Minnesotans on the phone: Fast talkers, not wordy, patient


When President Theodore Roosevelt delivered a speech at the Minnesota State Fair in 1901, he suggested Americans should speak softly and carry a big stick.

More than a century later, you might say Minnesotans speak efficiently and are prepared to wait their turn. At least on the telephone.

Marchex Institute analyzed more than 4 million phone calls from consumers to businesses and broke them down by state. They measured how fast people talk, how much they talk, and how patient they are when put on hold.

No middle of the pack results for Minnesota.

In speed of speech only Oregon was faster.

In economizing our words only Iowa used fewer.

And when we're on hold no other state shows as much patience.

So, is it good to say what you have to say quickly and in relatively few words?

Many would say yes. (And would leave it at that.)

It's been suggested that fast talkers are perceived as having more credibility and may be more persuasive.

The folks at Marchex say their analysis found that when an Iowan and a New Yorker have essentially the same conversation with a business, the New Yorker uses 62 percent more words.

Mic.com reports scientists have only recently begun studying the condition called Exceptionally Rapid Speech and there are different ideas about whether it is a talent or a disorder.

And, although he's not from Minnesota or Oregon, who could forget John Moschitta Jr., whose rapid speech earned him a career as a commercial pitchman and actor sometimes called "the world's fastest talker"?


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