Steven "Steve" Woodmore (born 1959) is a British electronics salesman and comedian known for his rapid speech articulation, being able to articulate 637 words per minute (wpm), a speed four times faster than the average person. Woodmore was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's fastest talker, a title which he held for five years, taking the helm from the previous record holder, John Moschitta, Jr.
According to Woodmore, he first discovered his talent at 7, when tasked with reciting long texts as punishment for being too talkative in school.
Steve Woodmore can rapidly articulate at a rate of 637 words per minute. That is four times faster than the average human.
Woodmore first realised his skills at rapid speech when he was seven years old. At school, he was asked by his form teacher to recite an 8-minute speech, as a punishment for his talkativeness. It took him only two minutes.
On the British ITV television show Motor Mouth on 22 September 1990, Steve Woodmore recited a piece of the "To be, or not to be" soliloquy from William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark in 56 seconds, yielding an average rate of 637 words per minute, breaking the previous record of 586 wpm, set by John Moschitta, Jr. Guinness World Records listed Woodmore as the world's fastest talker until his record was beaten by Sean Shannon, the current record holder, when Guinness clocked Shannon at a rate of 655 words per minute on 30 August 1995.
His ability to articulate at such a fast rate is apparently due to his recruiting more portions of his brain to the task than the average person, as shown in an fMRI.
Woodmore has attempted reading out aloud the United Kingdom tax code. However, after thirty hours, he was less than a quarter of the way through. Eventually he took five days to finish the task.
Woodmore has appeared on numerous television and radios shows, including BBC's 1Xtra Breakfast Show with Twin B and the documentary Stan Lee's Superhumans.
Fast talking aside, Woodmore also acts as an electronics salesman for Currys, an electrical retailer in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Woodmore also works as a comedian.
In June 2011, Woodmore officially launched the 5050 Phone a Friend nationwide competition, together with John Lonergan, at an event held in Dublin, in which the Irish public is challenged to beat Woodmore's world record of 637 wpm live on television. The finals were held on 10 September 2011.
Married and with eight children, he resides in Orpington, London, Great Britain. Woodmore is currently trying to slow down the speed of his speech, so as to have a normal conversation with others.