You can't hurry love, they say – but it turns out if you don't start speaking more quickly you might not find it at all.

A study has revealed that talking faster helps men woo women more successfully.

Researchers discovered confident men who are rapid-fire conversationalists are smooth-talking their way into a woman's life more than their slower rivals.

Academics asked 124 heterosexual volunteers – 68 women and 56 men – to take part in a dating game, pitting same-sex rivals against each other. They then had to seduce a potential date.

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The fastest speaking men in the competition hit a rate of up to 6.47 syllables per second without a pause. They proved to be more experienced lovers, having found up to four partners in the past year.

Slower men, who at their worst hit a rate of 4.87 syllables per second, notched up fewer than two.

Women with less breathy voices, and a shorter speech duration, had fewer sexual partners compared to more breathy women.

The study, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, was led by Alexandre Suire of the University of Montpellier in France.

He said: 'Men displaying faster articulation rate and relatively louder voice in this study had higher previous success with women. These men would presumably feel more self-assured when placed in a mating or competitive context.

"This self-confidence may have relaxed male subjects, stabilising their tempo and vocal intensity across speech. If so, this suggests that when men feel confident, they speak with faster and louder speech."