What is the Speaker Pollution Index (SPI) in your audio presentations?

Let's lay the ground work for a comparison.

Start with an organization's visual representations, such as a logo. Companies spend thousands of dollars creating a good looking logo that is clean and crisp.

When it comes to audio presentations, more often than not, there is little or no concern given to clean and crisp audio. Even a big company like Citrix, which wants companies to use its services for webinars, fails to mention in its promotional material that clean delivery is a desirable quality in a speaker. (See 11 Tips for Webinar Speakers from an Audio Editor.)

To get an idea of how well your audio representations are sounding, calculate the Speaker Pollution Index.

Count the number of audible pollutions in a presentation. Audible pollutions can include, but are not limited to:

  • Um
  • Uh
  • Ah
  • You Know
  • Right
  • any unique utterances from the speaker that do not add meaning or content to the presentation.

In one recorded interview between interviewer and guest, the Speaker Pollution Index was 13.6. This was determined by 750 utterances in a 55-minute interview. 750/55 = 13.6 per minute!

The SPI could also be calculated with a 5 or 15 minute sample.

By creating Speaker Pollution Indexes, it is possible to track progress in live presentations to show improvement.

The goal, of course, is to approach an SPI of zero: 0/15. The closer to zero, the better.

A clean audio presentation is yet another organizational representation that will come into sync with a clean logo.

About the Audio Editor

Bruce Miller has been involved with technology since the mid 1980's, including a stint as an Operations and Production Manager of a radio station, focusing on spoken-word programs.

He received an audio production award for "Word Magic" that relied heavily on his audio editing skills.

He completed the Toastmaster International speaking course with additional activity.

He has been interviewed for his own works on TV and radio.

He wrote professionally for 20+ years for regional and national publications and now self-publishes on

More recently he has done audio editing of conversations between interviewer and author, publisher, or consultant.

Because of these combined experiences, he is uniquely qualified to do simple and substantive editing or offer one-on-one consultation or training in spoken-word audio production.

Services and Rates

  • Simple audio editing: removing as many audible pauses as possible.
  • Substantive editing: simple audio editing plus the elimination of as many false starts, distracting utterances, wanderings, odd ramp ups as possible.
  • Preparation of an audio clip for promotion, such as for a conference.
  • $80/hour; 1/2 of the estimate in advance. A 50-minute conversation between two people can take 4-6 hours for simple audio editing. (It's more tedious than you might think.) Substantive editing almost always extends this time. Turn around is typically 3-4 days.
  • Written word editing is also available.
  • Payments by credit through Paypal or directly from Paypal.

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