For many of us, our days are spent trying to get through piles of reading material. There are a few tricks that you can use that will help you improve the speed at which you read and comprehend. It is not terribly difficult; it just takes practice. Devote some time each day by following these few steps and soon you will be getting through those piles much faster.
Check out the space where you will be doing the reading. Is it free from distraction? Are there crying children? Phones that will need answering? The best idea is to reduce, as much as possible, the outer distractions so that you can focus on the material at hand.
Skim the section you are reading to determine the main point of the piece before you begin. You will comprehend the material faster if you understand what the subject is and how the material is going to be presented.
Read down the center of the page and let your peripheral vision read the rest of the text. While this sounds difficult; it really isn’t. Especially if you use your fingers as a pointer on the line. Called sweeping, you use the first two fingers in a left to right sweep down the center of the page and it helps you focus your eyes to the center.
Whether you read aloud or read it silently, vocalizing as you read along slows you down. Look at the words and see them without actually saying the words in your head. You will find that you understand and retain the meaning of the sections by simply looking at the words instead of vocalizing them.
Avoid the words a, and, an, the. These words tie the main points of your reading material together and do not really help to convey the major points you will need to understand. In essence, they just slow you down. Focus your eyes and your mind on the key words of the piece and you will more fully comprehend your material.
It is not necessary to read each and every word. As you get more and more proficient with speed reading, you will find yourself interpreting your reading material in blocks of words rather than through each word.
Don’t stop reading for commas, periods and other punctuation. These pauses will detract from the speed of your reading without providing you anything useful as far as comprehension goes.
You will continue to understand what the author is saying by reading through those punctuation marks in your text.
In a word: don’t. The more you go back and re read something you have already read, the slower you will be. By focusing your eyes and your mind on the material you are reading and comprehending you will not only read much faster, you will comprehend more and have less need to go back and re read sections you have already read.
The more you practice and the more you read, the faster you will get. As you develop your speed skills, you will find that your comprehension skills are also improving. Set aside some time each day to practice your pace and eye movements. As you devote time to practicing your skills you will find that you are understanding and enjoying your reading material more.