Today I am going to tell you how long it takes to read 1000 words!

Over the past 10 years I have delivered countless speeches and presentations. These have been both internally to my staff, and at pitching events and seminars. The common theme they all share is that they ALL set a time limit.

So, if you have ever asked yourself the questions; “how long does it take to read 1000 words?” or “How many words are in a 10 minute speech?”. Then you have come to the right place.

President John F. Kennedy’s Decision to go to the Moon Address at Rice University. how long does it take to read 1000 words.
President John F. Kennedy’s Decision to go to the Moon Address at Rice University

Today, I will take you step by step through the factors that will impact your speech. I will tell you EXACTLY how to deliver it on time, but best of all I have included a table to help you convert the number of words into the time it takes to deliver your speech online.

Finally – I will include my one KILLER strategy for delivering speeches that will totally blow your audience away!

Let’s dive right in…

What are the factors that will impact my speech?

If you’re to produce an impressive speech that will strike awe into the very hearts of your audience, then you need to be clear on some VERY important rules that I swear by. Therefore, include these into any public speaking arrangement and you will guarantee that you won’t trip over yourself on stage.

Make sure you have a structure

I can’t tell you how many times I have sat through a presentation and been ‘waffled’ at. You know the feeling, when you are sat watching someone stare at a slide deck. They talk in a monotonous voice, clicking through slide by slide, whilst you sit there watching your soul slowly drain out of your body.


Thus, the easiest way to avoid situations like this is to have a structure. It’s that easy! 

At the end of this article I have included my number #1 go to structure and exactly how to execute it. So, grab a note pad and make sure you take notice. Because without this your speeches will suffer.

Come out swinging

How often do you see a public speaker begin a performance by introducing themselves? All the time, right? Well, today I am going to ask you to do the EXACT opposite.

You need to come out of the blocks swinging. Grab your audience by the wrist and drag them along with you. The best part of this is that there is a super easy way to do it. 

Everybody loves a fact!

The very first thing that comes out of your mouth should be an obscure or silly fact about the subject you are speaking about. For example, let’s say you are giving a talk to industry professionals regarding your car repair business. You might open with, “did you know, Queen Elizabeth is a fully trained mechanic”. (This is of course true and will definitely turn a few heads).

The point I am making is that, if you introduce yourself first, everyone will forget it. But an attention-grabbing headline never fails to engage!

How long does it take to read 1000 words?

Let’s get down to it… exactly how long does it take to read 1000 words or more? The answer is actually quite simple. 

Of course, depending on the content of your presentation your mileage will vary. If you are reading a novel for fun, you will read on average 300 words per minute. However, if you are a young Queen Elizabeth II and reading your technical manual for truck repair. You will typically slow down to around 125 words per minute. This is simply due to the increased comprehension and understanding required.

How many words in a 10 minutes speech…

To help put all of this into context, this table should help clarify some more specifics:

Word CountSlow
(125 wpm)
(300 wpm)
(400 wpm)
How long does a 500 word speech take?4 minutes1.7 minutes1.1 minutes
How long does a 1000 word speech take? 8 minutes3.3 minutes2.2 minutes
How long does a 2000 word speech take? 16 minutes6.7 minutes4.4 minutes
How long does a 5000 word speech take? 40 minutes16.7 minutes11.1 minutes
How long does a 10000 word speech take? 80 minutes33.3 minutes22.2 minutes
How long does a 50000 word speech take? 400 minutes166.7 minutes111.1 minutes
How long does a 100000 word speech take? 800 minutes333.3 minutes222.2 minutes

My number #1 method to delivering a killer speech on time

Have you ever tried to write a presentation from scratch? If so, you’ll know that the hardest part is when you are sat starting at a blank PowerPoint screen. 

So, what do you do? Many people, including big names like Steve Jobs, have found success by using a set structure. This section will tell you what you need to know to make sure you build the right structure for you. 

The best app I know to help improve your pitching is the ‘NatWest Pitching App’. Because it lets you record each of these sections separately to build out your pitch. Whether it be 60 seconds or 60 minutes long!


This is the strategy we talked about at the start of the post. Essentially, make sure you have a good hook to grab the attention of your audience with a hard-hitting fact or figure.


This is the part where you will identify and call out the pain point that you aim to solve. People buy solutions so be clear as to who it impacts.


Next, you will want to outline your proposed solution. Explain how you differentiate from the competition. But most of all, cover the benefits you create and how your idea will solve the problem.


Talk about the size of the market you are targeting, your target market and explain how many people experience this problem. Also, outline your competitors in this space.

Business Model

This is the part where you provide an overview of your business model or idea. How will it make money? How will it benefit the listener? 


Don’t forget to talk about your team. Ensure you highlight their experience and credentials.


The most important part of your presentation or pitch. Always end with an ask. Be it, a real-life call to action. How can your listeners help you? This could be an ask for cash, key contacts, sign up to your mailing list or even signing up to future talks


And, there you have it.

This is the exact process I use to develop my speeches and quantify accurately how long they will take to read and present. 

Take the time to build out your structure, start with a fun fact and most of all – be snappy! 

After a few iterations, you’ll be well on your way to a speech that even a presidential candidate would be jealous of!

Finally, don’t forget. Join my mailing list to return proven results!

List of Sources and Data:


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