As a simple test, how many of the tips from the last lesson can you remember? If you can remember all five then congratulations, this will be a big help for the rest of the course. If you can’t quite remember them all though, there’s no need to panic as forgetting is only natural!
Based on the “forgetting curve”, which looks at how memory retention relates to time, people may forget 50% of the information they have read/heard after only one hour and up to 70% after one day. Improving your ability to remember is therefore crucial in the process of learning new things, including speed reading.
You cannot change one thing in isolation and expect to see results.
Whilst implementing speed reading techniques on their own will increase your reading speed initially, you will reach a point where you lose comprehension and struggle to progress further. Improving our memory ability alongside our reading ability will give us this space to grow and develop, and therefore become a better speed reader.
Using visual images is a good place to start to improve both your memory and your speed reading.
You know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, this really is the case as your brain processes the information in visual images thousands of times faster than text. Even if you only see an image for a few seconds, you may be surprised how much you can remember.
Although you can’t reach this same speed of comprehension with text, this is the feeling you should be aiming for. Ultimately, you want to be able to scan a page and within seconds know and understand what it is saying.
So how can you practice this and get used to digesting lots of information at a glance?
It really is quite simple.
Just find any picture and look at it for three seconds, then write down everything you can remember about it.
See how much your brain can register and recall?
Doing this kind of practice with images is an easy way to get used to processing lots of information in a short space of time and will help you when you start to speed read text.
Furthermore, speed reading is not just about reading through words as quickly as possible. You still need to understand and remember what you’re reading, whatever pace you go at! You may scan the words and think you are reading quickly, but if you can’t then say what the text was about, you have to spend more time going back over everything.
Testing yourself by trying to memorize different images will help get you used to absorb lots of information quickly at one time. It acts as an ideal introduction before moving onto words, which we will be doing very soon!
In the next lesson, we will delve deeper into a speed reader’s mindset, looking at how they approach a section of text and prepare to read it. The challenges you face as you try to speed read are all mental, so having the right mindset is crucial to overcoming them and being free to read quicker than ever before!