If you’re reading this article, you’re here to learn about how to improve your reading speed. Well, I’ll be elaborating on a lot of tips and tricks here, but before you even begin, you need to measure what your reading speed is at the moment. Because if you don’t do that you won’t be able to measure your progress as you improve, and that measure of your progress is what will keep you working at improving your speed-reading.
To begin with, you’ll need an alarm clock or at the very least some sort of electronic timer if you want to measure your progress accurately. Now set the alarm for a minute, and start to read – do it at your absolutely normal speed, the speed at which you read every day. The moment the alarm goes off, stop reading and check the amount of words you’ve read. Don’t cheat. That will be the amount of words you read in a minute. You can run the test a few times on different types of text and average out the results, if you like.
Now this is the first technique you’ll learn in the course of your speed reading. Chunking means that you will group words into ‘thoughts’ instead of reading the sentence in it’s entire grammatically correct form. Focus on only the important words of the sentence, and just don’t bother to read the minor words that only make for correct grammar. For example, a sentence like ‘I am a masterful speed reader with a speed of over 3000 WPM’ could easily become ‘I masterful speed reader speed 3000 WPM’ and still retain it’s essential sense while dropping out half the words. And dropping out half the words means an increase in reading speed of at least thirty percent through the use of this technique alone.
Never, EVER vocalize what you’re reading – that is, never form the words with your lips, even soundlessly. This is simply because the speed at which you speak is much, much less than the speed at which you read, meaning that by simply not speaking the words, you can enhance you speed of reading by more than sixty percent. And I’m not exaggerating – if speaking out words is a habit with you, just try not doing it a few times, practice a bit until you’re comfortable with it, and then time yourself. You’ll be surprised at how much your speed has increased.
This is an additional method of enhancing the speed at which you read. You can use a pencil or any sort of marker to follow the text as you read it. This doesn’t really enhance your speed directly, but it saves you time by preventing you from reading the same line or even the same word twice, effectively making your reading more effective. There’s another way of doing this that may appeal to you if the first does not. You can place a sheet of paper at the top of the page, and move it down to hide each line as you finish reading it. Try both methods and go with what works best for you.
These are just a few techniques. A good speed reading course or software will teach you dozens more. Try these methods, and if they work for you, I highly recommend that you go in for a complete speed reading course.