Our speaking rate is determined by how quickly or how slowly we say vowels. The average speaking rate for American English is somewhere around 150 words per minute. If we break that down, it comes out to about 2.5 words per second.
Without actually counting how many words you say per minute, try to remember this one important rule regarding speaking rate: Slower is better. Speaking more slowly gives your tongue enough time to reach the proper placement for sounds and makes your speech clear and easy to understand. Speaking too quickly will make your accent sound more pronounced and can result in speech that is more difficult to understand.
To reduce your speaking rate, all you need to do is stretch out the vowels in words, especially the stressed vowels. Vowels regulate how fast or how slow we speak. If we say vowels in words quickly, then our rate is fast; if we say vowels more slowly our speaking rate is slower.
Practice repeating the following sentences, using the audio as a guide to help you maintain an appropriate speaking rate. Always keep in mind that the slower you speak, the easier it will be for people to understand your speech. Use this same rate whenever you practice exercises for spoken English, as well as incorporating this new rate into your everyday speech.
Practice the following sentences maintaining an even rate.
Mary drives to work every day.
Sometimes, my manager attends our meetings.
In the afternoon, I always take a nap.
The bus driver is going too fast.
Yesterday, my daughter went to school.
John enjoys playing golf with his friends.
I have five new projects to do this week.
We can’t always get what we want.
Try to speak clearly as much as possible.
I am beginning to speak more slowly.
Cheryl Posey, MS CCC-SLP firstname.lastname@example.org 774-212-3241 Copyright 2010-2019