How Many Words Are There in a 10 Minute Speech?

How many words in a 10 minute speech
For anyone who has to give a speech, one of the first questions that usually comes to mind is, “How many words is that going to be?” The problem is there is no set answer to this question. The number of words needed for a speech will depend heavily on the person giving the speech.

Some people speak slowly when giving a speech while others speak quickly. Those who speak quickly will need to write more words for each minute of their speech than those who speak at a slower pace. That being said, there are some general guidelines which can help you make an educated guess at approximately how many words will be needed for a speech.

The general rule for speech giving is 100 to 200 words per minute. With this in mind, a 10-minute speech would require 1,000 to 2,000 words. The WordCounter speaking time detail defaults 150 words per minute (an average speed which would give a result of 1,500 words, as this is the recommended speed for audiobooks to be read at for best listening), but you can use the options section to adjust to a slower or faster pace. Simply click on “Options” then the “Details” tab and then the wrench next to the “Speaking Time” button.

If want to know how many words per minute (WPM) you personally say when giving a speech, you can use a timer to time yourself, then input that number into the options section. Time yourself for one minute of your speech, then copy to where you made it into WordCounter to see how many words you speak per minute. This will give you a more accurate estimate of how many words you must write for however long the speech you need to make will be.

It’s important to remember that speech patterns can increase when a person is nervous. This means that even when determining the number of words needed for a 10-minute speech when practicing at home by yourself, you may actually need more during the actual speech if you get nervous.

While the number of words in a speech will depend heavily on how fast or slow the person giving the speech speaks, for those who are looking for a basic estimate of how many words would be in a speech, you can use the following estimates. These estimates use the average speaking pace of 150 words per minute to estimate.

How many words in a 1-minute speech? There are 150 words in a 1-minute speech.
How many words in a 2-minute speech? There are 300 words in a 2-minute speech.
How many words in a 3-minute speech? There are 450 words in a 3-minute speech.
How many words in a 4-minute speech? There are 600 words in a 4-minute speech.
How many words in a 5-minute speech? There are 750 words in a 5-minute speech.
How many words in a 6-minute speech? There are 900 words in a 6-minute speech.
How many words in a 7-minute speech? There are 1050 words in a 7-minute speech.
How many words in an 8-minute speech? There are 1,200 words in an 8-minute speech.
How many words in a 9-minute speech? There are 1,350 words in a 9-minute speech.
How many words in a 10-minute speech? There are 1,500 words in a 10-minute speech.
How many words in a 15-minute speech? There are 2,250 words in a 15-minute speech.
How many words in a 20-minute speech? There are 3,000 words in a 20-minute speech.
How many words in a 25-minute speech? There are 3,750 words in a 25-minute speech.
How many words in a 30-minute speech? There are 4,500 words in a 30-minute speech.
How many words in a 45-minute speech? There are 6,750 words in a 45-minute speech.
How many words in a 1-hour speech? There are 9,000 words in a 1-hour speech.

How minutes is 250 words? 250 words is 1.67 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 500 words? 500 words is 3.33 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 750 words? 750 words is 5 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 1,000 words? 1,000 words is 6.67 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 1,500 words? 1,500 words is 10 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 2,000 words? 2,000 words is 13.33 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 2,500 words? 2,500 words is 16.67 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 3,000 words? 3,000 words is 20 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 4,000 words? 4,000 words is 26.67 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 5,000 words? 5,000 words is 33.33 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 7,500 words? 7,500 words is 50 minutes of speaking time.
How minutes is 10,000 words? 10,000 words is 66.67 minutes of speaking time.

(Photo courtesy of Scott Schiller)

29 comments

  1. How can you estimate the number of minutes a speech is going to be if you know you get nervous during the speech, but you don’t get nervous when you practice? That’s my problem. My speech needs to be 5 minutes, but 5 minutes when I practice won’t be long enough when I do the speech. I need to know how much faster it will be so I can write more. How do I calculate that?

    1. There is no tried and true method to get the exact number of minutes it will take you to do a speech except to practice. Keep records of how long it takes you to do a speech when you practice, and then when you actually give a speech. After doing this a few times you should be able to estimate how much faster you speak when giving a speech than when you practice.

      1. Well, I’m sure this is an estimate because the amount of words a person speaks will also be determined by how confident or nervous they are. Confident people can normally say more in less time than nervous people. It also depends on how many times they pause when they talk. There are a lot of different factors to consider.

  2. Why does everybody speak so slowly? I speak at about 250 words per minute. All of you must speak like you are talking to a child that doesn’t understand what you are saying. I can’t believe that you waste so much time speaking slowly like that. Just learn to talk so that you’re not wasting other people’s time.

    1. Seriously? Chances are you’re the person who is annoying everyone by talking so fast and always trying to get in an extra word like you did with your comment. Normal conversations don’t have to be spoken at bullet train speed. Before you call out other about how slowly they speak, you might want to look into the mirror and ask if you’re the one causing the issues with your opinionated nonsense.

  3. Thank you. This will help me a lot in preparing for a speech I have to do at school. It’s good to know an estimate of how many words per minute my speech will take. At least that gives me a starting point when I put it together.

  4. I hate giving speeches for class. I think they should be based on word count and not how long it takes to speak. Everyone should write 500 words and then it doesn’t matter how long the speech is because all students will say the same number of words. Should I really have to write more just because I speak fast?

    1. Another way of looking at this is that you have the opportunity to say more in a given amount of time than your classmates because you are a fast speaker. This can give you an advantage over your fellow students by allowing you to say more in a shorter period of time. Instead of looking at the negative that you have to write more, look at it as the positive that you can see more.

    2. I hate giving speeches as well. Some of us just aren’t good at it and it’s embarrassing having to look stupid in front of all our classmates. I’m dreading the speech I have to give next week 🙁

  5. I just use a stopwatch while I read whatever I write and that’s how I can tell how long it’s going to take me to do my speech. I find that when I memorize the words, I speak a little faster than when I read so I have to take this into account as well. Anybody who wants to know how many words they need to write for a 10 min. speech should try the stopwatch method. It’s really the easiest way to figure it out.

    1. This is fine if you have already written the speech, but it’s sometimes useful to have an estimate of how much you have to write when you begin to write the speech. That’s how I ended up at this article. I needed a general rule of thumb so I could have a word count goal when I started to write my speech.

  6. Wow. This is very useful and would have really helped me out back when I was in school. We always had to write our speech and then just practice timing it so that we would know how long it was going to take. We all just tried to make it all last as long as possible since the topics were often quite difficult to spend so much time talking about.

  7. I hate it when I have to give speeches for class. It’s the stupidest thing in the world and I think that it would be better if we just didn’t have to do it. Why do teachers want to make us stand up in front of the class and embarrass ourselves? When am I ever going to have to give a speech when I become an adult? I hate that I have to do this and try to figure out how much to write for this stupid class.

    1. Welcome to life. There will be plenty of time you have to do things you don’t want to, and it only gets worse when you become an adult.

  8. Very interesting but it will differ from person to person. Not everyone speaks in the same manner or with the same confidence and there are times when people will speak less due to stress. You have to know yourself and how stress affects your speaking to know how fast you will say things.

    1. I think that was made abundantly clear in the article. Everyone speaks at a different pace, but the above explanation is a general estimate or approximation of how many words it will take to do a 10 min. speech ( for however long your speech happens to be).

      I don’t understand why everybody gets so uptight when the estimates aren’t exactly what applies to them. They’re estimates folks.

      1. Estimates matter because they’re useless if they don’t apply to you. What’s the use of trying to find out how many words are in a certain time speech if the estimates that are given aren’t accurate? It’s useless to give out estimates on how long different speeches are if those estimates aren’t accurate for most people.

  9. My teacher wasn’t happy with me at all when my 5 min. speech was only 10 words long. In my defense, he never said how slowly we could speak when giving the speech. Apparently, one word every 30 seconds is slow enough to send you to detention…

    1. This is actually pretty funny if it’s true. While you may have gotten detention, it will be a story that you will tell your friends throughout your life. Now, this isn’t something I suggest that other people do as you’re going to get a bad grade if you try it, but it’s also funny.

    2. I guess it depends the reason you did this. If you did it just to be a pain to your teacher or because you didn’t want to do the work, it’s a pretty awful thing for you to do. On the other hand, if you were trying to be creative or make a relevant point, then I don’t have an issue with it. The reason why you do things has a big impact on whether your actions are worthwhile of just trolling.

    3. I should try this in my class. That way I could go to sleep now and not stay up all night trying to write a speech that’s going to suck anyway. I think I will!

  10. What if you need to know how many words are in a 4 – 5 minute speech and not a 4 minute speech or a 5 minute speech? There are two different numbers so which one should I use. I need to write a 4 – 5 minute speech for my class and I don’t know which number to use.

    1. Not sure if this is real or somebody just trolling, but I’ll go ahead and answer it anyway. Everything listed above our estimates. How long it actually takes you to do the speech will very because you speak differently than all your other classmates. What you need to do is take the low number estimate (600 words for a 4 min. speech) and write that many words. Then reach what you have written well time yourself and see how long it takes. If what you have written is under 4 minutes, then you need to write more. If it’s over 4 minutes, but under 5 minutes, then your perfect, and if it’s over 5 minutes, you need to shorten it.

    1. Even if you don’t like speeches, it’s worth getting better at them. It can help you tremendously in the real world. I suggest you check out toastmasters. Well worth it!

  11. I don’t understand why speeches have to be within a time limit? Shouldn’t a speech go as long as it needs to to get the information across? If you limit the time or have a minimum amount of time it must be, then you are forcing the speech to be written to a time rather than being written for what needs to be said.

    1. Time limits can make speeches better. If you have all the time in the world, you can ramble on about things that aren’t really relevant to the topic. A time limit forces you to hone in your speech on the really important points.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *