The easiest way to increase reading speed and comprehension is to learn a couple of speed reading techniques. Below are 5 techniques (some of the many you’ll find detailed in that program) which you can use to enhance your reading speed and comprehension.
Using a Pointer
Regression is one of the poor reading habits that slow readers possess. It involves re-reading text that you’ve already read over and over again in an attempt to increase comprehension. The habit, which is characterized by numerous backward eye movements during reading, can easily be eliminated through the use of a pointer. By simply placing the tip of your finger about 1-2 cm below the line of text and moving it as you read, you can easily avoid backward eye movements.
Even though most of us insist on reading each and every word, most of the time, we don’t really need to know all the details. The secret to being a speed reader lies in knowing exactly what you want from a given reading material. This way you are able to slow down when you are reading important points and quicken your pace when you are reading unimportant ones: a technique known as skimming.
Increasing your Visual Span
Many slow readers are only able to take in one word, or even worse, a few letters at a time. This considerably slows down their reading speed because they require more fixations and eye movements in order to read a simple sentence. In order to learn to speed read, you must master the art of using both peripheral vision and primary focus, at the same time. This way, you can take in at least 3 words at a time. Computer programs such as 7 Speed Reading come with exercises that enable you to learn how to take in more than one word in a single fixation.
Most people practice passive reading: they just go through the material casually, expecting the main points to leap out at them and be noticed. Active reading demands that you not only have a purpose for what you are reading, but also that you come up with a couple of questions for which you expect to find answers from the reading material. In addition, you can underline important points or write sticky notes of the important points. Active reading keeps your mind alert and thereby enhances your reading speed.
Scanning is a reading technique that enables you to find specific names, dates, statistics, or facts without having to read the entire text. In order to scan text successfully, you have to keep in mind what you are looking for at all times as well as anticipate words that are likely to appear together with the information you are looking for. When you identify any of these words slow down and read the entire sentence.