What Are Some Misconceptions About Speed Reading?
If you’ve ever heard someone talk about how they read over 50 books in a year, it sounds impossible. Or a coworker at work finishes a 50-page document in an hour while it takes you double the amount of time for the same document. Upon comparing yourself to them, you try to figure out how they do it. Perhaps their schedule is jammed packed like yours? How packed a person’s calendar is has nothing to do with how quickly they read. Take investor and CEO of Berkshire and Hathaway, Warren Buffet as an example. He reports reading between 600 and 1000 pages per day. How is it possible he can spend that much time with his nose in a book?
People who fly through text do so with speed reading techniques. You may have heard mixed information about speed reading. Let’s separate fact from fiction by debunking the common misconceptions about speed reading.
Reading faster than 500 words per minute is impossible
The average adult can read 200 – 250 words per minute. Other adults report reading faster than that, of over 500-words per minute. Thanks to the amount of reading the average high-level executive does, they can read over 575-words per minute. College professors spend a lot more of their time reading, making them a subset of people who average 675-words per minute. Of course, you have those that train for speed reading competitions. Anne Jones, the world speed reading champion, reads 4,700 words per minute while comprehending 67% of the text! When starting out, you won’t be at Jones’ level. Don’t despair, it is possible to increase your speed significantly in due time.
You comprehend more when reading slowly
Contrary from the popular belief, reading slower does not help with comprehension. Actually, it can hurt how much of the text you understand. Comprehension has little to do with the rate at which you read and more to do with whether you can extract and retain the information you read. One skill speed readers learn is to preview the text upon reading to first and creating a mind map. Another skill speed readers learn that increase their comprehension of any type of document they read.
You get more enjoyment reading slowly
This is a common misconception that is absolutely false. When you read slowly, your mind is more easily distracted. This can lead to boredom, freeing your mind to wander. Think of it this way. You wouldn’t rent a movie and watch it in slow motion. The same goes for reading. Maintaining a fast pace throughout a novel or work document makes for a more energizing read.
To read faster, you need to skip words
When you speed read, you group words together rather than skipping them. It may seem that grouping words together is no better than skipping words, but it does the trick. How you do so is another of the many techniques you learn when you take a speed reading course.
Speed reading is a supernatural ability
Anyone can learn how to speed read! For a minute, imagine what it would be like getting through your college textbooks when you learn how to read 1500 words or more per minute like the average speed reader can. The instructors with Iris Reading work with professionals and students to increase their reading speed, and in turn, help improve their skills in other areas. Speed reading increases comprehension, strengthens your memory, and improves your productivity skills. All the more reason to learn this tremendously helpful life skill.
Now that we’ve debunked these common misconceptions about speed reading, give it a go for yourself. Our Speed Reading Foundation course teaches lesser-known reading techniques, and shares other resources to increase reading speed. As a bonus, you have unlimited access to the course should you need a refresher now and again. Click the link to learn more.