C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

How many words makes a minute?


I just finished another speech writing gig for a lobby group. It was an hour presentation. When the speech is that long it had better be good and it better be funny here and there to keep the audience from thinking about how numb their bums are getting.

Ever wonder how many words on paper equals how many minutes of a speech?

If you’re writing a radio script, I use the BBC standard of three words per second. However, for a speech, 125 words per minute is safe. That can still be a little fast for some. Power Point also adds a little time. Still, it’s useful as a rough guide and once the individual speaker does a run-through, you can cut from there.


Never make your speech exactly what appears on the screen. You’ll lose your audience as they read or, worse, your speaker will just read the Power Point visual. Instead, use the Power Point deck for (brief!) headings and let the speaker explain them a bit.

Filed under: speechwriting, ,

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