Get out a stopwatch and read the following text from Valerie Gee, author of Super Service. Ready? Go: “There is no set rule for the rate of speaking of individuals. Some persons can speak at a rate of 190 words per minute and be clearly understood, while others must speak as slowly as 90 words per minute to achieve the same understanding. Most experts feel, however, that there is more to be gained by speaking slowly.
They have decided that a rate of about 140 words per minute is a safe rate. The main disadvantage of speaking too fast is that you cannot be understood easily. Speaking too fast has other disadvantages. Your patient may get the impression of being pressured into something. In addition, your patient may get the impression that you are very rushed and too concerned with time. To be really understood, we recommend that you speak slowly. One hundred forty! One forty!” Time’s up! How’d you do?