It’s not hard to master speed reading techniques with the proper understanding of the methods involved, and the right training. And it is a wonderful thing to be able to read books in next to no time at all, to be able to go through vast amounts of information, sort it mentally, categorizing it, selecting and absorbing the crucial aspects while discarding the irrelevant.
If knowledge is power, speed reading puts vast power at your fingertips, because it allows you to acquire knowledge quickly and easily. And in this world where the Internet is so powerful, and knowledge is just a browser window distant, the ability to process text rapidly can be a potent skill indeed.
Now obviously the first thing that you need to do is to gauge what your level of speed reading is right at the present moment. And remember that speed reading means more than simply going over the text quickly, it’s also just as important (obviously) just how much you understand of what you read. You’ll find that if you do a search on the Internet that there are lots of speed reading tests available on-line that can help you assess both the speed of your reading as well as how well you actually understand the text that you read rapidly.
What you need to do to gauge your progress is to take the same on-line test at intervals while working at your speed reading. This way you will have an accurate understanding of how much progress you’re making, which will help keep you dedicated and practicing, and really, practice is crucial to mastering the art of speed reading.
Generally speaking, taking instruction from a speed reading expert, or signing up for a course, or even buying a good speed reading software, are essential to mastering speed reading. Sure, you might pick up a few tips on the Internet, but they aren’t really equal to dedicated instruction. Another point is that with instruction, it’s more likely that you’ll be more dedicated and practice better.
When you start learning speed reading, it’s likely that your instructor will concentrate more on the purely mechanical techniques of speed reading, getting you to learn how to go through a great deal of text in a very short time, and will not bother to train you in comprehension and understanding. That comes later, once you are completely comfortable with the basic mechanical methods and techniques.
But ultimately, you’ll be trained in detail in how to properly retain the information you take in. There are specific techniques for this, both while you’re reading and afterwards, when you wish to embed the absorbed knowledge permanently in your memory. For example, even after reading and comprehending a subject, you need to discuss or revise it, either with the help of other people (such as a discussion group or forum, for example) or on your own.
That said, there’s absolutely no doubt that speed reading works. The best way to go about learning it is to sign up for a good teaching course, one that properly covers all the techniques of reading, assimilation and comprehension.