Do you often feel like you’re not reading as fast as you’d like? Or that you’re not retaining information as well as you’d like? You’re not alone. A lot of people struggle with reading comprehension and speed. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to improve both.
In this blog post, we will discuss some tips and tricks that will help improve your reading skills. Follow these tips, and you’ll be a reading machine in no time!
To learn more about the top speed reading courses, checkout our article on the best speed reading courses for business professionals.
What is Speed Reading?
Speed reading is a skill that can be learned by anyone. By reading faster, you can save time and increase your comprehension. Speed reading also allows you to read more material in less time, making it ideal for students and professionals who need to consume a lot of information quickly.
While speed reading may seem like a difficult skill to master, there are some simple techniques that can help you read faster and improve your comprehension. With a little practice, you can learn to read quickly without sacrificing comprehension.
Speed Reading vs. Average Reading Speed
Speed reading can be defined by reading faster than the average person. The average reading speed for adults is about 250 words per minute. So reading any faster than this with adequate comprehension can be considered speed reading.
Reasons You Need to Know How to Read Faster
In today’s fast-paced world, being able to read quickly is a valuable skill. Here are just a few of the reasons why you need to know how to read faster:
1) When you’re doing research, whether, for work or school, you need to be able to quickly scan through information to find what you’re looking for. If you can’t read quickly, it will take you longer to find the information you need, and your research will suffer as a result.
2) When you’re studying for exams, you need to be able to read and comprehend information quickly in order to keep up with the course work. If you’re struggling to learn and process information efficiently, you’re likely to fall behind and have a harder time understanding the concepts.
3) In general, being able to read quickly allows you to take in more information. This can be helpful in both your personal and professional life. Whether you’re reading the news or keeping up with industry trends, being able to read faster gives you a leg up on the competition.
In short, reading faster will make you more productive and effective in almost everything that you do.
Step-by-Step Instructions to Improve Reading Speed and Comprehension
Here are some simple steps that you can follow to start speed reading today:
Do a quick assessment of your current reading habits. How fast do you read? Do you often find yourself re-reading paragraphs or pages? Do you have trouble understanding what you’ve read?
By understanding your starting point, you’ll be able to better gauge where you need to improve.
Once you know where you’re starting from, employ the following tactics to start reading faster:
1) Practice with “easy reading”
When you’re starting out with increasing your reading speed, try reading something “easy” first. There’s a technique to speed reading. If you try to read something complicated with lots of big words, your brain will be focused on understanding the material rather than practicing the technique.
Children’s books or magazine articles can be great for reading practice. With time, you’ll be able to fly through an article easily. Now its time to move on to something more complex.
2) Stop reading aloud inside your head
One of the big shifts in speed reading technique is the ability to read without saying the words aloud in your head. This can be a difficult habit to break, as many of us were taught to say the words out loud when we were first learning and so we tend to read at the same speed that we speak.
Unfortunately, since most people speak at about 100 – 160 words per minute, saying the words in your head will limit how fast you can read.
As you’re practicing reading, try to focus on the shapes of the words and the overall meaning of the sentence or paragraph, rather than filtering the words through an imaginary voice saying each sentence.
With pracrice, you’ll completely remove the voice in your head reading each sentance which will dramatically increase how fast you can read.
3) Read at the edge of your comprehension abilities
When you’re increasing your reading speed, you want to focus on reading faster first and reading for understanding second. What I mean by this is that your brain can only really focus on one of these outcomes at a time.
If you skim the page at breakneck speed, your comprehension will be practically nonexistent. However, if you deliberate over every single character to soak in the deep-seated meaning behind the words, your reading speed will be that of a snail.
To increase reading speed, you will have to sacrifice a small amount of reading comprehension at first. Read as fast as you can while still being able to pull the general meaning out of the text.
When you’re done reading a page, force yourself to recall what it was about in a couple of sentences. Keep reading faster and faster until you can’t recall the meaning at all – dial it back a little bit, and this is the speed you should be reading at to find a balance between speed and comprehension.
4) Eliminate Regression and Fixation
There are two main types of errors that can occur when reading faster: regression and fixation.
Regression occurs when the reader’s gaze moves backward on the page to re-read a previous word or phrase.
Fixation occurs when the reader’s gaze remains on the same spot for an extended period.
Both of these errors can impede reading speed and comprehension.
To eliminate regression, try using your finger or a bookmark to keep track of your place on the page. In addition, make sure to practice skimming and scanning text so that you can quickly move your gaze across the page without fixating on individual words.
To eliminate fixation, try to focus on groups of words rather than individual letters. In addition. The more fluidly you can scan the text, the more you will get used to keeping your eyes moving.
By eliminating both regression and fixation, you will be well on your way to increasing your reading speed and comprehension.
5) “Chunk” words and lines together
When you read every single word independently, you reduce the speed at which your brain can take in new information. To increase the bandwidth of information flowing into your brain, instead, try to read 3 or 4 words at once.
This technique decreases the number of eye movements necessary to absorb the information presented.
Reading in “chunks” allows you to absorb an entire line of text in 3 or 4 eye movements. With certain font and page sizes, you might be able to read multiple lines of text with just 1 or 2 moves!
6) Read “ahead” in the text
Reading slightly ahead of your understanding will help your brain separate absorption and comprehension.
As it turns out, seeing the characters in a text, sending the sensory input into your brain, and extracting the meaning are all slightly separate processes.
The idea of reading ahead is to train your brain to comprehend the previous words, while you are simultaneously absorbing the next words in the text.
This technique, in addition to chunking, will further increase the bandwidth at which you can absorb information. Over time, your reading comprehension abilities will adapt to the new speed at which you can take it in and you will be able to quickly absorb and understand what you’re reading.
7) Set a timer and track your progress
As the old saying goes, “what gets measured gets done”. This sage advice absolutely applies to reading speed. If you want to see a marked improvement in your reading speed, time yourself every day.
Set a simple stopwatch at the end of every page and practice reading the page faster and faster. Write down your times and try to improve over the course of several weeks or months.
Key Considerations For Successfully Increasing Reading Speed
Like most things, increasing reading speed and comprehension takes time and practice. One way to get the most out of your practice time is to set goals.
Goals such as “read x number of pages in an hour” or “increase reading speed by x number of words per minute” are perfect to stay focused.
Start by gradually increasing the number of pages that you read per hour or the number of words you read per minute. Track yourself by timing yourself and recording your progress in a journal daily.
Challenge yourself to hit higher and higher targets. While the average adult can read at about 250 words per minute, the world’s fastest speed reader can read at 25,000 words per minute.
So go for it because, after all, the sky’s the limit!
Taking it to the Next Level: How to Use Speed Reading to Make More Money
As your speed increases, so will your comprehension. As you can more easily comprehend information, you will have a better reading experience and develop the habit of reading. The more time you spend reading, the larger your vocabulary will become. As your vocabulary grows larger, you will be able to read more complicated reading material.
Being able to understand and decipher complicated text will give you access to a wider net of knowledge. That knowledge can be used to improve yourself, your relationships, and teach you how to make more money.
Think about it, when your competition reads 30% slower than you, you’ll be able to learn a new skill, strategy, or tactic and start implementing it in 30% less time.
Not only does the bandwidth on your learning increase, but the speed at which you can make decisions and take action towards productive ends. The time you would’ve spent reading can be spent actually doing!
If you apply your speed reading process to learning books about business, reading case studies, taking training courses, or skimming reports, you’ll quickly elapse your competition in the acquisition of knowledge.
As you can see, learning to speed read is an upward spiral that can dramatically impact your life.
Conclusion paragraph: Speed reading is an important skill to have in this day and age. With so much information available at our fingertips, we need to be able to read and process it as quickly as possible.
The seven techniques we’ve outlined should help you increase your reading speed. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep working on your speed reading until you reach the level of fluency you desire.
How fast can you now read a typical book? Try out some of the exercises from this post and let us know how much progress you make!