Words per Minute Calculator

Created by Bogna Szyk
Reviewed by Małgorzata Koperska, MD and Adena Benn
Last updated: Sep 16, 2022

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to deliver a speech? Or how much time you need to read a book? This words per minute calculator (or WPM calculator for short) will help you convert between the number of words and the time taken to read or say. This way, you will not only learn how many words is a 5-minute speech but also how long it takes you to read a document with 2000 words.

If you want to know how much time you need to finish a book, head straight to our reading speed calculator!

Words per minute (speech)

In order to determine how long your presentation takes, you first need to find your speaking speed - how many words per minute of speech you can deliver. For example, the average speaking speed in English is 130 wpm (words per minute). If, however, you are frequently told that you speak very slowly or very fast, you should adjust this value accordingly.

You could also measure your speaking speed experimentally. Set a timer to one minute and start reading a passage of text aloud. Once the timer stops, count the words you managed to read. This number is your words per minute speech speed - you can input it directly into our calculator after clicking the advanced mode button.

Words per minute (reading)

The same principle as your speaking speed applies to your reading speed - the number of words per minute of reading. The average reading speed for the English language is between 170 and 240 wpm, depending on the text difficulty and your English ability.

Naturally, you can measure your reading speed and input it directly into this reading words per minute calculator. All you have to do is set a timer to one minute and start reading a book (or an e-book), this time silently. Once the timer rings, count the words you read and input the number into the respective field (in the advanced mode).

How many words is a 5 minute speech?

Once you know your speaking and reading speed, the calculations are a piece of cake! All you have to do is input the number of words you have to say into this words per minute calculator, which will tell you how long your presentation should take.

Of course, you can also use this calculator to figure out the maximum number of words in a speech with a limited time frame - for example, 5 minutes. Let's look at how to use this tool in more detail.

  1. Choose whether you will speak to an audience or silently read the text. In this case, we are going to choose speech.

  2. Select your speaking speed. We will stay with the average value of 130 wpm.

  3. Determine the duration of the speech - here, we will pick a 5-minute elevator pitch.

  4. Multiply the reading speed by the time to find out how many words are in a 5-minute speech:

130 × 5 = 650 words

Your speech can have a maximum of 650 words.

FAQ

How many words per minute in a speech?

The average speaking speed in English is 130 words per minute. However, the average speaking rate changes according to the task before a speaker - for presentations, it goes down to 100-120 wpm, while for YouTubers, it's up to 150-160 wpm. When picking the right pace, you should also consider your audience, e.g., the presence of kids or non-native speakers!

How many words per 10 minute speech?

To deliver a successful ten-minute talk, prepare between 1000-1200 words. The absolute maximum you should have is 1300 words.

How many words are in a five minute speech?

A 5-minute speech should have between 500 - 600 words. Be careful not to exceed 650 words, or you'll talk too fast and, as a result, lose the audience!

How do I calculate the number of words in a talk?

To determine the number of words in a talk that will last m minutes:

  1. Decide on the speaking rate r:
    • Average: 130 wpm (words per minute);
    • Slow: 100 wpm; and
    • Fast: 160 wpm.
  2. Multiply the speaking rate by the time you have in minutes: r × m
  3. The result in 2 is the number of words your talk should contain.
Bogna Szyk
Number of words
Speaking
Speaking speed
Average (130 wpm)
Speaking time
min
sec
Reading
Reading speed
Average (200 wpm)
Reading time
min
sec
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