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Category: Speed Reading

Learn to Read Faster – Stop “Regressing”

The next reading habit I want to talk about breaking, if you’re serious about improving your reading speed, is called Regression.

Regression, re-reading, back-skipping, going back over what you’ve read – they all mean the same thing.  Rather that continuing in a forward motion, regression is the process of going backwards to reread stuff that you’ve already read.

Has this ever happened to you?  I think all of us have experienced regression at least once, but probably a lot more often than that.  Regression is common among readers and it’s a habit that’ll slow your reading speed and have you scratching your head wondering, “What did I just read?”

Next time you have a chance to observe someone reading silently, focus in on their eyes.  As you watch, don’t be surprised if you see the person’s eyes moving along forward at a good clip and then suddenly twitching backwards.  It’s pretty funny to watch, but what it does to your reading speed and comprehension is no laughing matter.

Imagine if that’s the way we walked.  You’d see people out on the sidewalk, taking one forward-moving step after another.  And then suddenly, they take a step backward, maybe even two or three, before returning to their forward motion.  They’d continue walking forward, taking maybe ten or twenty steps, then out of the blue, they’d take two or three steps backward.

If you saw people walking this way, you’d definitely think something was wrong, or that maybe they had too much to drink.  But no matter what you thought, you’d have to agree that anyone walking this way couldn’t be making much progress.

And that’s exactly the same problem that happens when people regress as they read: They don’t make much progress.

Then why do readers do it?

Well, sometimes – but not very often – regression is necessary.  It’s sometimes difficult to avoid regressing when what you’re reading is academic or technical in nature.  Sometimes the author’s way of writing is ineffective in engaging his or her audience; a problem that causes readers to have to reread what they just read in order to figure out the message the author is attempting to convey.

But more often than not, people regress when they read for the simple reason that regression is a habit.  And because it’s a habit, it usually happens without realizing that it’s even happening.  That kind of regression is called unconscious regression and it usually happens because you think your brain didn’t capture the information right the first time.  For whatever reason, you don’t trust your brain, so you go back and double-check your brain’s ability by rereading the material you just read.

Regression happens at a conscious level too.  Sometimes you just know you didn’t understand what you read, or that you missed something really important in what you just read.  This happens a lot when readers get to the bottom of the page.  That’s when they realize that although their eyes were looking at the words on the page, their mind was elsewhere and not fully engaged.

Even though they spent all that time reading, it turns out their minds didn’t understand a thing.  So back they go, in search of the material they missed the first time around.  Sometimes they’ll find it, but not always, so back they go again.

Has that ever happened to you?  What I really should be asking is, how many times has that ever happened to you?

Some estimates put the amount of time people spend re-rereading or back-skipping or whatever you want to call it at 33%.  Yes – THIRTY-THREE percent.  That means that out of every hour, the typical reader spends 20 minutes out of 60 rereading the same material, and sometimes reading it over and over again.  That’s a huge amount of time and I get tired just thinking about it!  It also means that just 40 minutes of every hour is spent going forward.

Regression also causes problems with comprehension.  When you read in a forward direction but then go backwards, you can’t help but lose track of the point the words are trying make.  When a sentence’s flow is disrupted by regressing, it’s nearly impossible to understand the meaning of the sentence.

What else causes regression?

Sometimes regression is caused by subvocalization.  When you subvocalize, your eyes and your mouth don’t always progress at the same speed.  Sometimes your eyes race ahead of your mouth.  So what you have is a situation in which your eyes read one thing while your mouth is busy reading something else.

Needless to say whenever this happens, confusion about what was just read is never far behind.  So you go back and reread, this time trying hard to get your eyes and your mouth to move in sync.

Sometimes people regress because they’re compelled to do it.  In some people the need to reread is no different than to the need to double- and triple-check that they turned off the oven.  In this situation, regression is considered a form of compulsive behavior.  Anyone who refuses to trust his or her own ability to understand what was read will always go back and reread material, sometimes over and over again.  When it’s compulsive, the regression habit is a bit harder to break.

Finally, some readers simply believe that slower reading is better reading.  They have fallen victim to the myth that good comprehension requires slow, purposeful and repetitive reading.  Because it’s what they believe, they refuse to read any differently.  If you belong to the slower is better school of reading, I hope to show you later on that there is a better way, and that better way is by reading faster.

That ends my discussion of regression for now.

Video Version of Post

How to Improve Reading Speed by Eliminating Subvocalization

In the next few posts we will take closer look at each bad reading habit, starting with subvocalization, which is by far the worst of the reading habits.

Do you know what subvocalization means?

Subvocalization sounds a little scary, but it really isn’t.  It’s simply a term that’s used to describe the habit of reading with your larynx.  Your larynx is the structure inside your throat that holds your vocal cords.  When I say you read with your larynx, all it really means is that you “say” the words as you read them.  People who move their lips while they read are doing what’s called “voicing” the words as they read them.

Not every reader says the words they read out loud or moves their lips while they read.  Some are more subtle.  These readers “hear” the words in their heads as they read.  What they hear is more like a whisper that moves along as their eyes continue reading.

The reason people subvocalize can definitely be traced back to the days when they first learned to read.  Chances are, when you were back in grade school or whenever you first learned to read, you were taught to read phonetically.

When you’re taught to read phonetically, you’re first taught the individual sounds associated with each letter of the alphabet.  Then you’re taught the sounds that different combinations of letters make.  Finally you’re taught to string all those sounds together into simple words, and viola, you can read!

If you have young children, you’re probably familiar with phonetics since it’s very popular and still used in schools today.

Not only does learning to read phonetically involve several steps, it also involves several body parts.

Using your eyes, you first need to see a word on a page.  Once you see it, you then have to say the sounds the letters make using your mouth.  Your grade school teacher probably made you say these sounds out loud in front of the class.  For a lot of kids, this was embarrassing, because there was always the risk of making a mistake.  But your teacher made you do this so she could be sure you were making the sounds correctly.  She wasn’t being mean; she was just doing her job.

Anyway, as you grew older and your teacher wasn’t around anymore, you probably started whispering these sounds and words in your mind instead of saying them out loud.  Or you started moving your lips so that anyone around you couldn’t hear you.  Seeing words and saying them was necessary to the brain’s ability to learn the words and develop associations with those words.

Right now maybe you’re wondering how such an effective teaching method could be so bad?

Well, here’s the answer.

Subvocalization worked very well when you were a kid and it still works very well for anyone learning to read for the first time.  Known also as auditory reassurance, the process of saying or hearing the words as you read them is a good way to reassure yourself that you’re saying them correctly.

However, now that you’re all grown up and you have accumulated years and years of reading experience, it’s no longer necessary to voice your words as you read them in order to understand them.  That’s because your brain already knows a lot of the words.  You’re older, you’ve been exposed to a lot more, and you already know what many words mean just by looking at them.

What I’m trying to say is that instead of involving the brain, the eyes, the ears, and the mouth, your eyes and your brain are quite capable of reading and comprehending all by themselves.  They don’t need any extra help from your other body parts.  All your ears and your mouth do now is get in the way.

So why do you still do it?

The reason you still say your words as you read them is because you’re in the habit of doing this.  It’s true.  You think that the only way to really understand what you’re reading is by saying the words too.  But it’s not necessary.  You don’t say “go” every time you come to a green light, do you?  You don’t because you already know that green mean go.  The same is true with a lot of things in your life.  You’ve built associations with words, and don’t need to repeat them word for word in order to understand them.

Like any habit, subvocalization is a hard habit to break.  But it might be easier to break if you realize how much this one single habit slows your reading speed.  That’s what I’m going to tell you next and I guarantee you’ll be shocked.

Are you ready?

When you voice your words as you read them as you do when you subvocalize, it means that you can only read as fast as you can talk out loud.  For most readers, that’s only about 150 words per minute; a reading rate that puts you in the category of a slow reader.  Slow readers are considered “talkers” meaning that they sound words out by moving their lips or they hear internally their own voice as they read word-for-word.

I know some of you out there are thinking, well I’m a fast talker, so that must mean I’m a fast reader.  And to a certain extent, you’re right.  But being a slow reader means you have a reading speed of between 100 and 200 words per minute.  So even if you’re a fast talker, there’s still a pretty good chance you’re considered a slow reader.  Even if you could read a little faster, between 200 and 300 words per minute, you’d still only be considered an average reader.  So there’s definitely room to improve.

Right now though, reading speed isn’t the issue.  The point to be made is that as long as you continue the habit of subvocalization, you will never achieve reading speeds associated with excellent readers which are 700 or more words per minute.

Do you say words in your head as you read them?

If you’re unsure whether you’re guilty of the subvocalization habit, try this.  Next time you read, pay closer attention.  If you notice your lips moving, even just slightly, or you hear yourself saying the words you read to yourself while you read, or you voice your words as you read, you’re guilty.

But that’s not the worst of it.  If you also hear yourself pronouncing every syllable of every word as you read, you are slowing your reading rate even further!  Believe it or not, a lot of readers actually take time to carefully pronounce the words they read rather than just mumbling them to themselves!

Here’s something else that’s going to surprise you.

A slower reading rate isn’t the only problem associated with subvocalization.  When you subvocalize, you’re more likely to get bored.  You might have thought the material you were reading was causing your boredom.  But in fact, what’s boring you could be the sound of your own voice!

When you subvocalize, you’re probably doing so in a monotone, expressionless manner so the sound inside your heads drones on and on and on.  And before you know it, you’re feeling tired, uninterested, and perhaps starting to daydream.

What do you think about that?

Again, don’t worry.  For right now, just be aware what subvocalization is and that it exists.  Later on, I’ll teach you how to break the subvocalization habit

I know I may have presented subvocalization in a less than brilliant light, but there are times when this reading habit comes in handy.

Here are some times when you may want to slow your reading speed and intentionally subvocalize:

  • When reading a really important document like a contract, especially if you don’t have a legal background
  • When reading material that’s very challenging
  • When trying to memorize something or when studying
  • When reading dialogue, plays, or religious texts
  • When you’re in a loud distracting environment and you are having trouble concentrating on what you’re reading.

Okay, that’s enough about subvocalization for now.

Video Version of Post

Increasing Reading Speed by Limiting Habits

Habits.  We all have them.  Some habits are good, like getting to work or class on time.  And some are not so good, like procrastination and not wearing a seatbelt.

For the next few minutes, I’m going to talk about reading habits.  When it comes to reading habits, it’s important to understand that they’re neither good nor bad.  They’re not something you should feel ashamed or embarrassed about having, either.  What’s most important is to understand that reading habits exist and that you, along with most readers, probably practice some of the most common ones.

Even though they’re neither good nor bad, reading habits developed long ago can cause you to read more slowly than you could if they weren’t standing in your way.  Old reading habits tend to interfere with your concentration so you waste time re-reading material.  Old reading habits can also cause you to tire more easily and become bored.

If you want to make room for the new techniques I’ll be teaching later on, you will need to break your old reading habits.  But before you can break them, you need to know what they are and how they developed.

Like I already said, most readers developed their current reading habits back when they were very young.  For most of them, that was about the same time they last learned how to read.

Do you remember the last time you learned how to read?  How many of you even think about the last time you learned how to read?  Even though I can’t see you, I’ll bet many of you didn’t raise your hands.  Since most of us take our ability to read for granted, when we first learned, isn’t something we usually think about.  So, was it last week? Was it last month?  No!  It was much longer than that.

Chances are you were taught how to read in the first grade, or maybe the second or third.  But whatever the grade, it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that besides being the first time in your life you learned to read, grade school was probably the only time in your life that you ever learned how to read.

Think about it.  Once you could read those picture-filled children’s books that had about two sentences per page and about three to five words per sentence, that was basically it.  Your teacher was satisfied that you knew how to read.

Reading wasn’t like the other subjects you studied in school.  As you advanced to each higher grade level, you learned more about core subjects like math and history.  But that didn’t really happen with reading.  You learned what you learned during the grade in which you were first taught to read, and since then there probably hasn’t been any more instruction.

So now here you are, fully grown, trying to read really thick college textbooks and business proposals and trade magazines full of technical jargon.  And you’re reading this stuff using the same basic skills you were taught the first time and the only time you learned how to read!  No wonder reading doesn’t excite you!

Being here tells me a lot of things about you.  It tells me that you acknowledge your reading speed isn’t where you’d like it to be.  It tells me that you realize your current reading skills are holding back from the goals you’re trying to achieve.  And it tells me that you’re ready to break old reading habits and replace them with new ones.

In order to do that, you need to know what those reading habits are that prevent you from reading to your full potential.  As I said before, these habits aren’t bad; however they do need to be broken.

Here are the most common habits that interfere with a reader’s ability to read faster and with better comprehension:

  • Subvocalization
  • Regression
  • Fixation


Video Version of Post

Speed Reading Skills – Their importance and how knowledge attracts

And here’s another reason why speed reading skills are so important.

When you’re the type of person who can easily gain knowledge, people are naturally more attracted to you.  Not so much in a physical way; but socially.  Think about it.  When you’re out somewhere, do you gravitate towards the person who’s dull and boring and has very little to say?  Or do you settle in beside the person who engages you and others with interesting tid-bits of information?

If you hang out with the people who have little to say, maybe it’s because you have little to say and that’s where you feel most comfortable.  If that’s what you do, don’t worry.  You have what it takes to change that.  You have me, and these speed reading posts, and most important of all, you have a desire to change.

Whenever your desire starts to wane, don’t let it.  You have to stick to your guns. Like it or not, or agree with me or not, if you lack knowledge, people will exclude you.  Sadly, that’s true.  Aside from close friends and family, you might find that most people won’t want to be around you.

And it gets worse than that.  If you’re a slow reader, you may be preventing yourself from attaining a position of power.

I’m going to pause for a moment and let you think about that.

Now think about this.  Reading and learning are skills. They’re not something you either get or you don’t get when you are born.  They’re learned.  And that means absent any physical or mental conditions, you have the same capacity to read and learn as everyone else in the world does.

Did you hear what I just said?  Let me repeat.

I said speed reading and learning are skills.  Therefore, like any skill, whether it’s basketball or figure skating or speaking a foreign language, with a desire, dedication and a lot of practice, it is possible for you to improve your ability to read and learn.

I already know you have the desire to become a better reader because you’re listening to me and getting ready to learn new techniques.  I will help you improve your abilities by teaching you a number of exercises that are designed to help you read faster and comprehend more.

In order to achieve results, you’ll have to dedicate some time acquiring the necessary skills for speed reading.

Practice is the only way you will remember the techniques I’ve taught and it’s the only way you can improve your reading and comprehension abilities.

By taking time to practice, you will become better and faster reader.  And as a result, you will gain more knowledge.

Video Version of Post

Speed Reading and Comprehension

Do you know what it’s going to take to get ahead?

If you want to get ahead in today’s world, you need more knowledge than the guy sitting next to you.  And even that’s not enough.  You actually need to acquire more knowledge than everyone who’s competing for the same jobs as you, for the same deals as you, and even the same partners as you.


Because in today’s world, knowledge is power.

You might not realize this, but the more you read, the more knowledge you acquire.  It’s true and it’s really that simple.  Reading is the gateway to more knowledge.

Did you read the newspaper today?  If you did, did you learn something that you didn’t know before you started reading the newspaper?  Maybe you learned the name of some newly elected official.  Or maybe you learned about a new program being offered in your community.  Or maybe there was a special feature about how to prepare your yard for Spring.

The point is, if you didn’t know about the information before, you just learned it. And you learned it by simply picking up the newspaper and spending maybe 20 or 30 minutes reading about it; maybe even less.  Once you learn speed reading techniques, it’ll definitely be less.

Let me point out something else before moving on.  Acquiring new knowledge involves more than just reading.  You also need to be able to comprehend what you read.  Then you need the ability to retain all of that newly learned information, PLUS be able to recall it when you need it.

But don’t worry.  Learning to speed read will help you develop not only your reading speed, but all of these other skills as well.  Together, your improved comprehension, retention and recollection skills will help you gain even more knowledge than you already have, and help you gain it more quickly and with better comprehension than you were able to before.  You’ll see.

This is why I think learning to speed read is so important.  I hope you’ll agree.

Video Version of Post

Learning to Speed Read – Why it’s important

Maybe you’re still unsure about learning to speed read and the impact it will have on various aspects of your life.  If so, you’ll enjoy this post.  In this post, I’m going to show you exactly why speed reading is so important and how reading faster will dramatically improve your life.  So for now, sit back, relax and listen as I explain why I think speed reading is important.

Let’s get started.

You don’t need me to tell you we live in a time of information overload.  Everywhere you look you’re bombarded with information telling you what to buy, how to install new software, who to elect, what to eat, habits you should break, skills you do and don’t need, the list goes on.

You see this information everywhere you look – on TV, online, on magazine stands and bookshelves, on product brochures, on airplanes and trains, in the newspaper, and even in the doctor’s office.

But that’s not all.  Think about how much information you need just to do your job, or even to get a job.  If you’re in school, the amount of information you’re expected to learn and retain increases with each passing year.  If you decide to go on to college, you’ll spend 2, 3, 4 hours or more every single day doing nothing but reading – and hopefully learning, too!

I don’t think any of you would argue that information is everywhere we turn.  And not only that, there always seems to be some new way of delivering it to the masses.

I’m even willing to say that there’s far too much information to take in and not nearly enough time to absorb it all.  And for many of us, that’s a problem. An inability to take in all of the information that’s important, whether instructional or entertaining or otherwise, can quickly become frustrating and overwhelming.  It can even make the smartest among us feel inadequate.

Here’s something else that might make you feel inadequate.

The average person reads about 250 words per minute.  That sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t.  It’s not nearly fast enough to assimilate all of the information you’re presented with while in school or performing your job, or just living your life.

Believe it or not, that impressive-sounding reading speed of 250 words per minute puts you at a great disadvantage.  Even if you learn to speed read as many as 300 to 400 words every minute, you still may not reading fast enough to get ahead in today’s highly competitive and information-packed world.

Video Version of Post

Increase Reading Speed by Using Both Sides of the Brain

The next tip I want to share with you is different than all the rest.  Instead of offering advice on breaking old reading habits and flexing your eye muscles, this last tip focuses on something entirely different.

Before I get into my discussion, let me start by asking a question.  When you think about speed reading, what comes to mind?  If you’re like most people, your thoughts probably center around speed.  After all, you aren’t learning to slow read; you already know how to do that.  You’re here because you want to learn how to speed read.

It’s natural to think increasing speed reading is all about reading as fast as you can.  The faster you read, the faster you can finish a book or whatever it is you’re reading.  And the faster you finish, the quicker you can start another one, right?

But hold on a minute because there’s something else that’s important to understand about speed reading:  It isn’t only about speed!


If you are, let me ask you another question.  What good would it do you to read at speeds in excess of 5-, 6- or 700-words per minute if you don’t understand much of anything that you read?  It does you no good at all!

If you read but don’t comprehend, you will not have gained any knowledge.  You likely will not have gained any enjoyment either, but that’s a topic for another day.  If you haven’t gained any knowledge, you won’t have anything new to store in your knowledge bank.  And knowledge that can’t be stored can’t be retrieved for use later on.

The point being made here is simple:  Without comprehension, all the speed in the world won’t do you one bit of good.  You won’t gain any knowledge.  You won’t gain an edge over your competition.  You won’t be able to impress anyone in your social circle.

What you will do is something I warned you about earlier.  When you read but don’t comprehend you will fall back into the habit of regressing.  Do you remember what regressing is?  It’s going back and rereading information you’ve already read!  Regression wastes time and defeats the whole purpose of speed reading.  That’s not something you want to do, is it?

What you want to do instead is engage the other side of your brain.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to develop your comprehension skills while developing reading speed is to learn how to visualize.  Some people already do a pretty good job at this.  They’re usually the people who have an easier time following written directions.  As they read along, they’re able to create a mental image of themselves performing the task being described.  They do this by engaging the side of the brain that controls visualization.

You’ve probably heard reference to different sides of your brain and how the different sides control different functions.  The left side of the brain controls things like written and spoken languages, scientific ability and number skills.  The right side of the brain controls things like imagination, memorization, artistic ability and visualization.

Most people read using only their left side, which makes sense since this is the side that controls written language.   But the people who can read the fastest with the most comprehension are those who have learned how to engage both sides of their brain.

Video Version of Post

Learn to Speed Read by Expanding Your Field of Vision

The goal of my last tip was explaining the importance of increasing your vision span.  I told you that the easiest way to widen your vision span is to stop looking at a single word at a time and instead start learning how to look at chunks of words.  I explained that once you learn how to interpret word chunks your eyes don’t have to make as many eye fixations.  From there I went on to describe how fewer eye fixations can translate into faster reading speeds.

What I didn’t touch upon though was the role your peripheral vision plays in learning to speed read.  Your peripheral vision is more than your vision span.  It encompasses everything that your eyes can see outside their main area of focus.

Some of you might have had a reason to develop your peripheral vision.  But this is more likely another thing that most of us simply take for granted.  Chances are your vision span isn’t very wide and neither is your peripheral vision.

And that makes sense.  If you’ve been reading the same way all of your life, you haven’t really had any reason to expand your peripheral vision.  But all that’s going to change now that you’re taking steps to increase your reading speed.

You see, widening your peripheral vision is an important part of developing speed reading skills.  When you expand your peripheral vision, you’ll be able to see more of the words that appear horizontally to the left and to the right of your central area of focus and also more of the words that appear above and below that central area of focus.

How do you enhance your peripheral vision?

The answer is simple:  Exercise.

All day long your eyes are busy receiving visual stimuli and continually focusing and refocusing on whatever it is they’re looking at.  Even as you’re sitting there listening to me, your eyes are working hard and you probably don’t even realize it.

What’s doing a lot of that work are the six muscles attached to each of your eyes.  These muscles control all of the movements your eyes make including the movements that make your eyes look up, down, and all around.  Eye muscles also help your eyes focus on near objects and objects far away.

The only time you ever really notice your eye muscles is when your eyes feel strained.  Those eye twitches, watery eyes, and burning sensations are some of the signs that your eye muscles are tired and need a break.

Just like any other muscle in your body, exercise helps your eye muscles gain strength and flexibility.  And just like other muscles, there are specially designed exercises that help build eye muscles strength and flexibility.

Why should you care about exercising your eye muscles?

Because the only way you’ll be reaching and sustaining reading speeds of 700word per minute and more is by exercising them.  The stronger your eye muscles are, the more work they can handle before tiring.  And the more flexible they are, the wider you can stretch your peripheral vision.

Follow along as I teach you a simple eye exercise designed to help build eye muscle flexibility:

To start, sit or stand and focus your vision straight ahead.  Next stretch each hand out to the side like you used to do when pretending you were an airplane.  Stick each thumb up towards the sky and hold that pose.

Now, keeping your head straight, move your eyes to the right until you can see your thumb.  If you can’t quite see it, just stretch your eyes as far to the right side as you can.  Then glance to the left while making sure you keep your head still and facing straight ahead.  Continue glancing right to left and left to right nine more times.  Repeat the sequence of 10 glances to each side for a total of three sets.  That’s it!

Video Version of Post

To Improve Reading Speed You Must Resist Regression

I already told you that breaking existing habits is a key part of learning how to improve your reading speed.  I told you about subvocalization and how much saying words as you read them slows your reading speed.  I also showed you how easy it is to break this habit simply by occupying your mouth with some other task.

Now I’m going to tell you about another reading habit that wastes about a third of every hour you spend reading.  Yes that’s right – about 20 minutes out of every hour!

The habit is called regression and like I said, it’s a HUGE time waster.  The thing to remember about regression though, is that it sometimes comes in handy.  So you shouldn’t completely eliminate it from your reading arsenal.  But you do need to learn how to control it, especially if your goal is to improve reading speed.

Regression is the process of re-reading text that you’ve already read.  It goes by other names including back-skipping, re-reading, and going back over what you’ve read.  Whatever you call it, regression is like taking two steps forward with your eyes and one step back – and sometimes, a lot more than one step back; like when you go back and re-read an entire page or worse, an entire chapter!

If you ever have an opportunity to observe someone while they read to themselves, pay close attention to their eyes and you might be able to catch regression in action.  As you watch that person’s eyes you will probably see them moving in a forward direction at a pretty good clip.  And then suddenly, for no apparent reason, you’ll see the eyes twitch backwards.  If you keep observing, you’ll likely see this process repeat itself over and over again.

Like I said a few moments ago, regression is a habit that can seriously slow your reading speed.  And not only that, regression disrupts your concentration.  You’ve probably never thought about it, but reading isn’t all that matters.  You also have to comprehend what you read.  Without comprehension, reading is a wasted effort.

A lack of concentration, whether real or perceived, is one reason you might regress when you read.  For some reason you don’t trust your brain’s ability to comprehend the material, so just to be sure you go back and read the information again.  What you don’t realize is that re-reading is the more likely cause of reduced comprehension because it interferes with the proper flow and meaning of the words.

Subvocalization can also cause regression for the simple reason that your eyes usually move faster than the mouth.  When the difference between what your eyes see and your mouth reads becomes too much, comprehension falters.  Regression might also be a form of compulsive behavior.

No matter why you regress, you can free yourself from the regression habit.

All you need is a plain white or colored card that’s as wide as the column of text you plan to read.  Just be sure it’s blank because any writing will distract your eyes.  Now all you do is pull the card up as you read so that the text you’ve already read is covered by the card.  With the text covered up and out of sight, you’re less tempted to go back and reread.  The less you back-track, the quicker you’ll break the regression habit.

Once you break this habit, feel free to ditch this visual aid because I plan to show you newer ways to reduce regression.

Ok – that’s it for today. Stay tuned for more speed reading tips coming soon.

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How to Speed Read by Making Changes to Your Fixations

I’ve given you a lot of speed reading information in a very short amount of time.  Hopefully you’re beginning to realize that speed reading isn’t as mysterious as you previously thought.  All it really involves is breaking old habits and learning new techniques.  Once successful, you’ll read faster and with better comprehension than you ever have before.

But that’s not all.  Speed reading with better comprehension helps you gain more knowledge.  And more knowledge gives you an edge over your competition; something that’s crucial to getting ahead and achieving your goals.

Moving on, I want to share with you something that’s not necessarily a habit.  But it does slow reading speed so it needs to be addressed before you can increase your reading speed.  It’s called fixation and it’s pretty interesting.

Fixation is really nothing more than a fancy word for focus.  Trying to focus is something your eyes do continually throughout each day.  Most of us take our eyes’ ability to focus for granted, not realizing just how important this ability is to our sense of vision.

Fixation plays a key role in our ability to read, too.  If you recall from my talk about subvocalization, it’s the all important first step.  First the eyes fixate on or see a word, then the mouth says the word, then the ears hear the word and finally the brain registers the word.

When you read, your eyes don’t only fixate.  They’re actually in continual motion, so along with eye fixations are eye jumps.  Eye jumps are intermittent rapid eye movements that take place in between every eye fixation.  Together eye fixations and eye jumps cause the eye to continually focus and refocus as you read.

In a single line of text twenty words long, your eyes probably fixate and jump about eighteen times per line!  That’s because you still read word-for-word and your eyes are in the habit of focusing on a single word at time.  Although eye stops and jumps occur so fast you don’t even realize it, the fact that they happen so frequently causes a slowdown in reading speed.

To help you get a clearer picture of what’s happening, imagine a horse pulling a carriage through the streets surrounding Central Park.  Those horses wear blinders to keep their eyes focused straight ahead.  Without those blinders, the horses would have a bigger vision span. Seeing all the activity going on around them would spook them and endanger tourists. Blinders narrow the horse’s vision and keep horse moving safely, but slowly.

Luckily for us, we’re not horses walking around Central Park.  We’re humans looking for a way to improve our reading speed.  And one of the easiest ways to do this is by taking off our blinders so we can increase our vision span and focus on more words in a single fixation.

How do we do that?

One way is to start reading chunks of words instead of a single word at a time.  Once you learn to how to chunk words together to form thoughts that your brain understands, your reading speed automatically increases – and so does your comprehension.  When you read in chunks, your eyes only have to make a few fixations, instead of the eighteen or so that happen when reading one word at a time. Effective word chunking requires learning how to identify the right balance of words so that the chunks make sense to you.

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