Most individuals read at a rate that is 10 times slower than they can. With today’s information filled world, learning to read faster can give you a valuable end in the business world. Consider the following simple techniques to help you read faster and make yourself more valuable to your employers. In addition, these tips will help you to retain information better than when you read at a slow speed. While you can’t expect to learn to speed read overnight, the following tips can help increase your reading speed and accuracy without taking away from your comfort.
First, you want to identify what you are reading. Before you start reading any type of material, you want to consider exactly what your motivation is. When you understand the purpose of reading you can better determine how fast to read. When you know the reason behind reading your material, you can put yourself in the right frame of mind for the task and it will be easier to take in the information.
You also want to consider the type of material you are reading and which key points you want to take from your reading experience. If you are reading a training manual for work, you will need a different level of concentration than when you are simply reading a novel for fun. Speed-reading is all about knowing when to pick up the pace and when to slow down your reading so you can absorb the necessary information. This is why knowing why you are reading the material, knowing what type of material you are reading and knowing what you need to remember can give you a big advantage.
Second, you need to avoid sub-vocalization. This is the biggest habit that prevents people from reading faster. When you read you have the tendency to read the words to yourself. This is a trait leftover from childhood when you were taught to read aloud. Those who sub-vocalize can read around 300 to 350 words per minute. With continuous practice, this can be improved to a even higher word count
In order to get rid of sub-vocalization you need to read faster than your internal speech and closer to your mind speed. This means making internal word dictation impossible. Try to count to ten in your head while reading to distract you from sub-vocalization, but to still allow you to absorb the words that you are reading. Take the time to practice and make sure you find the right balance between high speed and accurate retention for your unique reading needs.
Lastly, you need to narrow in on the important parts of the material. Don’t try to read each page in the material at top speed. In order to be successful at speed-reading you need to be smart. Read selectively and change speeds as necessary. Consider you initial goals for reading the material. If you know what topics are necessary then you should slow down during important areas so you can maximize the amount of material you retain.