Learning speed reading or simply how to read really fast needs preparation like all other training because you will not only need to prepare your mind but also your body and environment. Self-motivation is a primary key in learning this skill because “your desire to improve…your willingness to try new techniques and your motivation to practice”1are all needed for continuance of your training. Come to think of it, any kind of self-improvement you want done requires those elements mentioned.
Here are the other things you need to check on first for your speed reading improvement:
Our eyes are the primary tools for reading. Vision span is essential in learning how to speed read so clear vision is needed. If you have an undiagnosed vision problem then this needs to be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, vitamins or medication. You may not know if it is the cause for your current slow speed in reading. Visit your ophthalmologist now while you’re at the beginning of your speed reading course. This will not only help you in your course but also keep your eyes healthy and sharp too.
Check your current reading rate. You need to know this to be able to gauge your improvement through each step. You may do this by getting a timer or stopwatch and an article or section from a book. You may choose to read the whole article for example, and time how long it took you to read it entirely or choose a specific number of minutes or just one minute and count how many words you were able to read in that specific amount of time.
Online speed reading tests are also helpful to gauge your current ability. These are rampant in the internet so searching for one is easy. Often, comprehension rate is also measured in the tests. This will help keep you motivated as well because you get the chance to know how much you understand in your normal reading rate and when you have started on improving, you will still get to know how much you can retain even with a faster reading speed.
Remember to read at your normal or usual speed during this first stage to measure your rate precisely. Do it two or three times to be able to get an average of your current speed.
Concentration is also another primary key for speed reading. Some people reason they read and understand better when there is music or some other kind of sounds or people around them but distractions affect the rate of your reading. Lesser distractions can increase your reading speed and retention rate so a quiet place is the best location for learning and practicing speed reading. Other distractions may be your mobile phones or the television. Use earplugs if you think distractions cannot be reduced or controlled that easily. Your mind and body needs to focus and pay attention at the same time to the reading material so both of them need to avoid any kind of distraction.