Contrary to popular belief, speed reading is not a difficult skill to master. All you have to do is learn the important concepts, tips, and tricks. Here, we’ll explore 70 ways to improve your speed.
Selection & Timing
Get better control of what you read and when you read it.
- Go for big fonts: Big fonts are easier to speed read because it’s harder to skip lines accidentally.
- Make it more interesting: Approach reading as something interesting instead of a dreaded task.
- Set a time goal: Decide how fast you’d like to read and keep on track to push yourself.
- Put together a reading schedule: Find out a time of day when you’re alert and ready to read.
- Don’t read unnecessary items: Delete joke emails, catalogs, and newsletters to reduce your pile of reading to get through.
- Read correspondence once: Read correspondence right away and decide what to do about it so that you don’t have to go back over it again.
- Squeeze reading in: Get reading done in tiny increments, taking advantage of opportunities like doctor’s appointments and carpooling.
- Practice frequently: The more you read, the faster you will read.
These tips will help you read a bit speedier.
- Read in chunks: Read chunks of words and even full sentences to increase your speed.
- Think about reading faster: Simply think about reading faster to pick up the pace.
- Move down a central strip of text: Let your peripheral vision do the work by reading down the middle.
- Force yourself to read faster: You may miss some of the meaning at first, but if you force yourself to read faster, you’ll eventually improve your speed.
- Read from point to point: Look for important points and avoid the nonessential selections.
- Eliminate eye rests: Don’t let your eyes stop and rest on words as you read.
- Control your reading speed: Don’t just go faster-exercise control over your reading rate.
- Practice timed readings: Take time to evaluate your reading speed often to see your progress.
- Avoid subvocalizing: Subvocalizing, whether it’s all in your head or you’re moving your lips, will only slow you down.
- Double your pace: Time yourself at normal speed, then force yourself to read the next ten pages twice as fast without worrying about comprehension.
- Read only key words: Avoid words like a, the, and, but.
- Speed read every day: Work on your speed reading skills every day, or at least a few times a week.
- Skip unimportant parts: If a paragraph or word is not essential, forget about it.
- Move your pointer faster: If you move your pointer faster than you can read words inside your head, you can break yourself of subvocalizing.
- Don’t reread: Rereading slows you down and disrupts your brain’s flow.
- Use natural vision: Use natural vision to use your whole field of vision for reading.
- Skim first: Before you start reading, take a look and find key words, bold time, and headings to find the main idea of answer you’re looking for.
- Don’t pause for periods and commas: Read all the way through periods and commas instead of stopping.
- Have your eyes checked: You may be reading slowly because of a problem with your vision.
These tips will help you with your pacing.
- Use a physical pacer: Make use of a note card, pen or finger to keep your eyes right on focus.
- Practice the hand technique: Keep an equal, gradual motion with your hand and follow it with your eyes.
- Train your eyes: Use free web apps like Spreeder to train your eyes to read quickly.
- Take breaks: Be sure to take a break every hour to let your mind refocus and digest the material.
- Try the finger technique: Make a fixation on 3-4 words with each bounce, two per line.
- Practice on dots: Use dots to train your eyes to move quickly.
- Read in a Z pattern: Read the first line normally, then sweep your eyes to the left until you get to line 3 and repeat down the page.
- Follow the sweep technique: Sweet your fingers from left to right to draw your eyes across the page.
Create the perfect setting for reading quickly.
- Reduce distractions: Read in a quiet space away from entertainment and people.
- Find a reading spot: Select a spot where you will not be interrupted or distracted.
- Sit comfortably: Sit in a comfortable position and relax to read your best.
- Read early in the day: For many people, the morning is mental prime time for reading.
- Use a lap pillow: Lap pillows offer an easy way to relieve reading tension.
- Avoid fidgeting: Nervous habits will reduce your concentration.
- Use reading glasses: You may need a little help, so try using reading glasses.
- Hold the book as flat as possible: Hold the book wide open so you can use your full vision.
- Relax: Relax to avoid tension that can interfere with your concentration.
- Use earplugs: Drown out distractions with the help of earplugs.
- Use a notepad: If important thoughts or ideas run through your head and distract you, be sure to keep a notepad handy so you can write them down and get back to reading.
- Put your phone on silent: Let your voicemail catch phone calls and answer back when you’re done reading.
- Hang a do not disturb sign: Make sure that others know you’re not to be interrupted by hanging a do not disturb sign.
- Make your reading environment comfortable: Regulate the temperature so that you’re not too hot or too cold.
- Test yourself: Use online speed reading tests to find out how fast you can read.
Comprehension & Quality
These tricks will help you improve your comprehension while you’re speed reading.
- Pay attention: Read as if it really matters and pay attention.
- Pause to reflect: Stop to think about what you’re reading for better comprehension.
- Visualize: Picture what you’re reading in your mind to visualize as you go along.
- Turn headings into questions: Turn headings into questions, and scan the text to answer those questions.
- Talk about what you’ve read: Synthesize the reading material by talking about it out loud.
- Dog-ear pages: Turn down important pages to return to them later.
- Summarize frequently: As you read, summarize the material.
- Blink often: When you blink, it helps your brain process information.
- Know why you’re reading: Be sure that you know your goal for reading material so that once you’ve read what you must, you can stop right away.
- Prioritize content: Identify the important parts and focus on those instead of unimportant information.
- Do something with the information: When you’re finished with the reading selection, summarize, answer questions, or draw an illustration to improve your long term recall.
- Test your comprehension: Take advantage of online speed reading comprehension tests to learn about your speed reading comprehension.
- Don’t forget to take breaks: Taking breaks will help you better process the information you’re reading.
- Don’t highlight: Highlighting is detrimental to your comprehension and especially your reading speed.
- Reread later if you must: If you don’t understand a selection, move on, but go back and review it later.
- Build your vocabulary: The more words you understand, the faster you will read.
- Remember the focus: Keep in mind the point of what you’re reading so that you can stay focused.
- Vary your rate: Keep your reading rate varied depending on the difficulty and type of writing you’re tackling.
- Preview material: Prepare for reading by looking it over to become familiar with it.
- Balance speed and comprehension: Be careful to maintain a quality balance of speed and comprehension so that your reading is efficient.