Introduction to Speed Reading Techniques Part I

I bet you have always wanted to read faster and absorb more information at the same time. You can! It’s not a skill one has to be born with (although some people have natural talent to read fast), you can learn it by practicing simple speed reading techniques without losing retention of information.

Most people continue to read the way they were taught as children: letter by letter or word by word, and some even continue to read out loud or by mouthing the words. Reading this way is extremely time-consuming and does not guarantee retention of the information. The average person reads about 200-300 words per minute, while a speed reader can get through 500-700 words per minute, or even more.

Just for a start…
The first thing to do when learning speed reading is to familiarize yourself with the material before you dive in and read it, and the easiest way to do this is to scan the back cover and the table of contexts. This way your brain has already absorbed key terminology, ideas and the order of information. Further, you should sit upright, have proper lighting, the right text size, no distractions around you and get your eyes checked out to make sure your vision is good.

Most speed readers automatically use a variety of methods in their endeavors, such as chunking (taking in blocks of text), skimming, meta guiding (reading with the aid of your hand, a pointer or a card) and most of all eliminating subvocalization (reading aloud or mouthing). Those who practice speed reading do not focus on each word nor read “aloud” in their minds, but rather scan the text with their eyes and allow the brain to absorb and comprehend the material.

Even if it sounds quite technical to you, these techniques are quite simple when implemented and practiced regularly. In this next part of this series I will guide you through some popular and effective speed reading techniques. Till soon than!


  1. Thanks Justynka,
    yes, so many books to read so little time...the ones that we have bought recently, we will buy a nice speed reading program soon!

  2. I'm reading a couple of books at the moment:) And using the speed reading techniques. Great time saver!