We’ve previously learned that there is this little process called speed reading, one which can help you amass more information in a short amount of time. Now, it’s time to learn how to speed read, seeing how it’s a trainable skill which does require some practice in order for you to perfect it. Continue reading ahead (normally, there’s no need for speeding through this time) and find out the major techniques that will turn you into a pro fast reader.
How to Speed Read for Beginners
#1 Eliminate Sub-Vocalization
Do you know that little voice in your head that you hear whenever you read something? The one that you’re probably hearing right now too? This is sub-vocalization, which is pretty much a form of reading as if you are speaking the words rather than just keeping them to yourself. Because of this, you end up reading as fast as you can speak or read aloud in certain instances.
However, once you eliminate sub-vocalization from your reading habits, you’ll rejoice to know that about half of the work is done already. This is a phenomenon which makes up a good chuck of the reading process, so getting rid of it is a lengthy and extensive task. We recommend researching various ways through which you can minimize sub-vocalization until you completely eliminate it.
#2 Read in Blocks
The next thing you should focus on doing is getting rid of the habit of reading word by word. Take a moment to focus on the way you’re reading through this article right now. Slow down your pace a little bit and pay attention to one word at a time. Do you notice a difference? If not, you’re likely guilty of being a word-by-word reader.
This understandably slows down the reading process. Instead, you should be analyzing chunks of two-three words at a time. In fact, this will also help you get a better understanding of the message conveyed in the text since the words link together more seamlessly. The simplest way to train this habit is by moving the text farther away from your eyes. This will offer you a panoramic view and you’ll inevitably notice more words at the same time.
#3 Search for the Core Message
Speed reading isn’t particularly useful when you’re reading fiction. It’d be the literary equivalent of skipping randomly through scenes while watching a movie. However, if you are a student in need of browsing through hundreds of messages, speed reading is your ultimate savior.
Even though we learn that reading is linear, you can teach yourself to read vertically as well. Skim through the lines, focusing on certain keywords or headers. This way, you’ll be able to get over the fluff and get to the point of interest much faster than you would through traditional reading methods.
This guide is helpful both in theory or practice, so learn how to speed read by practicing your sub-vocalization suppressing, bulk reading, and skimming over here. Over and over again. Kidding, but not really. You do need lots of constant practice!