Many people learn how to read by sounding out words and hearing them in their head. This works well for learning words but not for reading faster. Once you have a solid sight vocabulary, you do not need to read every word.
Pure subvocalization, also know as mental whispering or hearing every word you read in your head, slows down your reading speed. An average untrained reader has an average reading speed of 250 words per minute; however, mental whisperers average only 100 to 150 words per minute. We CANNOT GET RID OF this talking but we CAN REDUCE it.
While subvocalization is useful when reading things like poetry or plays or while studying or memorizing, it slows you down with other reading.
Try these 10 ways to REDUCE the talking in your head:
- Catch yourself doing it!
- Read faster (you can’t talk as much this way)
- Put your index fingers to your lips to hush your talking
- Read key words (those that are typically 3 letters or longer)
- Mumble or Hum
- Use your hand or a blank card to speed you up
- Put toothpaste (or other strange flavor) on your lips
- Gently bite your tongue or tip
- Chew gum
- Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth
It is important to try each method for a reasonable period of time in order to evaluate their effectiveness at reducing your talking. Remember, you can’t get rid of it, only reduce it!