Welcome to part 2 of the free 21 Days Speed Reading Challenge. While module 1 was all about exercising basic speed reading techniques, module 2 will add a few advanced techniques to strengthen your skills. Jump on board and increase your reading speed! It’s free and fun.
If you’ve missed module one and wish to start from the scratch or review it again here’s part one of the 21 days challenge series.
I understand extracting all the instructions from three different posts can be discouraging. Please, use the 21 Days Challenge Page to quickly access articles, tools, task schedules and PDFs.
What’s happening in week 2 – Overview
- Using a pointer tool to focus faster and more precisely
- Previewing material using name or number scans
- One sentence recall to articulate the main idea and reading goal
- Learning to read word groups and targeting at least five words
- Adding notes & daily reviewing
- Scan patterns
- Advanced word group reading
- Creating images for nouns
- Creating images for numbers
- Understanding pre- and suffixes
How to make the most of speed reading exercises
All exercises from Week 1 are recommended in Week 2 and Week 3 as they make up the backbone of speed reading techniques. But, here’s the next brick to build your reading skill.
1. Scan styles. Skimming material delivers the main idea and purpose. You can trigger names or numbers or read the first sentence of each paragraph. There are, however, a few hand pacing techniques to do previewing even faster. Note: The better your skill to read word phrases the more effective those techniques will become.
- Here’s the technique: Skim the material in ‘S’ shape using your finger. Determine you either scan for numbers, names or trigger words. Play around with other shapes such as loops or vertical moves. Pattern techniques will become important when applying advanced reading styles, hence to read a page with various types of moves.
2. Advanced word group reading. Are you confident with reading three words at a time? Not yet? Please practice a few more days as the brain has to get familiar to it. Once you think reading three words are just fine you may adjust your pointer movements to your new skill.
- Here’s the technique. As you can now read three words or more you don’t have to start with the first word in line. You point at the second. Then go to the next focus point and do the same. Hence, instead of moving along the line you will flip through it. With approximately ten words in line you need three or four stops to read it. Once you can read four, five or six words those stops will decrease to one or two. Good isn’t it?
What if I use online apps for speed reading? This technique is not suitable for video apps, but you can apply it for web pages using your computer mouse.
3. Memory techniques. This week we will look at memory techniques. I have embedded a video a few days earlier showing some easy tricks to remember items one by one and in any order.
In his book ‘How to be a super reader’ author Ron Cole highlights five keys to remember things more easily. Those are: Movement, Association, Repetition, Imagination and Emotion.
Movement means activity, and eyes and brain respond to moving objects quickly. That’s why the pointer tool helps to focus. And in terms of memory, an emotional image that is funny or quirky will be easier remembered than a neutral one. What do you think?
- Here’s the technique. Pick one image for each number between 1 and 10. Number 1 could be a pole, number two a bike, number three a trike, and number four a car. Choose any image that connects to numbers. Practice it!
- Once you have the numbers visualized you can stick pieces of information to it. Say, you need to buy three items. Milk, butter and bread. Link the milk creatively to the pole, the butter to the bike and the bread to the trike. Easy isn’t it?
4. Common nouns in English. I have compiled a list with the most popular nouns in English. What I suggest is to practice conceptualizing. Please try linking a strong image to those nouns, so whenever they come a picture instantly pops up in your mind. As a result reading speeds will increase the more images you have linked to words. You start reading text as a movie.
- Here’s the technique. Open the PDF with the 100 most common nouns and create catchy images for the nouns ranking from 1 to 10. Use memories, events or symbols to, say, create an image for hand. If you like this speed reading technique then there’s no limit. You will not run out of words.
5. Prefixes and Suffixes. I have also included a list with common pre- and suffixes. The thinking is that once we know their meaning it will become easier to get a word’s meaning. Result? Right. Faster reading, better comprehension. You can use the material provided or do any optional research to suit your needs.
Give me more! Speed reading tips to try out
Web previewing. If you read online try previewing headlines, bullet lists and bold words. Another good technique is to read the first sentence of each paragraph to get the main idea.
Clipping notes: You can use Evernote for free to clip extracts of articles or images to review them later. Good for learning and studying.
Word Groups. When practicing word groups with booklets try to get aware of your peripheral focus. Try spotting all four corners of a page or columns using peripheral vision. Then hop with your finger from group to group and let your local focus follow it. Uuh!
There are two styles of focuses. One picks the corners and extends the field of view, but blurred. Local focus in contrast allows you to process detailed information, but your pointer determines its position. Try to hold both of them and see if you can get better control.
I need material. What can I use?
- Time schedule week 2. PDF file.
- 100 most common nouns and 50 most used words. PDF file.
- List of pre- and suffixes and their meaning. Examples included. PDF file.
- PDF booklets to learn reading phrases
- Quick access page speed reading challenge
Enjoy the challenge! Let me know how you’re going.
Further Reading: If you want to attend an online speed reading course, please read our review on Iris Reading.