Public Speaking: Is There a Right Speed ​​for Everyone?

Absolutely not. Some people speak a little slower; others a little faster. However, there is a general rate of speed that everyone should fall into. This speed is between 140 and 180 words per minute.

Whether you’re on the podium or just in conversation, your listeners will have a hard time keeping up with you if you speak too fast. On the other hand, too slow a speed will either put your audience to sleep or move it in the direction of their iPhones.

To assess your speed of speech, read the following paragraphs aloud on a timer. Set it for 1 minute and then get started. (If it’s not good at sight reading, practice it out loud several times before.)

1. We are told, sir, that we are weak, unable to face such a formidable adversary. But when will we be stronger? Will it be next week or next year? Will it be when we are totally unarmed and when there is a British guard stationed at every house?

2. Will we gather strength through indecision and inactivity? Will we acquire the means of effective resistance by lying on our back and embracing the deceptive ghost of hope, until our enemies have bound us hand and foot? Lord, we are not weak, if we make proper use of the means that the God of nature has put in our power …

3. The battle, sir, is not just for the strong; It is for the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we don’t have a choice. If we were short enough to wish it, now is too late to withdraw from the contest. There is no withdrawal, but submission and slavery!

4. Our chains are forged, their clang can be heard on the Boston plains! War is inevitable, and let it come! I repeat, sir, come!

If you finished all 4 paragraphs in a minute or less, you should learn to slow down. Those 4 paragraphs consist of 196 words. If, on the other hand, you couldn’t get to the third paragraph, you need to learn to speed up.

One of the best means of correcting your speed is with voice training. By learning to use your chest cavity to boost and amplify your voice when speaking, you will have full control over your speed. Plus, you’ll discover a richer, warmer, and deeper voice in the process.

Don’t test the patience of your listeners. If you want others to pay attention to your words, don’t make them try to pay attention to what you are saying by being too fast or too slow.

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