So, how can I judge the length of my speech?
Every speech whether it’s political, corporate, a wedding speech or a eulogy, always works much better the more succinct it is. There is no point in talking just for the sake of it, or in the mistaken belief that in order to do justice to the occasion a 30 minute mini lecture is the only answer.
Of course there is the other side of the coin, and there are quite a few of you in this group, who just want to stand up and sit down around 30 seconds later.
Both camps have got it wrong. You need to be up there long enough so that everyone knows how great you think your daughter is, but not so long they feel they know her favourite English teacher intimately.
How many minutes?
Very roughly speaking the perfect speech length is about 7 minutes – that is to say an actual talking time of 7 minutes. If you’ve done your job well there should be a few laughs, a few bouts of applause and maybe even one or two heckles, so on the day it will be more like 10 minutes.
If you write a speech that comes in at 10 minutes when you’re reading it at home, that could become 15 minutes on the day, and that’s far too long.
Read it slowly, plenty of pauses and if you hit 7 minutes at home, you’re bang on.
” Deliver your words, not in number, but in weight “