Presentation Skills: WPM (Words Per Minute)

Question: How can I determine how long my speech will take?

People talk at an average rate of 100-120 words per minute. Meanwhile, a typical double spaced, typed written page is 250 words.

So one double spaced, typed page equals two minutes when read aloud as a speech. You can use this ratio to determine approximately how long your speech will take when spoken aloud.

Bonus tip: This web site article explains three attention grabbing ways to start your next speech.


2 responses to “Presentation Skills: WPM (Words Per Minute)

  1. Don’t forget that you should aim to practise and rehearse your speech. That’s another good occasion to time the length of your speech. Your first rehearsal should be a bit longer than you actually need. And your last rehearsal should be just perfect.

  2. Hello. I still see this belief that a typed page contains 250 words—which it did when we actually typed with a set-width font such as Courier on a typewriter. We do not do that anymore.

    An average word-processed page, double-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman, contains closer to 350 words.

    (Some speakers speak faster than 110-120 wpm with losing their audience. A range of 110-140 or even 150 wpm might be reasonable.)

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