The amazing thing about speed reading and comprehension is that they are improved at the same time. People often assume that this skill is concentrating more on speed than on the material itself, but actually an efficient speed reader will automatically comprehend more than the slower reader. The key to speed reading and comprehension is understanding how information should be read as well as the adjustment of speed for different types of materials.
One may wonder if it is possible to read at high speeds. Wouldn’t is be wonderful to be able to read all the reports, emails, newspapers, novels, magazines, etc, that we are either required to read or would like to read, but never seem to have the time to read? Speed reading is not a myth or some made up phenomenon. It is highly possible for anybody to learn provided they apply the correct techniques and practice that is required. Your speed can be increased moderately by using some simple movement methods or can be dramatically increased by learning more involved eye movements and chunking reading styles. Any increase in reading rate, no matter how small, should be seen as an achievement. It is up to the individual to decide how much further he would like to push the speed barriers!
Now you may wonder about speed reading and comprehension. How is it possible for someone to read at 2000 or even 3000 words per minute and still understand all they have read? A poor reader will read each word and eventually make it to the end of the paragraph. By the end of it, he has forgotten the beginning of the work and has failed to grasp the overall meaning. This is because of the intense focus on each word rather than the paragraph as a whole. On the other hand, an efficient reader will take in large, meaningful groups of words simultaneously. Even whole paragraphs or pages at one time. By increasing our span of vision during reading, the brain is more easily able to make important connections between the words and recognize meaningful patterns of writing within the text. This greatly enhances our comprehension and understanding of the work.
Effective speed reading and comprehension is a process that involves more than merely reading as fast as you can. Ask someone to read something as fast as possible, and they will immediately tense up and try read at a rate that they are not comfortable with. These skills should actually be done in a relaxed manner, with the eyes moving smoothly over the page and the brain absorbing all the necessary information.
Actively involve yourself in the process by having a purpose. Explore the text before you read and control your reading speed according to the difficulty of the writing.
Speed reading and comprehension can easily be learned if one has the motivation and desire to apply new methods to their original reading style.