Techniques for Speed Reading
There are many different techniques for speed reading out there, but most of them DO NOT WORK. Of the more than 30 that I have tried there are about five or six that really work. These have been tested, and are tried and true techniques for speed reading that are easy to learn and utilize.
The first of the three techniques for speed reading is called “chunking.”
In this strategy, you learn to read blocks of text instead of individual words. Thus, instead of going word by word and having to have your eyes and your brain pause at each word, you pause after three or four words to get complete thoughts with less interruption in between. For instance,
The dog is going to the store to eat bacon.
By breaking this sentence down in those locations, you can read it much faster; since you only have to stop and process five times (with chunking) as opposed to ten times (word-by-word).
The second technique for speed reading is called “sub-vocalization,”
Instead of being something you want to learn, this is actually something you want to stop. Basically, sub-vocalization means that you’re “hearing” the text you’re reading in your head. There isn’t anything wrong with this necessarily, but since you can process information in your head more than five times faster than the normal person speaks. Thus, you’re limiting yourself by speaking the words to yourself, because you simply cannot subvocalize as fast as you can think. To avoid this, try chewing gum when you read so that you cannot use your mouth to mouth the words.
If you are hearing the words in your head, then try to drag a pencil or some other small object across the page to help you keep time with how fast you should be reading, hopefully shutting out that inner voice that is there to slow you down.
The third technique for speed reading is to practice.
Like any skill, you must utilize these techniques, and while nobody can tell you that you’re subvocalizing, you should be able to identify it yourself if you know what it is. However, if you know about it, and don’t practice, then what’s the point? You can get a speed read program that runs on your computer which might be helpful. Or you could try out Speed Reader X, which is our favorite speed reading solution.