The importance of speed reading is increasing in our society. With computers and electronic communication, we have virtually eliminated the need for pen, paper and printed materials from our lives. I am not saying we have done away with the necessity for reading skills. The average person spends more of his life reading these days, thanks to the Internet, than at any time in the past. Imagine how much more productive and informed you would be if you learned to read at double or triple your current rate? There are several ways of learning to speed read, but the very best are based on one of two basic methods, or a combination thereof.
Skimming is basically going through the text in front of you, but only stopping to pay attention to vital ones. In case you are like the majority of people, this is the typical way you read web sites. This casual skimming typically isn’t done with the goal of absorbing all information on the page, and it often results in misunderstanding facts. Speed reading programs and techniques using skimming concentrate on teaching you how to — on the fly — determine which words or sentences are inconsequential.
Chunking requires reading in blocks of written text as opposed to words. In school we are coached to read our words in order, one at a time, as they go across each page. Each word in the sentence has to be read in order to catch the meaning of each sentence. For many, the mind after a while gets better and better at recognizing very common phrases so that it doesn’t always have to read the words of the phrase in order to understand the phrase’s meaning. Chunking makes it possible for the reader to take in new phrases and word combinations in the same way.
There are a variety of speed reading program variations. The educational materials are typically either delivered by a computer or book. While most of these use variations of skimming or chunking, the educational method may offer something unique. You will generally learn speed reading more quickly using one of these programs than seeking to create your own program. If you elect to buy a speed reading guide, beware of fantastic claims. With effort and practice, a lot of people can attain double to triple their present rate, often around 500 WPM. If a program is guaranteeing you something much more than 1,000 words per minute, understand that these reading speeds are hype based on unique individuals. For most people, close to 100% comprehension is of greater importance anyways. You don’t need to study to learn how to turn pages or scroll before you fully grasp text.
Utilizing a program rather than being self-taught will save you time. You’ll be able to work on polishing your skimming technique and improving the skill of chunking text. One of the most crucial points emphasized by any technique for speed reading is practice. No matter how you approach it, your visual and comprehensive reflexes have to be sharper and a lot quicker. For example, some speed reading software tutorials have you try to read text as it is moving across the screen at a high speed. You might be able to mirror this at home with movements of your mouse or by using a timer to turn your pages.
The bottom line for you is that you need to stick to practice in order to become a speed reader. You must give yourself sufficient time to learn your speed reading technique of choice, training one day at a time.