Like all other tasks, speed enables a reader to cover more content within a short time. It is strenuous and taxing to practice especially at the beginning. However, as you master the techniques, it becomes easier and comprehension is enhanced. Fast reading tips provided by experts enable even amateurs to advance their skills. You may opt to cover the text thoroughly, skim or scan. The technique you choose depends on expected outcome. How then do you improve both speed and comprehension?
Avoid talking to yourself. Most people sub-vocalize sentences and words as they read. This slows you down since the mouth reacts slowly compared to the movement of eyes. While sub-vocalizing may assist in memory, it affects the speed at which content will be covered. Consider holding your finger against the lips to avoid movement. You may also hum a song or chew a gum to keep the muscles occupied.
Cover areas already read. Your eyes tend to revisit these areas. This is through short movements that are viewed to be harmless but greatly affect your speed. By concealing the areas you have read, you have a chance to concentrate. Remember that the mind will pull you back to the area covered if it did not understand or is trying to build connections. As such, returning could be a signal to slow down in order to understand better.
Eye movements affect the speed at which you cover a text. As long as your eyes are in motion, it is impossible to read. The eyes have to first stop. As such, maximize the moment when your eyes stop. Read as much within a short time. Pay attention to important words for comprehension purposes. Skipping too many words will, however, distort your understanding.
Identify the reason for reading. Some read to grasp the content while others want to pluck certain figures, phrases and words from the text. Academicians need to think through every word, phrase and sentence. Scanning will help to pluck the words or figures. Skimming will give you an idea of what the text is all about. For academic purposes, you need to comb through every word. Speeds will differ even though the text is similar.
Like every other skill, practice. You may need to read for the purposes of vocalization. In other cases, you need to be silent to avoid distracting other people. Depending on your target, practice with a timer. Endeavor to reduce the time it takes to complete a page. Bring the time as low as possible with every attempt. You will gain confidence in understanding even as you gain speed. When it is time to make a presentation or cover course work, you will have mastered speed and comprehension.
Avoid all distractions. Concentration is important if speed is to be achieved. Choose a quiet place with the least distraction. Music, a movie running, a messenger in sight, conversations taking place, etc will affect how fast you read. Ensure that your mind is calm before you begin reading. This enables you to concentrate on the text you are covering and thus increase your speed.
There are apps and software to assist you with speed. You may use them depending on your target. Endeavor to gain skills that can be applied across different platforms like conversations, reading, presentations, etc. Like all other skills in life, practice will make perfect.
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Author: Betty FisherThis author has published 2 articles so far.