A 3-minute speech will have around 390 words at a standard speaking tempo of 130 words per minute (wpm). That's about 26 sentences. A 4-minute speech will have around 520 words, which is approximately how long it would take to read out loud at a normal reading speed. Longer than that and you're going too fast! Slow down and breathe more often.
The number of words you use is important, but so is your structure and tone. For example, you need less language to make a point when you're arguing in writing; you can use examples, quotes, and other sources to support your points. In speeches, however, language is used not only to explain but also to inspire emotion - so being concise isn't always best. The last thing you want to do is leave your audience thinking, "What was the point of that story?" or "Why did he say that?".
In general, you want to use no more than 50% longer words than necessary to get your message across. This is called the "golden ratio" and it's considered an optimal length for a speech.
But some speakers go way over this mark.
Typically, speeches will range between 100 and 150 words per minute, depending on the characteristics listed above and others. As a result, a 3-minute speech should be 300–450 words long. If you're delivering the speech yourself, aim for 360–380 words and rehearse with a stopwatch. If you have a prepared text, make sure it's not longer than 450 words.
Length of Speech in Words
|Speech Length||Slow (100 wpm)||Average (130 wpm)|
|15 minutes||1,500 words||1,950 words|
|20 minutes||2,000 words||2,600 words|
|25 minutes||2,500 words||3,250 words|
|30 minutes||3,000 words||3,900 words|
A total of 5,000 words is 33.33 minutes of speaking time. This assumes that you say nothing else and simply talk continuously for this length of time.
The average person can speak at a rate of 200 words per minute. That means that it takes them about 10 minutes to say what you can in 20 hours. So, a 2000 word sermon would take about half a day to deliver. A 5000 word sermon would take over three days to deliver.
The key here is the use of "words" rather than "sentences". A sentence is a complete thought that has a subject and a verb. Thus, a series of sentences makes up a paragraph. Paragraphs are the building blocks of writing. Writing manuals will tell you that you should have around 250 words in a paragraph. This allows enough space for readers to absorb the information without being bored by too much text.
So, if you wanted to write a 5000 word sermon you would need to write 250 paragraphs of approximately 500 words each.
This is not an easy task! Writing under 250 words per paragraph is difficult as you need to be able to express yourself clearly and concisely.
390 words in a three-minute speech 520 characters In a 5-minute speech, 650 words are said in a 4-minute speech. 720 words in an extended speech 930 words In an 8-minute speech, 1090 words are said.
Reading Time Calculated by Word Counts
|Word Count||Slow (125 wpm)||Average (300 wpm)|
|5,000 words||40 minutes||16.7 minutes|
|7,500 words||60 minutes||25.0 minutes|
|10,000 words||1.3 hours||33.3 minutes|
|20,000 words||2.7 hours||1.1 hours|
How long is 750 words in minutes? A total of 750 words is 5 minutes of speaking time. This means that you can talk for about 7 minutes 30 seconds if you want to write a full article. This should be enough time if you make sure not to go over this limit.
People need time to read and digest what you say. If they want to understand it later they will, but it's up to them. So giving an abstract or summarizing sentence at the end of your speech or article will help them get the main idea.
In terms of writing, you need about 250 words per minute to write a full article. This means that you can write one article every 10 minutes if you want to write a full one in 1 hour.
This is only an estimate, so you should try to write for longer than this guide suggests to get better at estimating word counts.
It's best to spend as much time as possible writing before you start. That way when you do start you'll have already done most of the work!
When you first start out you may not know how good your content is.
What Is the Word Count in a 5-Minute Presentation? A person speaks at a rate of 120 to 160 words per minute, thus a five-minute presentation will be between 600 and 800 words long. That is, every word in your presentation should be carefully picked to complement the main theme.
The length of your presentation depends on how much you can include in that time frame. The more content you have, the longer it will take to cover it all. Thus, the most effective way to keep your audience interested is by being clear about the key messages you want them to take away from your talk and by including relevant examples in your speech.
Generally, a good rule of thumb is to write one sentence per slide. This means that you need four to six sentences per five-minute slot to cover all aspects of your topic well. However, if you have more time than this, it's better to extend your presentation rather than fill up the last few minutes with repetitive material. Your listeners will see right through such filler text.
It's also important to remember that the more technical or complex your subject matter, the longer your presentation will need to be. For example, an eight-minute power point presentation will contain a lot more information than a three-minute speech because many people find it difficult to listen for so long.