Is Speed Reading Easy to Learn?
Speed reading is the use of specific techniques to improve your ability to read and absorb a large amount of content quickly.
Speed reading is a very easy skill to learn, but it requires constant practice to accomplish. This will involve eliminating all bad reading habits, learning some speed reading techniques, and using adequate speed reading tools.
Bloggers, lawyers, students, content creators, and professionals from different walks of life often encounter challenges associated with accessing so much information in books, resources, emails, and social media posts daily.
In this internet age, people are drowning in a sea of content, and digging out important information from this content usually takes time.
Therefore, learning a technique that will enable you to quickly read and process this information has become necessary. That is why speed reading is relevant in your daily life.
In this article, we will discuss how long it takes to learn speed reading, whether it is a talent or if anyone can learn it, and how hard it is to learn how to speed read.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Speed Reading?
You can learn speed reading in a month or a couple of weeks. It all depends on how much effort you are willing to put into improving your skills and how much time you dedicate to learning them.
Practicing speed reading every day can help improve your reading speed in a very short time frame. One of the ways to learn speed reading quickly is by increasing your learning speed.
To improve your learning speed and enhance your retention capacity, you need to eliminate all distractions while reading to enable you to focus on your reading material.
In this era of pop-up notifications, it is becoming challenging to go hours without checking our phones, which has become a source of problems for our learning speed and retention. Reading fast without a high retention capacity is like pouring water into a basket.
To retain information faster, you need to shut out all the noise and eliminate all distractions, which will also enable you to improve your reading speed.
Taking an online course will help you maximize your memory and remember important information while reading. You will learn practical techniques that will help improve your memory and retention capacity.
Another way to learn speed reading in a short period of time is by reading regularly. When you form this habit, it becomes easy to speed read.
Reading regularly will improve your speed reading skills. Deliberate and intentional practice is needed to improve performance. This may sound cliche, but practice makes perfect.
Can Anyone Learn How to Speed Read, or Is It a Talent?
Speed reading is not a talent, it is a skill, and like every other skill, anyone can learn how to speed read with adequate focus and determination.
Just like speaking, nobody was born with the ability to read. Instead, we all started from reading short children’s books before graduating to reading voluminous and more complex content.
This also applies to speed reading. Talents come naturally, but skills are acquired with hard work, practice, and nurturing.
Anyone from any field can learn how to speed read. You don’t need to be an English major graduate or a professor to learn how to speed read.
Learning this skill takes conscious effort and will involve eliminating bad reading habits like subvocalization. Subvocalization refers to the internal speech we make when reading, that is, saying the words you are reading to yourself.
This habit decreases reading speed, and learning about ways to minimize subvocalization will help increase your reading speed.
You can achieve this by using your hand or a pen to guide your eyes while reading, scanning the content to familiarize yourself with complex terms before you start reading, distracting yourself by chewing gum, getting your inner voice occupied, and disciplining your eyes.
As a kid, you were encouraged to read aloud while learning to read, but as an adult who has fully learned how to read, subvocalization or reading out loud slows down your reading speed. That is why it needs to be minimized.
Further, master some specialized speed reading techniques that will help you read quickly. The following are some techniques you can employ for an effective speed reading:
This speed reading technique involves running your eyes quickly all over a page to preview and take note of important points while ignoring all the other minute details.
Sometimes, depending on the material, it is unnecessary to read everything in a text. Instead, you can start by reading the first few paragraphs thoroughly, and once you have a grasp of the information, you can then focus on reading the topic sentences of each paragraph.
Taking note of crucial points needed in each paragraph will help you read and absorb essential information quickly.
This is a speed reading method you can use when you aim to find specific information or facts in a text quickly.
Start by establishing the purpose of the scanning and knowing how the material you’re reading is structured. Then, keep the purpose and the information you are looking for in mind while scanning.
You can scan by focusing on the headlines, excerpts, or any section that you feel may contain the precise information you need.
The Pointer Method
In this technique, you use your index finger to lead your eyes by pointing under the lines of text as you read.
This method, which is also called the “hand pacing” technique, can also be employed by placing a piece of card under the lines as you move along.
The Track-and-Pace Method
This method is quite similar to the pointer method. You can use this approach by running your pen or any other pointing tool to track each line as you read. You can underline the text with a pen if you wish.
This approach keeps your eyes moving at the same pace as the tracking tool.
Place the pen on a word even if you are not reading that word. That way, you wouldn’t be tempted to go back to re-read previous lines you’ve already read.
This method involves breaking the text you are reading into bite-sized pieces and then reading them in parts.
Taking pieces of information, grouping them into different parts on a page, and absorbing them at the same time instead of just focusing on individual words will help increase your reading and learning speed.
Use Speeding Reading Tools
Using speed reading tools is another way to speed read in a short period of time. AccelaReader is a good speed reading software that will enable you to read quickly by flashing words at you as you read.
This software uses Rapid Serial Visual Presentation(RSVP), which removes all the rapid eye movement across lines of texts that usually occurs whenever you are reading by placing each word in the same location at a different time.
This stops the eyes from wandering as you read because each word appears at the same location. RSVP can help you to read over 400 words per minute.
With AccelaReader, you can choose how fast you want to read and how many chunks of text you would like the software to flash at you at a time.
How Hard Is It to Learn How to Speed Read?
Speed reading is not hard to learn. First, however, you need to learn some specialized speed reading techniques. Once you do so, it becomes a walk in the park.
It is only difficult to learn when you have short attention spans, poor reading skills, limited vocabulary knowledge, and slow comprehension.
A short attention span is a difficult obstacle in mastering speed reading. Sometimes it is quite difficult to eliminate distractions in your everyday life.
Therefore, you need to work on your concentration skills, especially when you have a lot of content to consume, if you want to get better at speed reading.
Poor concentration will make you less productive. However, you can take an online course that will expose you to different strategies that will help increase your productivity level.
Another thing that will make speed reading hard to learn is poor reading skills. To eliminate poor reading skills, you need to read regularly. This will enrich your vocabulary and improve your comprehension level and, as a result, help you learn speed reading quickly.
Once you are determined to improve your speed reading skills, the first thing to do is to master all speed reading techniques, and then follow them with constant practice.
Speed reading is the use of specialized methods to read and absorb content quickly.
Learning speed reading can be accomplished in a month or a couple of weeks. It all depends on your focus level, determination, and willingness to learn. Anyone from any field can learn how to speed read. It is not an innate talent that comes naturally. It is a skill that can be learned easily.
Speed reading is not hard to learn. The only hard part is being committed to learning speed reading techniques and practicing what you have learned.
Due to the amount of content you are expected to read daily, speed reading is a necessary and recommended method that will make your reading tasks easier.
Check out these short and easy speed reading courses if you want to learn how to speed read and consume content quickly.