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6 steps to speed reading

Reading is something most of us do every day and it’s a vital part of career development. Speed reading is a skill that anyone can learn and which can be used to get the most from reading and ensuring that you’re doing it as effectively and efficiently as possible. Being able to speed read can help you to acquire more knowledge and understanding, and generally get ahead in whatever you’re trying to do. These are some of the ways in which you can enhance your skills and get more from reading opportunities.

Use the pointer method

This is the simplest way to get started with speed reading. It involves using your index finger as a pointer, moving it across the page under the sentence that you’re reading. This is a technique that was developed by the investor of speed reading and which will quickly help you to improve the speed at which you read, as well as your understanding of what you’re reading.

Try scanning and previewing

Using scanning and previewing in speed reading means looking ahead at lists, numbers, trigger words, names, graphs etc and identifying these before getting into the detail of the text. This will allow you to instantly capture the essence of what you’re about to read and understand an entire page in seconds.

Look at word groupings


This technique will enable you to read chunks of words, rather than individual words, reducing the number of stops you need to make while reading. Being able to successfully use the word groupings approach will mean your comprehension rate improves and you’ll be able to achieve that key increase in speed too.

Invest in learning that works for you


If you’re struggling to acquire new speed reading skills on your own then it could be useful to invest in some structured learning. There are plenty of options out there that integrate scientific ideas and techniques that could make it much easier for you to speed read going forward.

Some tips on comprehension


The purpose of speed reading is to understand more so it’s not simply about skimming the words on the page. Comprehension is the hardest part of speed reading and will depend on the knowledge structure that you already have. You can improve this - and your speed reading - by broadening your vocabulary, using visualisation and memory techniques, getting into the habit of taking notes so that you’re constantly interpreting what you read and learning how to stay focused on the main topic when you’re reading.

Minimise your bad habits


There are some learned behaviours that can get in the way of effective speed reading. For example, saying words in your head as you read and regression (going back in the text). If you want to be a more effective speed reader you need to tackle these bad habits, for example by being consciously aware of when you’re regressing and resisting the urge to do so.

Speed reading is an incredibly useful skill and these are some of the ways that you can start using it to help you fulfill potential. Find out more by booking onto our How To Learn Anything Quicker training course...