Now this method, the #3 method to learn to speed read, is the ability to read more than one word at a time. This is an advanced method but if you really want to learn how to speed read you will take notice of this technique. It will take some practice to master, but by the time you finish reading about this method, you will already be able to do it to a certain degree.
When we are taught to read at an early age, we are taught to read one… word… at… a… time. Of course, this is the best way to learn initially to read. However, our brains and our eyes are actually capable of reading multiple words at a time. You might already be doing this to a certain degree at a subconscious level. Many of us will read some super common phrases all at once without even noticing it.
So here is what I want you to do: take a document and draw three red vertical lines down the text like this:
(Don’t worry about the words that are cut in half by the lines. There is no way to avoid it. Add them to one group or another if you can, but if you have to read those words individually, it is ok. This is just an exercise. You won’t need the red lines after a while anyway.)
I know that this method can be hard to accept at first glance, but this really does work. When you read, your eyes fixate on each word at a time. The catch is that your eyes (and your brain) are capable of so much more. So what I want you to do is to make each bunch of words one fixation (instead of one fixation per word). Read the three or four words in each bunch at one time. Instead of reading one… word… at… a… time, I-want-you… to-read-one… bunch-of-words… at-a-time.
It really is possible to triple your reading speed using this method, but it does take some practice. I know that you have grasped this concept already and I bet that you can even read that previous example in bunches. Once you get good at it, make two lines instead of three. Once you get good at that, remove the lines altogether (it is ok to imagine them in your mind at first if you find that helps) and just fixate on larger and larger groups of words at a time.
Personally I can use this method to read only four or five words at a time, but I have read about others who routinely fixate on one entire line at a time.
The catch here is that it is actually easier for me to read several words at a time and I find that reading one word at a time is boring. Not only that, but our brain does not work one word at a time either. Our brain works with ideas and complex phrases. So reading in bunches can actually help increase your comprehension.
Have you ever heard someone who can read out loud flawlessly from a complex text? They are usually reading in phrases whether they recognize this method or not. They read a phrase (or group of words) and then as they are orating that phrase their eyes and brain are already on the next phrase and group of words.
Once you get good at reading two or three words at a time, remember not to stop there. Push yourself to three or four words at a time. Once you are good at that, push yourself to four or five words at a time – and then five or six. And so on.
This is an advanced speed reading method, but you can master it with just a few minutes of practice per day. Remember, as with everything else that you learn, if you don’t use it, you will lose it.
The exercises for this method are to find a few texts and draw red vertical lines through the paragraphs. Practice fixating on all of the words within the red lines at one time. You will find that you can read the entire group with one glance. If you catch yourself reading one word at a time within the red lines, simply stop yourself, start again, and just concentrate. You can do this! And with time and practice, you can MASTER this method.
Did You Know?
Studies have shown that concentration and memory are up to 30% more effective early in the morning with concentration levels slowly slipping from Midday to the time you go to go to bed. Keep that in mind next time you practice your speed reading!
Did You Know?
In the Speed Reading World Championships the speed reading finalists average reading speed was between 1500 to 2000 wpm? To qualify for each round the reader had to have a comprehension level of 50%.
Did You Know?
Evelyn Wood developed Speed Reading 60 years ago after watching her professor grade her term paper in a little under 10 minutes? This left Evelyn Wood on a two year journey chasing down other fast readers. From watching their individual techniqueshe developed a teaching method which spread through the USA in 1959.
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