We live in a culture that’s overloaded with information. There are so many things constantly vying for our attention that it can become overwhelming. With that in mind, knowing how to speed read can really give an entrepreneur the edge he needs to succeed. Here are a few simple tricks that will immediately help you read faster.
Follow along with your finger
We may not realize it, but we often have a habit of regressing or reading the same thing over and over while we’re reading. Underlining what you read with your finger will help you break this habit. This simple action alone will immediately have you reading faster.
Quiet your inner voice
This is a bad habit that we picked up in school. Most of our teachers would have us read out loud in class. This leads to us thinking the words we’re reading in our heads as we’re reading them. However, reading is a visual action, not an auditory one. As you learn to quiet this inner voice, you’ll find you’re able to read much faster than before. The inner voice will never go away completely, but you can silence it through practice.
Learn to read in larger chunks
Our habit of thinking words as we’re reading them inevitably means we’re only reading one word at a time. However, our eyes are capable of seeing more than this. Practice reading three words at a time instead of one. Then practice reading five words at a time. Reading in larger chunks like this will help you take in more information at once.
Search for information
Whenever you’re reading something, it’s always good to remember why you’re reading it. If you’re reading a novel for fun, you might want to read slower so you can feel the emotions. If you’re reading a book about marketing on the other hand, you’re probably looking for specific information. Nonfiction writers have a habit of making a point, then expanding on that point through stories and examples. If you understand their point in the first place, then you can skim through the rest of this information.
Practice speed reading
The trick to practicing this skill is to read faster than your brain can comprehend. This might sound counterintuitive, but it will eventually make it easier to read at faster speeds. Select a passage from your favorite book and read it as fast as you can. Don’t forget to follow along with your finger as you’re reading.
Once you’re finished, read it again at twice your normal speed. Then do it again three times faster. Don’t worry if you don’t understand what you’re reading. You still want to try to comprehend as best as you can, but comprehension isn’t the point when you’re practicing. Practice like this for fifteen or twenty minutes a day. When you go back and read at your normal rate, you’ll find that your brain has adjusted to faster reading speeds.
Speed reading is an incredibly useful skill to have. If you follow these tricks, you’ll find you can easily double your reading speed in a relatively short amount of time. This means you can now learn virtually any other skill at a much faster rate.