There are a number of speed reading techniques that you can learn quickly. The key to their effectiveness is not just in how well you understand the idea, though, but in how much you actually practice them. Here are two to get you started.

Forced Speed

Simply forcing yourself to read faster is one of the primary techniques you will learn from any good speed reading course. Our minds are able to see and process a lot of information at once - much more than we realize. To train yourself to do this, you can start by simply forcing yourself to read faster.

Running your fingers down the pages as you read a book can help you control your pace. Start at your normal speed, and see how long it takes you to read ten pages. Any clock or watch can be used to time yourself. Then force yourself to read the next ten pages twice as fast, by moving your hand down those pages faster and following along as well as you can.

Practice this "double speed" reading several times. Then try it even faster. The key here is to not worry about comprehension. You are just training yourself to use a different pace. Comprehension will improve in time. In fact, if you spend an hour reading extremely fast without any concern for understanding what you're reading, and then try to return to your normal pace while making it a point to understand what you're reading, you'll find that you cannot help but read faster now, with no loss of comprehension. The practice of speed alone changes the way you read.

Peripheral Vision Training

Of course, we habitually read a word at a time, but that isn't the only way we can read. With practice we can start to "see" and process whole phrases, sentences and more. To do this you need to work on your peripheral vision - your ability to see and process things to the right and left of you point of focus. When you no longer need to move your eyes back and forth so much, you will find it easier to read faster.

To develop this skill, allow your eyes to take in a whole chunk of text - even a whole sentence - all at once. You can even try it right now as you read this. You'll find that you do not actually need to move your eyes to see eight, ten or more words at a time. As mentioned, reading one word at a time is just a matter of habit, not necessity.

Again, your hand or fingers can help. Run your fingertips down the middle of the page when reading, and try to keep your eyes following down the middle as well, while still taking in the words to either side. This is definitely more difficult than the forced speed exercise, but you will notice improvements with regular practice.

After you have practiced that a while, put the two speed reading techniques together and time yourself again as you read ten pages of a book. By the way, a novel is probably best for these exercises, rather than a book full of technical information. Even an hour or two of practicing these techniques should increase your reading speed noticeably.

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Copyright Steve Gillman. For more Speed Reading Tecniques, and to get the Brain Power Newsletter and other free gifts, visit: