How & Why Do Auctioneers Speak So Fast

They Must Be In A Hurry, Right?

If you’ve ever been to an auction before, or seen one go down in those reality TV shows, you’re probably familiar with the way auctioneers speak. Some might think they are doing it just for show, to rile up an audience. 

Surprisingly, that mostly isn’t the case. To help you understand, we’re here to shed light on just how and why they speak the way they do.

So, How & Why Do Auctioneers Speak So Fast?

Let’s go through some of the how’s and why’s: 

  • They’re Trained To Do That
  • They Work on a Tight Schedule
  • It Attracts Attention
  • It’s To Make You Bid More
  • The Importance of Call and Response 

They’re Trained To Do That

It’s safe to say that people don’t just become auctioneers. They go through a process that any profession requires. A lot of people are surprised when they find out that auction schools exist. 

There’s a lot more to being an auctioneer than just talking fast. They have to handle a lot of administrative work that often involves hundreds of pages of contracts, depending on how many lots are assigned to them each day. 

They Work on a Tight Schedule

Most regular public auction houses have hundreds of “lots” that contain the items for sale. An auctioneer’s job is to clear out the set amount of lots for a given day, and the faster they talk, the quicker they’re going to get the job done. 

Usually having to go through entire warehouses of items, catering to numerous potential buyers, it’s easy to imagine how tight the schedule is.

It Attracts Attention

If you happen to walk by an ongoing auction, chances are you will hear the auctioneer going off like a machine gun, counting off bids left and right. It draws you in, heck, you might even be enticed to participate! 

It all centers on the goal of attracting possible buyers, and keeping those who are already present engaged.

It’s To Make You Bid More

A bidder’s attention is very important to an auctioneer. The longer they have them engaged, the higher the chance of them bidding. Tapping into the client’s impulsive buying habits helps connect sales to customers faster, fostering a more profitable rapport between bidder and auctioneer.

The Importance of Call and Response 

According to Slate, auctioneers talk in a specifically monotone voice to lull possible bidders into a pattern of call and response. This method of speaking conditions the person into responding periodically to whatever calls the auctioneer is making. 

This helps reinforce any biases that may lead them to increasing their bid cap for a certain item.


Now that we’ve gained a better understanding of what it takes to be an auctioneer, and why they’ve developed a speaking method that has solidified the  “fast-talking method” into the minds of those who are aware of auctions as a concept, we can see how a major part of it is carefully devised to work with the tight schedule that an auction house has to maintain, as well as carefully guiding the unaware onlookers into making more bids.

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