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Free Speed Reading Tips

By AceReader

Once you understand the techniques of speed reading (see Speed Reading Techniques), it is time to put them in practice. Here are a number of tips you should use while implementing those techniques.

Speed Reading Tips

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  1. Relax. Speed reading is not torture, and you shouldn’t treat it as such. If you’re in stress mode, it’s more difficult to concentrate and therefore to understand what you’re reading.
  2. Adopt a positive attitude. Repeatedly tell yourself you can do it, especially if it feels hard. Everyone fumbles somewhere along the way; don’t let that derail you from your reading goals.
  3. Find a comfortable – but not too comfortable – environment for reading. The goal is to have a space that allows you to concentrate on what you’re doing, not fall asleep because the chair’s too soft or grit your teeth because there’s too much extraneous noise. When you start, you probably will have the sound of sub-vocalization to deal with, but try to ignore it as best you can. The longer you resist, the weaker it will become.
  4. Understand that your average reading speed will vary depending on the complexity of the work and your familiarity with the material. Start your speed reading practice by using easy materials and work your way up to the harder ones. Your eyes and brain need to make the adjustment to the new reading techniques.
  5. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Everyone starts at a different speed and comprehension rate and everyone ends up at a different speed and comprehension rate. Comparisons are meaningless and detract you from your goal of becoming an efficient, speed reader yourself.
  6. Establish your purpose for the training session, determine which technique or techniques you want to tackle, and choose an approach that will allow you to fulfill your purpose. Set a time limit for the session and move through the material in a methodical fashion.
  7. Decide what your purpose is in reading the document with which you’re practicing then preview your material. If you only need an overview, look at headings, charts, graphs, the table of contents, and so on, or perhaps read only the first and last paragraphs of each chapter. If you need specific facts, scan for them. If you need complete comprehension, look to see how the content is set up then apply your best possible speed to the material, reading each and every word.
  8. Don’t multitask. You need to devote all your attention to the task at hand. If you give your brain multiple tasks to do, it will pull some of your necessary resources away to deal with other things, and it will take you much longer to master the skill of efficient reading.
  9. Set an objective for each session and make sure each one will contribute to the whole and will keep you on track to meet your overall goals.
  10. Practice, practice, practice. Speed reading is a skill, and as such it requires constant practice to master it. It will be hard at first, because you are training your eyes and brain to process information in a different manner, but the more you do, the easier it will become to do it, and the more success you will see.