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Speech timer

Based on the number and length of words in a document, calculates how long the document would read as a speech.
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If something like this already exists, please ... someone tell me! Otherwise, the idea would be for the program to analyze a document by its number of words and syllables, then let the speech writer know approximately how long the speech would be. If you wanted to get real fancy, you could enable several different settings for a fast or slow speaker and the occasion on which the speech is being delivered.
DrAstroZoom, Nov 26 2003

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       I believe such software exists and is used in preparing the scripts for news programs. I'll see if I can dig up a link.
krelnik, Nov 26 2003
  

       Even if not, you could probably do this yourself. Microsoft Word counts words and syllables (although the syllables are merely an estimate).   

       Read a paragraph and time yourself (leave extra time for laughter, applause, getting hit by rotten tomatoes, etc.) Have Word count the words, and cross-multiply.
phundug, Nov 26 2003
  

       I'm sure I've seen software do this in the past, but I couldn't tell you what the program was. Microsoft Word will give you just about every other metric for your document but this one. If you know how long it takes to say the average word/sentence, you might be able to extrapolate.
phoenix, Nov 26 2003
  

       35 seconds.. excellent [DAZ] (+)
neilp, Nov 26 2003
  

       P.S. nice debut - welcome
neilp, Nov 26 2003
  

       Use a software speech synthesiser:
document -> text-to-speech -> wav file -> get length of wav file.
You could choose the voice profile/speed that best matches your own. The process ought to be able to run several times faster than real time. A hacky solution if ever there was one :)
benjamin, Nov 26 2003
  

       It depends on the pace and style of the speaker. If you're going to give the speech, time yourself reading three full-text pages at the pace you will use. Take that time and divide it by three, and that's how many pages you need for each minute you plan to speak.
waugsqueke, Nov 26 2003
  

       <off topic>Why do people write out their entire speeches? Every one I've attended or given that has been written out has been boring to the level of pain. My suggestion: write your speech so that you'll know what to say, then toss it out. Make yourself bullet points to keep you on track and don't even make yourself stay rigidly to these. Just my two cents.</off topic>
Worldgineer, Nov 26 2003
  

       [World] To give a speech without writing it all down is difficult unless you are very knowledgably about the topic. Most people who give speeches are not. When giving political speeches you also often have to include distortions of the truth, omissions, or misleading statements. That requires careful wording to avoid the accusation of being a liar. You better write it all down.   

       I could easily give a paperless speech about the composition of the slime that makes snails slither along so nicely without falling off a vertical sheet of glass, but to explain the necessity of the Iraq war would take more reams of chopped trees than fit in good sized office printer.
kbecker, Nov 26 2003
  

       Therein lies the secret - only speak about what you know and/or love.   

       Not that I'm implying anything, [kbecker] :P
Detly, Nov 26 2003
  

       The problem with only writing notes and not a speech verbatim is the unfortunate law of nature that states:   

       "In the corporate world, those calle upon to speak most often are the least talented at doing so."   

       And unfortunately, the corporate world is the world in which I live and work. While I would be most comfortable speaking from a bare minimum of notes, my clients generally would not.
DrAstroZoom, Dec 03 2003
  

       The timer must take account of dramatic pauses. This could easily be done by searching for certain phrases, such as, "...of the future!"
friendlyfire, Dec 03 2003
  

       [DrAstroZoom] - possibly related to the zeroth law of physics lectures:
A practical demonstration that works perfectly during the numerous rehearsals will always fail during the lecture.
Detly, Dec 03 2003
  
      
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