Speed reading is a necessity, a skill that is needed to compete in this modern world, when information intake is a significant advantage in any job requirement. Many people believe that in order to improve their reading skills they should focus on reading speed increase in order to improve their reading skills. The focus on reading speed only takes energy away from the main task at hand, understanding and comprehending the text you are reading, so instead of concentrating on the speed in which you read you better focus on the reading, and as you improve you skills in reading you will probably find that you have increased your reading speed.
Reading comprehension may sound like something back from the school days, but it is actually the main purpose of any kind of reading at all, even if this particular reading assignment is not what you would normally do, and you keep thinking to yourself that you want this article to end, you will achieve much more by reading and understanding the text than just browsing and going for speed, only to realize that you do not know anything about this text once you are done reading. At that phase you will be sorry you didn’t pay attention to the content and understand that you have to go over this text again, thus not only failing to get a better reading speed, not even getting to the point of the matter.
So, when you have a reading assignment and you want to practice your speed reading techniques, you should have a task, a purpose, a clear idea what you need and what you expect to get out of this text. Getting to a main concept on the text, or an idea, you can efficiently visualize the idea or concept, because you will have a clear idea of what you need, you will know what you do not need, allowing you to overlook, and sort out the insignificant information in the text.
When hitting an important part of the text, like the results of a research, evidence or conclusions, anything that is important in the text itself, try and adjust your reading speed, try and focus on the part that is important, changing the speed will increase your attention to it and will allow you to pay more attention to crucial details you may need later. Increasing the reading focus is also called reading “consciously” so that the reader increases concentration to match the level of importance he attributes to the text.
This conscious reading also allows the reader to mark particular sections of the text thus alerting the brain to focus on these parts, and encouraging better information recall. To read efficiently the efficient reader also reads bigger chunks of text, not individual words and phrases.
Efficient readers also use a word template, its visual sign, as a marker, going over it without reading it, when they prepare to read the text, they start to think of this sign as visual thing, not a word to be read each time they see it, so they save themselves time by not having to read the word usually most frequently appearing in the text before them (imagine you will do this on this article, signing out “read” speed” and “reading”).
On the next article we will look at speed reading practice, how to practice it and when is it a good thing to do, I hope this information helped you increase your knowledge of speed reading.