Posted by: wordsmithsuk | January 5, 2012

More speed reading questions answered

Here is the text of an email I sent recently to someone who has purchased ‘Speed Reading for Success’ from audible. “and loving it”. She does however have some questions about the techniques described in the audiobook – which I was happy to answer.

Hi Susan

Thanks for your message and for the positive feedback on our audiobooks. Here are some answers to your questions:

1) How do I read without reading every word (speed reading…)? How do I get the message or decide which words to leave out?

This is a very common question: many beginners find it difficult to ‘decide which words to leave out’. The answer is easier than you might think. In reality you just have to trust your brain to find the key words – the words which will unlock the meaning of the the sentence or on the paragraph. Just let your eye rest on the page and select for itself which words to focus on.

It helps if you prepare your brain for what is to come by doing a high speed skim of the whole book or document before you start (as explained on the audio). If it’s a long book or document you can also do a quick preview by scanning through the first sentence of each paragraph or quickly skimming and dipping (both techniques also explained on the audio). Don’t forget to use a guide (pen/pencil/finger) to keep you focused and keep you moving forward as you read.

2) I am reading without letting my eyes take a break, or a shorter break and I notice that my eyes just stop and take the break anyway. How does a person read without the eyes taking a break?

Actually it is important to take breaks when speed reading – otherwise you will go into overload! If you don’t control the rate at which you take breaks, your attention will start to drift – which may be why your eyes are stopping.

When you are starting to learn, speed read for a maximum of five minutes at a time before taking a short break to allow your brain to process what you have read. The break should just be for a minute or two. Then get back to it and do another five minutes and so on. Set a timer to make sure that you don’t go on for too long.

Gradually increase the time to 10, then 15. then 20 minutes as you become more used to the skills and more comfortable with the faster speeds. Never read for more than 20 mins at a time without taking a brief break. During the break, have a drink of water or do some eye exercises. But don’t get too distracted from your reading or you may never get back to it!

There is more info on my blog

3) What is Mind Mapping?

Mind Mapping is a system of note-taking that mirrors the way in which the brain works. I attach an e-book that explains this technique in more detail.

Good luck – and happy speed reading!

Jane Smith

PS If you are enjoying your audible purchases would you mind giving them a rating and/or a positive review? It wouldn’t take you long and it would really help us to spread the word about our publications. Thank you so much!

Blog readers – contact me if you would like to have a copy of my full-colour ebook on Mind Mapping. I would love to answer your questions – so keep them coming!


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