Videos are one source to grab the idea of speed reading. However, it is daily exercise and practicing with actually written material that will lead to increased reading speeds or words per minute. Training the brain to take groups of words or to grab the idea of a whole sentence in one go is the backbone of these exercises. Daily exercise is the best way to do so.
There are many ways to do so. I found two techniques useful to learn how to take two words, three words, and then four or five words at a glance. One is a video application called Spreeder. The other one is a set of PDFs with modified text ready for printing. You can also convert your own text into columns. More after the break.
Practise word group reading with PDFs
Ron Cole from Alchemy Training Unlimited has written a book called “How to be a super reader”. One of his methods is called Eye-HopTM, literally meaning hopping from word group to group and taking their meaning in a single go. He kindly offers modified reading material to practise two, three, four and five word reading. The files are PDFs with about 50 pages of text to exercise speed reading daily for about one week with each PDF. The PDFs consist of many stories dealing with motivation or reaching goals. One important tip: Start with two words to get familiar with the method, and then proceed to more words. Once you have proceeded to a higher level, don’t go back even if you will slow down in speed. There are some instructions at the end each PDF.
Another useful tool Ron Cole offers is to convert your own reading material into 2,3,4 and 5 word columns. The author recommends to practise at least with one PDF to grab some important ideas from the stories.
Practise word group reading online with Spreeder>
Spreeder is a free video app and very useful for those wanting to improve their online or screen reading speeds. The app will start with a default text. You may want to select words per minute to set a different speed and how many words you wish to train with. Once the video has started groups of words show up within the video player. The task is now to grab their meaning and get the bigger picture at the end of a sentence or paragraph. I recommend to review the material before practising to know the topic and its key features.
Using printed material offers some advantages, though both methods in combination will work fine and offer some variety. With print outs it there is no need for an internet connection. As the text is in front of you, you can use peripheral viewing to spot words before they come into focus. You can also use your finger or a pointer to speed up or slow down manually.
Tip for starters:
- Read our kick-off guide to speed reading techniques
- Give yourself five minutes to warm up and practise another 5 minutes.
- Stop then for a break before continuing.
- Read books or articles explaining how to practise this method effectively. There are many books stocked in libraries.
- Use a pointer for printed material.
- Research different reading patterns that apply this new skill.
- Please do not give up. It takes some time to get used to it.
New to speed reading and this blog? Read our introduction article to get you started with fast reading right here on this blog.