What happens when you blink whilst reading? Your eyes are not blinking without purpose – your brain is actually taking in the information! That’s why many tried and tested speed reading techniques work – because the most important concept behind speed reading is eye span.
Thanks to those of you who turned up to the Speed Reading and Speed Reading Troubleshooting workshops – the techniques discussed are never easy to explain, or comfortable to begin with but, as I promised, things will get so much easier with regular and dedicated practice – 15/20 minutes a day for 6 to 8 weeks. The purpose of the Speed Reading sessions is to introduce participants to the various speed reading techniques that are available and to try and practice using the techniques which work for them. The technique you choose will vary according to the information you need to take in and how you want to read it. Techniques like the ‘Close S shape’ and ‘Close Z shape’ are both useful if you are hunting for information (overview reading) but less useful for closer reading where the ‘Horizontal pen’ technique is much better. It is up to you to decide which technique is appropriate and when – although they look complex (not easy to demonstrate very well on a PowerPoint slide) the aim is to get you to SCAN your eyes over the page with PURPOSE.
I came across some excellent (and free-of-charge) ‘Speed Reading’ webinars which can be viewed online – very helpful for those who want to go over techniques again or those of you who missed the workshop:
Also remember to think about devising a reading strategy which will help you get the most of the material you are looking at. Think of questions which you want answered: what are your main objectives when reading the book in front of you? What information is important? What information is less important? How are you going to use the information? It is also useful to scan the document first to get an idea of its structure before deciding which section(s) to read. This will help you to discriminate between the material you should and should not be spending time reading.