Information has become ubiquitous. The quest for leveraging information for knowledge and action has increased even more. The internet hosts millions of web pages of information. Educational text books, magazines and newspapers are increasing in variety, category and scale. The world has become invisibly laborious.
Students, professionals, scholars and researchers need to read and understand enormous amounts of information – and in less time. Sometimes reading can be a treacherous experience if proper techniques are not applied. That’s why speed reading is such a vital technique.
What is speed reading?
Speed reading is a set of reading methodologies that enhances your rate of reading with very negligible loss of comprehension or information retention. Below are some methods to accelerate your read-rate.
Try to read three to four words at a time instead of concentrating on one word. Increase your eye span time. Eye span is the time between two eye-blinks. If you can assimilate more words in an eye span, this will make your brain process information faster.
Sub vocalization is the conscious process of pronouncing words in your head as you read it. This can be a good habit if you want to improve your communication skills while speaking to people, but this also slows down the reading process. So, just read the words and understand their meaning and context without concentrating on pronunciation.
Line of control
Keep your head steady as you read lines of information. Or, you could use a pointer or pencil to help you follow each line. This will substantially reduce the number of times you come back to preceding lines or re-read information. The pointer smoothes your eye movement by giving it a reference point to focus on. While reading printed material, you could use your hand, a card, or fingers to manually select information that you want your eye to concentrate on.
Lighting and body posture
Proper lighting and good body posture are required when reading and understanding information. The light should fall preferably from behind you on the material that you are reading. A good relaxed body posture with an upright body and a non-rested head works wonders for increasing reading speed and information retention.