our word counter tool to see how long on average your text will take to speak.
How can you measure your spoken words per minute?
To quickly know what your speaking rate is, write a 650-word essay and then get out a stopwatch. Time how long it takes you to speak all of the words in the essay.
Once you’ve finished, divide the word count (650 words) by the number of minutes in decimals (30 seconds = 0.5 minutes) and you’ll get an estimate of your words per minute speaking rate.
For example, if it takes you 4.5 minutes to speak 650 words, you would do 650 divided by 4.5 and get 144 words per minute.
Word Count per Speech Length
To quickly find out how many words a typical speaking length requires, see the table below. You can quickly map word counts to typical speaking rates:
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How Many Words is a 5-Minute Speech
I like building and growing simple yet powerful products for the world and the worldwide web.
Published Date : November 16, 2020
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Giving a speech is not as easy as you may think. After all, being in front of many people will surely give you pressure. You can feel all sweaty and nervous. Fortunately, giving a speech is usually planned ahead of time, so you can still prepare yourself before it happens.
That’s why if you are going to present something or give a speech , the first thing you should know is how many words per minute a speech .
It is crucial, especially if you are asked to do a speech in a limited time, for instance, a 5-minute speech . Will you be able to finish the task perfectly?
You might first ask yourself how to compose a speech with that time limit, or more importantly, how many words is a 5-minute speech ?
To make sure you will be able to do your job flawlessly while looking and sounding smart, here is some information to guide you. Please, read on.
How many words per minute speech?
Aren’t you curious how many words a person can talk in a minute? How about in a speech ? Have you ever thought about why it’s essential to know how many words per minute speech can speakers use?
How about longer speeches? How many words is a 3-minute speech , a 5 minute, or a 10-minute speech ? These are questions that might confuse speakers, especially those that are new to public speaking .
Theoretically, in a regular conversation, a person can talk up to 100 to 150 words, but this still depends on how people deliver their words. After all, some people talk fast while others are slower than average.
Those who talk fast can put more words on their speech while the average or slower should follow the standard or minimum prescribed words.
Here is a table that can show you how many words per minute of speech an average speaker can do.
How do you estimate your spoken words?
Now that you know the average number of words a person can say, you surely want to estimate how many words you can say. The number of words you speak depends on your pacing or how fast or slow you talk.
- The easiest way to estimate it is to time yourself while giving a speech . Use a timer to count how many words per minute speech you can do.
- There is also some app that can count how many words you speak in a speech . These apps can even determine the pacing, diction, or filler words in the speech . Make use of these applications to make it easier for you to estimate the number of words you will be using in your speech .
- You can also use your phone to record your voice then manually count each word you say.
- A video can also do the trick. You can take a video of yourself while doing a speech so you can count how many words you said. With the video, you can even see what you look like when you are giving a speech .
Choose any of the above ways so you know how many words you can say. Once you have the estimated count, you can now use it to reference how many words per minute of speech you can do.
However, this number can change depending on your situation.
For example, an impromptu speech can make you nervous, which will affect your pacing. With the change of pace, you can talk faster or slower than your usual pacing.
Although changing the pacing is sometimes useful to show dynamic in your speech . However, ensure that your pacing will not distract your listeners, and they won’t feel your nervousness.
How many words are in a 3-minute speech?
As mentioned earlier, the average words a person can say in a minute speech are around 100 to 150 but can change depending on the speaker’s pacing and situation. That is why if you want to know how many words is a 3-minute speech , then the short answer is about 300 up to 450 words.
However, would that be enough for you to say everything you want to say in your speech ? Although you can say many things within 3 minutes, it might not be enough to explain your subject to your listeners fully.
Here are some tips that can help you finish your 3-minute speech with ease with that kind of problem.
- First is you need to focus on your subject. Since you’re constrained with time, you must limit your speech by directly attacking the topic. Do not be vague on your points to convey your ideas within the time limit.
- After that, choose one main key point on your subject. It should be the one that you are very familiar with or good at. It is vital if you want to leave a striking impression on your listener. Ensure that you sound smart when talking about the subject, and you can only do that if you master the topic.
- Revolve your speech on that particular point so you can quickly and confidently speak about it with your audience.
With this, you will not have difficulty adjusting the words you need to say in your speech . You can also convey your thoughts better and attract your audience’s attention. By knowing how you can emphasize your subject, you won’t have a problem estimating how many words per minute of speech . You can also learn more about public speaking by visiting this site .
How many words do I need for a five-minute speech?
If you have given a time limit for a speech , then it means that you need to adhere to it. You may ask yourself how many words is a 5-minute speech ?
Based on the table above, it should be around 500 to 750 words. With this amount of words and time, you can convey many things to your audiences.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can bombard your audience with a lot of information. You can’t be like a robot in front of them and spew out information.
If this is your first time giving a speech , then let this guide help you out. Here are some do’s and don’ts when giving a speed in front of an audience.
How many words do I need for a ten-minute speech?
In a 10-minute speech , you can say about 1000 to 1500 words. But this number can change depending on how many words per minute speech you can do.
Some people tend to talk fast, while others speak slower than average. However, there are also times when a person’s pacing or speaking rate changes because of their situation. Just like in estimating how many words is a 5-minute speech , you can take a video of yourself to evaluate your pacing when giving the speech .
It’s also good to plan your 5-minute speech since you have ample time to expound on your topic. Planning your speech will also help you make it sound coherent, especially if you will be explaining a difficult subject. It is also vital that you make your discussion relevant so that your listeners will not get bored.
Here are several factors that can affect a person speaking rate or pacing.
- Regular pacing/speaking rate
Your standard speaking rate is influenced by the environment you have. These factors include the place you grew up, the culture, the way your parents or family speaks, and mannerisms.
When a person feels tense or jittery, they tend to talk faster than their regular speaking rate, affecting how many words per minute speech they can do.
- Urgent or emergency matter
When you need to say something hurriedly, you tend to speak fast to convey your thought swiftly to the listener. You can change your pacing when to show dynamics in speech but make sure that your listener can still understand what you’re saying.
Tiredness is also a factor that can affect people’s speaking rates. When you are tired, your mind will function slower, which makes you speak slowly.
Your pauses and fillers can occupy your speaking time, so find ways to avoid it . Some listeners are also very sensitive when hearing a lot of fillers. Hence, too many fillers and pauses can disrupt your flow of discussion and can bring discomfort to your listeners as well.
- Use of complex words
If the subject is a bit complicated, you might need to speak slowly and consider how many words per minute speech , so your audience can slowly digest everything you say
How to prepare a 5-minute speech for public speaking?
Now that you know how many words per minute of speech you can do and how many words is a 5-minute speech , you can now easily prepare a speech .
Here are some ideas on how to prepare yourself for your speech .
- Quality over quantity – Ensure that you prioritize your speech ’s quality instead of the number of words in your speech . Make sure that you convey all important and necessary information to your listeners.
- Crack a joke – Don’t be afraid to say jokes but make sure that it’s related to your topic. After all, you don’t want to make your audience feel awkward, but you also don’t make it boring.
- Do your research – Make sure that you are prepared and ready before you do your speech . Do your research and study well so you can provide credible information to your listeners.
- Keep it simple – By keeping the speech simple, you will avoid getting sidetracked on your topic. It will also prevent you from rambling, unnecessary things to make your speech better. You can expound on the subject but always remember to know how many words per minute speech .
- Tell a related story – People will understand you better if you tell them things relatable to them. You don’t need to say everything about you but enough for them to get hooked and hear you out until the end.
- Practice, practice, practice! Even if you know how many words is a 5-minute speech , your performance might still not be successful if you don’t practice. By practicing your address, you can fluently convey all facts and information to your listeners. It will also prevent you from making any mistakes and will make the whole thing better.
This video can also help you practice your public speaking :
What are some tips for writing a 3-minute speech?
Giving a speech within 3 minutes may seem very fast, but you can convey many things within that time as long as you plan ahead. First, you must know how many words is a 3-minute speech before writing anything.
Depending on how many words per minute of speech , you have to convey your topic even with a limited time.
Here are some tips on how you can put an informative and useful speech within 3-minutes to help you out.
Before knowing how many words is a 3-minute speech , it is imperative to research your topic to create a good speech .
- Create an Outline
Break down what you need to say in your speech . Create a structure and a step-by-step procedure that you need to follow when giving the speech .
- Write an opening statement.
The opening statement is crucial when you are giving a speech . It allows you to get your audience’s attention and engage them to listen.
- List down the main points.
Don’t also forget to list down 1 to 3 main points. This central point has all the essential facts and information that you must convey to the audience. As long as you know your main points, it’s easy to assess how many words per minute of speech you will do.
- Don’t forget to memorize
Remember to practice and memorize the speech that you have written. This way, you can confidently stand in front of your audience and finish your speech .
Methods on How You Can Improve When Giving Speech
Are you going to give a 5-minute speech at the next event you’re going to? Are you nervous, and do you already know how many words is a 5-minute speech ?
If not yet, then let this help you out. A 5-minute speech has 500 to 750 words, and if you are still not ready to give a speech , here are some methods to help you out.
- Make sure that you practice before you give a speech . You can ask someone to help you out or video yourself to know what you need to change to deliver a better speech .
- Listen to how other speakers do their speech . You will surely get some ideas on how to make your speech better.
- Experiment on your own and try different pacing to get the right speaking rate you want to have when you give your speech .
- Read books or news and familiarize yourself with the information. See how it flows and try to say it aloud. Repeat it several times and also try to change the pacing you use on each repetition.
- You can also visit sites that can help you develop your speaking skills.
Knowing how many words per minute of speech , you can do is essential, especially when making a speech . It will give you an estimate of how many words you can say with a speech that has a time limit.
While knowing how many words are in a 5-minute speech will give you a limit on how many words you can convey. You can also quickly outline what you need to say since there is a time limit.
With these tips and information, you can easily do your speech without any problem. Remember everything you read here, and it will surely help you ace the public speaking task. Download the Orai app at the App Store today to start your free trial with your AI speech coach !
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How Many Words in a 5 Minute Speech (Word Count)?
December 22, 2022
It is helpful to write the script of a speech before delivering it live. However, we’re always unsure of what number of words is enough! This article explains how many words to include in 5 minute, 3 minute, 7 minute speech, 10 minute speech and the formula behind it. We’ll also cover how quickly or slowly to speak in different situations
How to Calculate Number of Words in a Speech
Most native English speakers speak at 140 words per minute (this varies across cultures). The typical conversational pace lies in the range from 130 – 170 words per minute. While average numbers for speaking rates are helpful, note that the variation in pace is what makes a speech interesting – you want to go fast in sections that convey excitement and slow down to pause in areas where you want the audience to think.
Software to Calculate Number of Words in a Speech
Try Yoodli’s free AI speech coaching app to see how quickly you speak. Yoodli will instantly generate your pacing analytic and compare how you did relative to celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Barrack Obama. You’ll also see an instant transcript of your speech to help you count the number of words. Here are typical speaking rates for speeches run through Yoodli:
- Steve Jobs: 170 WPM ( analytics )
- Barrack Obama: 129 WPM ( analytics )
- Oprah Winfrey: 134 WPM ( analytics )
- Elon Musk: 172 WPM ( analytics )
Examples of Words per Minute Depending on Speaker Type
It may not always be appropriate to speak at a conversational pace. For instance, if you’re speaking at a eulogy, you might want to come across as somber and speak more slowly. In the same vein, you might consider speaking slower when addressing an audience that may not speak your language or won’t understand your topic (speaking more slowly gives them an opportunity to internalize what’s being said).
Alternatively, if you’re trying to demonstrate passion and excitement you might want to speak much faster than conversational pace. Think of the soccer broadcaster celebrating a world cup goal! If they spoke at an average pace, we wouldn’t know that the goal is a crucial moment or something to celebrate.
We’ve listed some average speaking rates below:
Average speech rates
- Presentations : between 120-150 wpm for a comfortable pace
- Conversational : between 120-170 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
How Many Words Are in a 5 Minute Speech?
Most speakers have 650 – 850 words in a 5 minute speech, with the average at ~700 words.
How Many Words Are in a 3 Minute Speech?
Most speakers have 390 – 510 words in a 5 minute speech, with the average at ~420 words.
How Many Words Are in a 6 Minute Speech?
Most speakers have 780 – 1020 words in a 7 minute speech, with the average at ~840 words.
How Many Words Are in a 7 Minute Speech?
Most speakers have 910 – 1190 words in a 7 minute speech, with the average at ~980 words.
How Many Words Are in a 10 Minute Speech?
Most speakers have 1300 – 1700 words in a 7 minute speech, with the average at ~1400 words.
Start practicing with Yoodli.
Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.
The 5-Minute Speech and How to Write One
Average: 3 ( 1 vote)
Many people feel nervous before giving a speech, and there is added pressure if you have to get your message across in a short space of time. It is a challenge to be sure to include all the various crucial points that make your speech impactful and engaging.
To overcome this challenge we suggest that you prepare a speech outline that includes all those points that can illustrate your central idea, but which you can cover in the allotted time.
In this article, we will take a quick look at how to write a 5-minute speech having defined all of your core points. Let’s first understand where these types of speeches are required the most.
When are 5-Minute Speeches Required?
Here are some specific situations where you may be asked to deliver a 5-minute speech.
Introducing a new employee in the company and letting everyone know about his designation and experience.
Making a special event announcement in the office where you have to describe the importance of that event.
Pitching a service or product to customers with a simple yet effective speech.
Offering a short speech at the opening of a business such as a real estate company. In this case, you can deliver a strong 5-minute speech along with catchy real estate slogans .
Describing your favorite personality’s contribution to society at a charity event.
Giving a speech at a wedding or a funeral to describe some special memories.
Besides these situations, there are a number of other situations where you may have to give a quick speech. Therefore, always try to be prepared with simple, sample outlines to deliver speeches that can grab people’s attention .
How to Write a 5-Minute Speech?
Here are some important points to remember when writing a short speech for any special event.
Consider Your Audience
Before starting to write a speech, you need to first analyze the audience properly. This is necessary because it will help you to prepare a speech that will engage them specifically. It will simplify your selection of words and tone that fit the audience best.
Create an Outline
Once you understand your audience , shift your focus to the preparation of a strong speech outline.
You have to keep various factors in mind while creating an overall outline. You need to consider the time limitation, and how to define your thoughts inside the frame. Create an outline that is short, but covers all the points that need to be described to the audience. Do not include what you will say, just stick to the points you need to make for now.
Start with Powerful Words
Now, it is time to start writing your actual speech, opening it with some thought-provoking words. The start of your speech can really make or break your whole presentation. Therefore, try to come up with those words that will grab your audience’s attention. It could be a factual example, an anecdote, or an inspirational quote. Choose your opening words to influence the audience that you have identified.
Stay Clear with Your Central Message
The central message of your speech should always be loud and clear. Pick words that simplify your message and enhance your audience's understanding, allowing them to remember your speech for a long time.
Conclude the Speech with Inspirational Words
End your speech with some lines that will invoke positive thoughts among your audience. As a professional speaker , this is your chance to maintain the interest of listeners even after you have concluded your speech. That could be done by making your conclusion powerful and uniquely attractive. It should also include the central message.
Public speaking is not easy. It requires you to have complete confidence in your words and body language. It is even more challenging when you have limited time to get your points across and engage your audience.
Consider the above tips to ensure that your short speeches are powerful and insightful for your audience. These tips will simplify your speech preparation process, allowing you to deliver a great thought-provoking message in 5 minutes or less.
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How Many Words In A 5 Minute Speech
When you are writing or preparing for a speech, you come across many questions. One that is the most common one among all is how many words should a 5-minute speech have? People try to find a specific answer to this question which leads them to misunderstand as there is no specific answer to this. The explanation to this above query can only be explained by observing the delivery style of the person. The main factors that vary from person to person are the speed of delivering a speech. Some people deliver it fast and some deliver it slowly.
If a person delivers a speech slowly, he has to add more words to his or her speech as he or she will take less time to complete it. On the other hand, if a person delivers a speech fast, he or she has to keep the words less than the one who speaks slowly. Apart from this, you can guess approximate words of the speech by following some general guidelines
Table of Contents
On a general note, a speech that is 1 minute long should have approximately 100-200 words. So keeping the general rule in mind, a speech that is 5 minutes long should have 500- 1000 words in total.
How to Measure the Words Spoken In a Minute?
Different people deliver a speech at a different rate. So if you are looking for the words you will need to deliver for a 5 minutes speech, write out 650 words of your speech. You can keep as many words in a paragraph as you want. After writing up the speech, take a stopwatch, and stand in front of the mirror. Deliver the speech the way you are thinking of delivering it in front of your audience. Once you are done stop, and change the number of minutes in decimals. After converting, use the following formula to calculate the results:
Formula: Number of words% Minutes in decimals.
Let’s suppose you delivered your 650 words speech in 3.5 minutes, so to calculate the results, you will divide 650 by 3.5 minutes.
Different speech lengths at different speaking speeds:
To get a better idea of the words you will deliver in a five-minute speech, see the following results.
- If you deliver and read slowly, you will better write 500 words in your speech.
- If you deliver speed at an average speed then you need to write 650 words for your speech.
- If you are a fast reader, you better write 800 to 1000 words for your 5-minute speech.
So it’s clear from the above blog that number of words in a five-minute speech depends upon the person delivering the speech. The words and time do not change with the words in the paragraphs. Only your delivery style and speed can change the number of words in a 5-minute speech. Use the above formula to get an estimate of your speed and words required for your 5-minute speech.
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How many words per minute in a speech?
A quick guide for slow, average and fast rates of speech.
By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 02-12-2023
If you're preparing a speech or presentation with a strict time limit it’s useful to have an estimate of the number of words you’ll need to fit the number of minutes you've been given.
And it's even more useful to have those guidelines before you rush into writing, only to discover when you’re done, you’ve written far too much. Something I used to do on a regular basis! (And then, I had the tedious job of pruning to fit.)
What's on this page:
How many words are there in a 1-minute speech, how many words are there in a 2-minute speech, how many words are there in a 3-minute speech, how many words are there in a 4-minute speech, how many words are there in a 5-minute speech, how many words are there in a 6-minute speech, how many words are there in a 7-minute speech, how many words are there in an 8-minute speech, how many words are there in a 9-minute speech, how many words are there in a 10-minute speech, how many words are there in a 15-minute speech, how many words are there in a 20-minute speech, how many words are there in a 25-minute speech, how many words are there in a 30-minute speech.
- How to calculate your own speech rate: 2 easy methods
- How many pages is a 4, 7 or 20-minute speech?
About this quick reference guide
The following table (below) shows the average number of words per minute speaking for speeches from 1 to 30 minutes long. It's a quick reference guide: one only intended to provide general information.
Who, and what, is truly average?
An average word count for any timed speech (one minute, two minutes, three, four, five, six...or more, minutes) is impossible to give. As there really is no such thing as an average person, who uses an average rate of words per minute when they speak.
We are individuals: each of us different. Speech patterns and speech (speaking) rates vary considerably between person to person for a great many reasons. The best you’ll ever get is an educated guess.
Use as an estimate: test yourself to be sure
That aside, the following estimates will give you a handy indication of the number of minutes it takes to say x number of words depending on whether you talk at a slow speed, a medium speed or you're one of the world's fast talkers.
(And, no, it's never a good idea to gabble at a mile a minute to fit everything you've prepared into the length of time you've been given!)
To be absolutely sure what you've done will fit the time allocation you've been given it's a good idea to test yourself to establish your own speaking rate or speed of speech .
How many pages is a 'x' minute speech?
Multiple variations on the question how many pages are needed for a speech are frequently asked. For instance:
- How many pages is a 4-minute speech?
- How many pages is a 7-minute speech?
- How many pages is a 20-minute presentation?
Unfortunately, the answer is not simple. Calculating the number of A4 pages of text you need for a speech of any number of minutes long is tricky for two reasons.
How many words are on an A4 page?
The first reason is that the number of words on an A4 page depends on how the page has been formatted. The answers to the questions below make a very big difference to the total number of pages needed to print a speech.
- What is the font family being used? (Different fonts take up differing amounts of space because of the shape/design of their characters.)
- What is the size of the font? (The font size you're reading right now is 20px.)
- What is the spacing between each of the letters in a word?
- What is the spacing between each line of text? Is it single spacing, 1.5 or double line spacing?
- What spacing has been set for paragraphs?
- What size have the margins of the page been set at?
- Are there headings? Sub-headings or lists?
On average if the font is plain, (sans-serif, without embellishment), like Arial or Verdana, its size is set for 12px, and the line spacing is set for 1.5, then a page may have between 400-500 words on it.
Speech rate changes how we calculate the number of words we need
The second reason why using the number of pages to gauge how long a speech will take to deliver is problematical is because we speak at different rates.
A 500-word page may take someone speaking at very slow rate 4 minutes to get through.
Another person, who has a much faster speaking rate, may take about 2.5 minutes to deliver exactly the same text.
Using the number of pages as a guide for a speech that has to fit a time limit is completely unreliable.
If you need to use a 'guesstimate' use the speech rate table below. Forget about counting the pages!
If you are a slow speaker, less than 120 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 120 - 160 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 160 - 200 words.
If you are a slow speaker less than 240 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 240 - 320 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 320 - 400 words.
If you are a slow speaker less than 360 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 360 – 480 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 480 - 600 words.
If you are a slow speaker less than 480 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 480 – 640 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 640 - 800 words.
If you are a slow speaker less than 600 words,
If you speak at an average speed between: 600 – 760 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 760 - 1000 words.
If you are a slow speaker less than 720 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 720 – 960 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 960 - 1200 words.
If you are a slow speaker less than 840 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 840 – 1120 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 1120 - 1400 words.
If you are a slow speaker less than 960 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 960 – 1280 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 1280 - 1600 words.
If you are a slow speaker less than 1080 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 1080 – 1440 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 1440 - 1800 words.
If you are a slow speaker a little less than 1200 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 1200 – 1600 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 1600 - 2000 words.
If you are a slow speaker, a little less than 1,800 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 1,800 - 2,400 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 2,400 - 3,000 words.
If you are a slow speaker, a little less than 2,400 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 2,400 - 3,200 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 3,200 - 4,000 words.
If you are a slow speaker, a little less than 3,000 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 3,000 - 4,000 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 4,000 - 5,000 words.
If you are a slow speaker, a little less than 3,600 words.
If you speak at an average speed between: 3,600 - 4,800 words.
If you are a fast speaker between: 4,800 - 6,000 words.
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Find out more about speech rate
- How to calculate your own words per minute speech rate - two easy methods
- The factors influencing a faster rate or slower rate of speech
- How to develop an ideal rate of speech : one matching content, speech purpose and your audience: six exercises for flexible speaking rate
Words per minute calculator
Lastly here's the link to a useful online words per minutes calculator . Once you've completed your speech enter the total number of words, and select whether you want it to give you an average for a minute of your speech at a slow rate, average or fast rate. Again, it's a 'guesstimate'. ☺
The only really safe way to find out whether your speech fits your time allocation is to say it aloud at an ideal rate or pace: one taking into account the content, and the audience who is going to listen to it, while timing it.
(Use the record function on your phone. It will assist in lots of other ways too! You'll hear where you need more vocal variety, where your pronunciation is blurred ...and, so on. It's super helpful.)
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