The Basics to Speed Reading

Speed Reading is a skill that is becoming vital in business and academic world’s today, with the increasing amount of information that is available online. Couple this with the amount of reading a manager or student faces, being able to intake information faster is something that is a must. In the last forty odd years the world of information that is available has increased dramatically. This “information revolution” enables professionals and students access to a world of information but requires significant effort in digesting the information and then making good use of it. This is where speed reading becomes useful.


You will find that of those who attend speed reading classes or courses, have or believe that they have some sort of problem with the way in which they read. Here are some of the potential problems when reading:

  • Lack of concentration or partial/impaired concentration. An obvious problem for speed reading. You will find that the effects of your environment will affect you reading rate and the tendency of some to be able to keep an acceptable rate of reading only happens in idyllic situations. As one of the most basic problems with speed reading it is addressed in most speed reading courses.
  • Poor eye movement. This is where your eyes shift to other directions and then back to what you are reading at the last point read. This is a problem that correlates with poor mechanical skills which in turn can be a real problem in speed reading.
  • Short attention span. Most if not all of us have been through it. We start strong and then we lose momentum as we go on. This then creates the situation of re-reading lines over and over or the need to read the sentence a couple of times lack of understanding or losing the line of thought altogether.
  • Reading by heart. This is where someone reads to themselves (muttering the words or reading out loud). This is a problem as speed reading is faster than talking. Reading out loud inhibits the ability to read fast and regulates a sow input of information.
  • Delayed reaction to information and material. Often resulting from inattention, reading ahead or distraction.
  • Desire to remember every word. Loosely related to the tendency to re-read or slow down.


So, what can you do to increase your reading skills? Do you really need to try speed reading? Or do you want to eliminate some of these problems? The answer to these is up to you.


Here are a few tips to get you going if you are wanting to try and read faster:

  • Think of reading as a pick and choose activity. Only read the words and phrases that are vital to the understanding of the text and skip over the rest. A major concept in speed reading is filtering out all the filler words. Words that link to form sentences i.e. TO make A sentence. Along with the “and” and “it’s” all must go as well. Turn the off, ignore them glance over them and do not dwell.
  • Practicing time reading. Using a timer see how much you read in a minute, and five minutes. After this honestly estimate how much to took away from what you just read (make sure to do this with something you have not read before). After try to beat yourself repeatedly. You will notice the difference.
  • Experiment with different texts. Try using novels and reference books with questions about what is written to help appraise how you’re doing. You will find that as you are starting out with speed reading you will make mistakes on understanding the subject. Thus, it is important that you evaluate your situation as you go along. Taking mental notes as you go along will help you answer question.



Training yourself to read faster is akin to training for a marathon. As a runner you would go out and run every day to increase your speed and improve your time. Well think of speed reading as something similar, set a timer and read everyday for two to four weeks. There is no need to spend more than five minutes on this exercise. Now there will be frustration in the beginning by the fact that you won’t be reading as fast as you would like and that you can’t remember as much as you thought that you might, but as the old adage goes practice makes perfect. And it is the most basic speed reading technique.


Master the basics and you will have taken your first steps into the speed reading world. Good Luck.

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