Whenever I’m interviewed, there is guaranteed talk about this concept called “speed-reading”. The problem is not everyone is on the same page (pun intended) as to exactly what speed-reading means.
Some think it’s about learning to read everything super-human fast which is rightfully viewed as fantastical and unrealistic. Others won’t even try to read faster because they believe it’s sacrosanct to read any material quickly, especially when reading for pleasure. Trying to speed-read on one’s own commonly results in “speed-looking” which means seeing the words but not understanding them. For the record, reading means looking at AND understanding the words.
From over 30 years of experience in the field of speed-reading, there is this gross generalization of what it looks like: Point out the index finger of either hand and move it quickly down the center of a page of words, then move over to the next page and do the same while the eyes try to grab what it can on the way down. Then turn the page and keep going. For most people, this is superhuman and not easily achievable. Even for me.
So I’d like to formally dispel this myth of what “speed-reading” is, at least for me. Here’s my definition:
Speed reading is a set of active, mindful and conscious strategies that allows you get what you need quickly from any reading material in an efficient and effective manner.
It also means understanding that you have a built-in stick shift which allows you to speed up or slow down depending on many things such as why you’re reading something, what you need to get from it, how familiar or not you are with the material, and most importantly, what reading strategies are you using to achieve your reading objectives.
If all this makes you curious about specifically what I mean, I invite you to review my new webinar playback called Getting Started Speeding Up Your Reading. You’ll learn more and gain a better understanding of what this is about. You’ll discover your own reading speed and begin to experiment with several efficient and effective strategies. You will find easy access to it on the home page of our website.
I hope this is helpful for your understanding of just what speed-reading is and isn’t. If you have any questions, please be in touch!