Voiceover Words Per Minute: Choosing the Ideal Information Rate
Although you might have a good idea of the target length of your content, the destination is not the only important aspect - how you get it is also important. Choosing the exact number of words per minute of voiceover will determine whether your listeners follow you.
Voiceover words per minute or WPM rates are usually around 75 WPM. This is enough to pack a lot of information without the risk that your content will be difficult to follow. You can usually cross or underline this standard, however, it is better not to deviate too much.
The 75 WPM figure is the golden number of voiceovers, but it’s worth checking out why. The topic is particularly worthy of exploration, considering that 75 WPM is much slower than the normal conversation rate. Here are some ideas that can help you get a stronger handle on what gets you into the best voiceover and how to choose the ideal one for your next project. Click here: wpmtest.org to check your Word per Minute Typing Speed.
Voiceover Words Per Minute and Information Rate
How fast does your favorite voice actor speak? Most people may say "fast" or "slow" and call it a settled, but scientists are a little more precise. The more rigorous metrics to measure the amount of interaction include:
The density of information: The amount of data filled in a given snippet of speech or piece of text. Linguists measure the density of information or pieces of information per syllable.
Speech rate: How quickly someone speaks. Marketers who want to hit a specific number of voiceover words per minute are talking about speech rates. It can also be measured in syllables per minute or second.
Speech rate: How fast someone speaks. Marketer's who want to hit a specific number of voiceover words per minute are talking about speech rates. It can also be measured in syllables per minute or seconds.
Information rate: Various forms of communication like voiceover, speed of information delivery. These figures can be independent of the speech rate. For example, imagine two speakers speaking the same words per minute. The high-information-density speaker may use highly descriptive language while the other uses simpler words to express the same concept. Information rates are calculated in bits per minute.
A Real-world Example
An interesting study from the University of Lumière Lyon II exemplified these ideas and showed some surprising relationships. Researchers looked at various languages to see if some were more efficient. In other words, languages with higher information densities sought to explain why similar ideas communicated more rapidly.
Studies support the idea that speakers in certain languages pronounce their letters faster. This was nothing new - for example, Spanish is not considered to have a higher speaking rate than languages like Mandarin and German.
The most interesting thing is that the information density of different languages showed a negative correlation with their vocal speed. Although some languages show high characteristic speech rates, their grammar, structure, and other factors compensate for the communication of fewer ideas over comparative time frames — a lower information density.
Surprisingly, the data revealed that most speakers have the same information rates regardless of the original information. After calculating the various factors, the scientists found that the rate of information for all languages was about 39 bits per second.
The Crucial Marketing Takeaway
It would all work so well that speakers communicate information at the same average rate. As a savvy marketer, however, you may have noticed an amazing hidden implication - that it doesn't take much data to load over the listener.
When considering voiceover words per minute, you should respect your audience's ability to absorb your message. Even if you are not calculating information density or information rate when planning a campaign, those should be your primary concern when creating scripts.
Voiceover Words Per Minute and the Rule of 75
Most rules have caveats and the 75 WPM guideline is no different. Before you see yourself tripped up or tied to the tongue, look at some of these common questions:
Do I Have to Maintain a Constant Speed?
No. For those who crave freeform creativity, 75 WPM is just an average. Not all sentences are eligible at the same time. For example, a voice actor might say a familiar expression that is quick to identify - people who have heard it before will still understand it. When explaining a product’s new tech-heavy features, actors should spend their time hitting the main points with maximum clarity.
Normal, organic speech rarely occurs at a uniform rate. When you try to stay at a fast pace, you can easily end the boring and monotonous noise. Professional readers explain such differences by letting you put yourself in the shoes of the audience. They also help you to ensure that your chosen speech rate does not interfere with the artistic direction of your campaign.
Should I Use a Voiceover Words Per Minute Conversion Tool?
This is a great web-designer tool to tell you how long it takes to read a script. The problem is that these apps rarely consider the big picture.
Let us look at two sentences that communicate the same idea in different ways — go ahead and try each one aloud:
I bought rideshare at the hat store to buy a used Panama hat. This sentence is not very exciting, but it is easy to understand.
“I rode a conveyance to the millinery boutique to buy an upcycled Panama hat.” Ugh! It is pretty rough on the eyes and ears.
The number of words in these two sentences is the same. They also tell similar stories of thrilling fashion adventures. The second, however, is full of complex, spell-packed, ten-dollar expressions. If the voice actor reads these sentences at the same speed, the latter may slow down, but the words on the voiceover per minute conversion tool indicate that both may take the same amount of time.
Apps only understand the importance of counting letters - and only counting words - but they don't always consider the meaning. Consider the silly sentences in the previous example. An app "hat store" and full torture, can not easily distinguish the phrases "millinery boutique.” While conversion tools can help you get started and slim things down, live reading is the most effective way to iron kinks.
How do I choose the right voiceover speech rate for my voice actors?
Most speakers sound great when spoken slowly and clearly. For example, some super-deep voice artists speak in tones that may be difficult for listeners to choose from in background sounds. Speakers with extremely elevated pitches feel more natural when moving at high-energy rates.
Fortunately, most professionals can help by adjusting their creative output to suit your desired brand voice and mood. Don't be afraid to ask for a few different options.
Making Words Per Minute on your Chosen Voiceover
Speaking over voice helps people decide how easy it is to invest in their branding. A speaker who maintains an average of around 75 WPM can help you attract a wider audience. Before setting your heart on a certain rate, however, make a readable one. Always run results from multiple feedback phases - especially if you’re creating particularly information-dense content.
Choosing the voiceover word per minute is the most important step that will determine whether your audience will follow. Voiceover WPM rates are usually around 75 WPM. This is enough to pack a lot of information without the risk that your content will be difficult to follow. Although you can usually cross or underline this standard, it is best not to deviate too much.