How Many Words Do You Need for a 60-Second Video Script?

The Short Answer:

With an average reading speed, our voice actors can read 2.5 words per second. This means that they have a speaking rate of 150 average wpm (spoken words per minute).

The Extended Answer:

Recording voiceover is different from how you speak, or how radio DJ and news anchors talk to their listeners. The main point of a voiceover is to maintain the attention that was first obtained by the visual appeal of an explainer video.

  1. Emphasized words and pauses in each script

Other factors that affect an explainer video’s script length:

1. Type of the script: dialogue or monologue?

2. Purpose of the Video

3. Language

4. Visual aspect: screencast videos

Best Practices for Recording Voice Over

The easiest yet most accurate way to get a rough estimation of the duration of your script is by reading it yourself aloud. You will be surprised by the difference in duration between reading it silently and aloud.


The average speed for our voiceovers is 2.5 WPS (words per second), which equals 150 words per minute (wpm). However, if the video is only 60 seconds, I suggest a script of 140 words instead of 150 words.

  • The longest video script a client has asked us to animate consisted of 7,070 words, which was read in 39 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • Benita Sheckel: only 5% of voice actors get 95% of the voiceover work.
  • Voice actors, just like actors, have to “get into a new character” behind the mic. In fact, characters are more important than a naturally amazing voice.
  • “P-poppings” account for 80% of the complaints a voice actor receives.
  • A vast vocabulary is highly praised in the voice-acting world.



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