Speed reading is a tool for training your brain to process large amounts of text without having to read through every word. It is a common misconception that speed readers just read faster than everyone else. Speed reading is a technique that can be learned by following these instructions. If these basic steps seem a bit too challenging at first, don't worry -- that's normal. If you're really serious about speed reading and improving your reading comprehension, I'd suggest you check out SpeedReader-X.
- Find your starting speed. Use the watch to time yourself as you read a section. Try for at least two pages to get an idea of how fast you read a paragraph and longer sections. After you have timed your reading, go back and count the words on those pages. On average people read 200 – 300 words per minute. This speed seems like a lot until you realize that a small magazine article is approximately 750 to 1000 words while the average novel starts at 80,000 words.
- Find a comfortable and quiet place. Eliminate distractions that may be slowing you down by finding a chair you will be able to sit in for more than a few minutes. Avoid noise and other distractions as well.
- Relax your eyes to see the entire page instead of one line. Don’t focus on the individual words or strain trying to concentrate on reading faster. You need to relax.
- Read in blocks instead of in words. Paragraphs are blocked text with shared meaning so try to view a paragraph at a time.
- Pay attention to headers and initial sentences. Headers are essential to finding the point of what you are reading. They help track your eye to where it needs to go. The initial sentence of a paragraph often holds the most important point of that paragraph. The remaining text is used to support the first sentence.
- Ignore unnecessary words. Much of written text includes an overabundance of adjectives and adverbs that add color but little meaning to the sentence. You can skip these without missing much.
- Trace the lines with your finger to guide your pace. Guide yourself by tracing your finger along the lines of text. Skip over unnecessary words and keep your finger moving.
- Practice daily. Learning to speed read may take time. Practice and once you’ve gotten these steps into your routine, time yourself again to see your improvement.
Learning to speed read can make your life easier. If you have books to study for school or just need to absorb information quickly, these techniques can help.