Leverage the Web To Improve Comprehension
In the endeavor of speed reading, one must leverage any and all techniques to help them. Utilizing the web, software, and applications are no exceptions.
While the web can be a source of infinite distraction, it can also provide us with immediate and valuable information. Before you begin reading your material, pause for a moment and ask yourself if there are any resources out there to help you obtain some of the big picture ideas straight away. Knowing these beforehand will aid you in keeping focus and concentration when you delve in and read your article. You’ll be more acute in picking up on the details.
For example, prior to reading a book or novel, briefly read a synopsis and a few reviews on Amazon.com or New York Times Book review. Just reading even a few of these will give you a few important insights into the book you are about to read. Searching for the author on Youtube (www.youtube.com) or Vimeo (www.vimeo.com) may reveal an interview with them. Podcasts on itunes.com and websites such as the New York Times (www.nytimes.com), Time Magazine (www.time.com), or NPR (www.npr.org) may also contain brief, yet valuable interviews with the author which may offer stil more insight about the book or novel. All these will give you some of the larger big picture themes that you may come across once you begin to read.
Another great resource is Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org). Many great, brief plot summaries and synopses are available here which can also reveal many major themes of a book that can then make you more receptive to the details of the story when you begin. Google Books (https://books.google.com/) is another tremendous resource where many entire books can be previewed (see: Previewing For Comprehension) for free and can save a trip to the library or bookstore in the case of doing research.
For informative reading such as news and non-fiction, simply searching an author’s name may turn up related stories, links, blog posts, and even the author’s own website which all can add layers of meaning to reveal what an author’s stance is on a particular topic, their political or philosophical inclinations, and their backgrounds. These can all be helpful in unveiling an author’s opinion, bias, or agenda. Knowing all of this before reading the article will assist you in tackling it faster with more confidence and with a sharply honed eye to extract its details.
Utilizing an application such as AccelaReader (www.accelareader.com) for all the above can make these tasks faster and more effortless. Accelareader utilizes RSVP (Rapid Serial Visual Presentation) technology which flashes words rapidly on your screen at a speed you set. The rate of intake can also be adjusted. With a small bit of practice, you’ll be surprised at how rapidly you’ll be able to breeze through articles and read online.
Paul is the founder of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading and memory courses. His workshops have been taught to thousands of students and professionals worldwide at institutions that include: NASA, Google, HSBC and many Fortune 500 companies.