Do you know how many words you speak per minute or how long
it takes you to get through a speech of single-lined text on a piece of
paper? What is your typical pace? And, why are these questions relevant?
Understanding how quickly you speak will assist you as you are
writing out your presentation. It will help you as you move from your
outline to the actual text to see if you have enough or too much material.
Your speaking speed will vary once you start practicing out loud
because you will build in strategic pauses, movement on the podium,
and gestures that will impact your timing and speed.
I didn’t realize early in my speaking career that I was inadvertently
counting my words. I knew that for a five to seven-minute speech
(based on the size-ten font I typically use), I could have a full page plus
one paragraph on the second page and stay within seven minutes. This
was early in my public-speaking experience because I depended more
on my notes. After learning to memorize similar-length speeches, I
found I couldn’t have that extra paragraph because I was getting better
at responding to audience reactions and at using pauses for effect;
the timing of my speeches changed based on my experience level. I
have settled in around 800 to 850 words for a seven-minute speech
after I also account for anticipated audience reactions (about 115 to
125 words per minute). There is an obvious variation based on the topic
and delivery, but I know instantly when writing speeches if I have too
much or too little based on the allotted time. I now know that I need to
eliminate thirty words to cut down my time by about fifteen seconds.
Once you settle into a good routine, you will become very familiar
with your speech-writing timing needs.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood
See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com. Book, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only) purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com