Are you a stressed-up student or an administrator who must pore through tons of documents quickly? Speed reading techniques are a must for you.
You may feel that speed reading may add to your stress. We’ll show you that they have the opposite effect, and introduce you to a few.
What Is Speed Reading?
Speed reading involves using a number of techniques to process text fast. These include skimming, scanning, and reducing subvocalization. There is a wealth of training material available on the subject.
Researcher and school teacher Evelyn Wood gets the credit for developing a tool for increasing reading speed. She wanted to understand why some people could read faster than others, including herself.
The idea of speed reading came to her when she tried to go through a book quickly but couldn’t. She discovered that using her hand to move over the page brought words to her attention. She then taught this method of speed reading to students at the University of Utah in 1959.
Why you need to learn to speed read
You may think that reading should be for pleasure, and you would be right. But there are times when it’s necessary to process a lot of text. If you’re not convinced, we share the other benefits of speed reading.
1. Speed reading is empowering.
Yes, not only does the use of these techniques speed up your reading, but it also gives you power. It enables you quick access to facts, which you can turn into knowledge in a snap. It gives you the drive you need to do well in all your tasks, which translates to employment and money-making opportunities.
Also, knowledge allows you to be comfortable with friends in social situations. You’ll have plenty of ammunition for social chatting.
2. Improved memory
The brain is an organ, and it has muscles like other parts of the body. If we train it, it gains strength and performs better than before. Training our brains to retain information quickly also improves other cognitive functions, such as memory.
3. Speed reading improves focus
You’ll find that the people who can read at least 300 words per minute can focus better on their material than those who read at an average speed of 200 words per minute. Why is this?
Concentrating on specific words and ideas enables better concentration and absorption of the content of a text. Conventional word-for-word reading is slow and can cause the mind to drift to other preoccupations.
4. Improves confidence
Speed reading gives you an edge in almost any area of life. If you can read quickly, you open up career and other options in life. It raises awareness and gives our lives depth. You become more sophisticated, and your thinking improves.
5. Relieves stress
Reading the conventional way is slow, so it causes us to multi-task to get more work done. Doing this results in overall inefficiency. Speed reading is quick, efficient, and meditative. In short, it reduces stress.
6. Enhanced creativity
Industry leaders in any field must innovate, so it isn’t surprising how busy they must be. They must use speed reading techniques frequently to cross-pollinate ideas. So speed reading may lead you to your next brilliant idea.
7 Speed Reading Techniques to Learn That Will Also Boost Your Brain Power
The average person reads about 200 to 250 words per minute. There’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able to double or even triple that speed. By using these techniques, you will be able to finish going through all the unread books on your bookshelf in no time at all.
1. Read the Table of Contents
What do most people do when they read a book? Groan as they turn the first page, knowing that they have a few hundred more to go. They spend more time than they should reading because they pore over the book page by page.
Instead, one should go over the table of contents and chapter summaries first. These usually capture the main ideas of the book, which are what the author wants you to know in the first place. By reading them, your brain will try to spot them as you read subconsciously.
2. Don’t Subvocalize
Subvocalization means reading the words of a text out to yourself. Some people do this because it raises their awareness of the words, but it slows reading speed down dramatically. Some successful speed readers chew gum to prevent themselves from doing this.
3. Listen to Music
Studies show that listening to music increases one’s reading speed. The reason for this is still unclear but could be that music relaxes the brain.
4. Force your eye to move across the page.
Using your pen or finger to guide your eye across a page of text, a technique known as Meta Guiding, is one of the essential aspects of speed reading.
Most people fall victim to Visual Regression. What happens during the process? The eye moves backward when reading sentences and goes over words that they’ve read before.
When you use a pen to move over text, your eye moves forward with it. It doesn’t travel uncontrollably all over the page, and you’ll focus on the words in front of you.
5. View groups of words
You would view groups of words for clues to the main ideas of a book or article. Reading experts call this technique skimming.
When you look at a phrase, e.g., “Statue of Liberty,” several times, your brain becomes acclimatized to seeing the words as a group. Your reading speed increases because you’re not looking at words individually. You’ll also get an understanding of the content you’re reading.
6. Read the first and last sentences of a paragraph.
Another technique is scanning, which involves going over paragraphs quickly to identify facts. The way to do this to read the first and last sentence of a paragraph, but scan through the middle of it quickly. The first sentence of the tells you what it’s going to be about while the last summarizes it.
You’d probably get the gist of a paragraph if you just read the first and last sentences. Of course, words in the middle may be vital to your knowledge of the text, in which case you’d apply the other techniques of fast reading.
7. Read faster than you believe is possible.
If you read faster than you think you can, you’d probably end up doing so. Your goal is to pore through text quicker than you’ve done before, so you’d first have to know your present reading speed. Your goal is to go beyond it.
So, using speed reading techniques allows you to process lots of text quickly and gives you an edge. Try those suggested above and find yourself accumulating more information than you did before.
- What Causes Social Anxiety in Children and How to Help Them - June 2, 2020
- 10 Signs of a Spoiled Child: Are You Overindulging Your Kid? - April 25, 2020
- How to Raise an Introverted Teenager: 10 Tips for Parents - March 1, 2020
Copyright © 2012-2023 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.