A guide to determine script duration based on word count

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As more and more businesses turn to video content to engage with their audiences, the importance of knowing the length of a narrated script has become increasingly critical. Understanding how many words a script will be in a particular duration is essential in planning for recording sessions, estimating costs, and ensuring that the final product fits within the desired timeframe. In this blog, we’ll explore a handy guide for working out the number of words a narrated script will be in total duration.

Step 1: Determine the desired duration of your video Before we can calculate the number of words in a script, we need to determine how long we want the final video to be. Will it be a short clip for social media, a 30-second ad, or a longer explainer video? Once you have a desired duration in mind, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Determine the average speaking rate The average speaking rate is how fast a person speaks in words per minute. According to studies, the average speaking rate for English speakers is around 125-150 words per minute (wpm). However, this can vary depending on the speaker’s age, gender, accent, and speaking style.

Step 3: Calculate the number of words needed To calculate the number of words needed for a specific duration, multiply the average speaking rate by the desired duration in minutes. For example, if you want a 2-minute video, and the average speaking rate is 125 wpm, the calculation would be: 2 (minutes) x 125 (wpm) = 250 words.

Step 4: Adjust for pacing and pauses While the average speaking rate is a good starting point, it’s important to remember that not all narration is equal. Some scripts may require more pauses or emphasis on certain words, which can affect the pacing. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to add an extra 10-20% to the total word count to account for pacing and pauses.

Step 5: Edit and refine the script Once you have calculated the approximate number of words needed, it’s time to start crafting the script. Remember to keep the content concise and to the point, using language that is easy to understand and engaging. Consider practicing the script to get a better sense of the pacing and to identify any areas that may need to be revised.

In conclusion, calculating the number of words in a narrated script can be a straightforward process if you follow the above steps. By understanding the desired duration, average speaking rate, and adjusting for pacing and pauses, you can ensure that your script fits within the desired timeframe and delivers the intended message effectively.

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