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  Lesson 1 - Speed Reading Mini-Course
 

 

Introduction, Mini-Course Lesson 1 training


What is Speed Reading: Read faster, remember more!

How many books or magazines have you made a mental note to read but never found the time to pick up? How much time have you wasted while waiting in the dentist's office or the post office line? Imagine if you could convert those lost moments into productive reading time.

This doesn't mean carrying a paperback into the post office and covering a half page while you are in line. We are talking about covering an entire newspaper or magazine. Reading 1/3 of a book or more! Now that's some well spent in-line time.

How many times have you been given an assignment in school only to moan at the idea of reading a chapter before Friday? Poor reading habits make reading tedious and boring for students. Your brain needs to move faster than your inner reading voice can talk. It is no wonder students wince at a big reading assignment. You have never been given the mental tools to do it right. There is no need to moan if you can speed read. Reading actually becomes faster AND easier

Learning to speed read can affect many aspects of your life. It can improve your perception of things around you because you learn to visually absorb your surroundings. You will always appear to be more intelligent if you can read fast. You will be able to spend your time doing things other than reading while gaining the benefits of reading much more.

 

What You Need To Start

This mini-course is an important component in gaining the full benefits speed reading has to offer. Many people begin speed reading and then quit because they did not understand what they were supposed to learn or they had unrealistic expectations.

 

THE SECRET

Ok, no more waiting. Here is how Speed Reading works.

Speed Reading is the visual intake of words. That means seeing words as images and not as a pronunciation guide.

This does not mean seeing a cat when you read the word cat, it means seeing the letter combination that spells cat and knowing what it represents without saying CAT in your head.

It is like seeing the ampersand symbol, &, and knowing it means AND. You do not have to look at that symbol and say in your head 'and' to know what it means, you just look at it and know. You can look at J & S and know it means Jay And Ess without saying those words in your head. You look at a STOP sign and you know what it means on sight, without saying in your head Stop. You no longer pronounce every word you read, you recognize it on sight.

Now, imagine being able to do that with all words.... We will discuss this in more detail later.

 

The Catch

Knowing how speed reading works will not turn you into a speed reader.

I can tell you how to win a foot race too. Just run faster than everyone else in the race. Now you know the secret to winning the race, but knowing that secret does not mean you can win every foot race. It takes practice and understanding of yourself and running to win races. You must analyze how you run, see what you do right, what you do wrong, and practice the correct methods in order to run faster. Speed reading is the same.

Practicing the Speed Reading techniques, one at a time, is how you learn speed reading. This is a new method of reading, one your mind is not accustomed to. It will take some practice to first learn the new mechanics, and second, to build comprehension. Fortunately, this is made very easy through software. The old way of learning speed reading required you to practice on a book, then time yourself to see if you made any progress. It was a silly system to read a book in one hand and hold a stop watch in the other. New software training systems have replaced this old system and new speed reading techniques have been developed that make software training fast and easy.

You can practice on your own but I highly recommend using training software or an online training system. Computer based training systems allow you to quickly and easily chart your progress and can accelerate the learning process. The interactive quality of a computer training system gives you fixed lessons to follow which are much more structured than trying to apply speed techniques on your own while reading a book.

This mini-course includes methods you can use with your own book for those who wish to try it the old fashioned way.

If you choose to work on your own, you will need a book that contains sentences and phrases which are easy to read. You do not want to pick a book that is filled with long words, complex sentence structures, or unfamiliar ideas as your learning material. These complexities will cause you to stumble and lose focus on the speed techniques you will be practicing. A novel you have read in the past is good because it contains material you are already familiar with. You can also use children's book or reading books for elementary school children. This may seem silly to you, but the sentences are short and easy which makes them perfect choices for learning speed reading.

 

Speed Tests

You no longer have to test your speed with a stop watch. You can use the free reading speed test on the Speed Reader-X Free Speed Test page.
Try this free test now to see what your current reading speed is and how it compares to average and speed reader levels.

 

Choose your materials

When you are first learning to speed read, you want to use materials that are familiar and contain common words. If you are stopping at every sentence to figure out or pronounce a word, you will not gain the benefits of speed reading.

Our sample stories should be easy to read. Try to pick similar material for your practice reading. When practicing on your own, also choose appropriate items until you are ready for more advanced reading materials.

After each practice session, you will be given a quiz. In the old days, you had to time yourself while reading a book, then count up the words. Fortunately that is no longer required because you can use a free online tool to calculate your reading speed.

Speed Reader-X Free Speed Test page

Use the above tool after each lesson for a speed test. Write down the result. You can then
track your results. My Full Online Speed Reading Course tracks your results for you and provides you with appropriate reading material plus includes an audio introduction for each lesson that explains even more about speed reading.

You should go to the Speed Reader-X Free Speed Test page now and take a reading test. Do not try to speed read yet. Just read the page text normally and see what your normal reading speed is. Most people read between 200 and 300 words per minute. Write down your result and keep it in a safe place so you can add more results to the list later.

This mini-course presents general learning ideas. Success depends greatly on the motivation of the individual and in the amount of practice contributed by the individual. Trying to learn on your own will also take longer and may not show results as fast as you would experience with a software or online training system that leads you through the process more easily.

 

Can you do it?

I want to answer that nagging question in your mind by saying YES! You can speed read! Speed reading is not difficult, but it takes practice. The best analogy I have found is comparing speed reading to learning a foreign language. It is a new way of reading, one that seems foreign to you at first. With practice, almost anyone can learn to speed read.

Most people learn to read in first grade and we never receive any further training past that level. We are taught to sound out every word. In time we learn to recognize words and read one word at a time. From this point on, we are effectively reading at a first grade level. The human brain can take in information much faster than this. How many times have you been reading something and realized by the end that you had no idea what you just read? Your brain became bored with the slow reading pace and wandered off on its own.

Expect to be frustrated. You have deeply ingrained reading habits which will be hard to move past. It will be difficult for you to re-learn to read. Stick it with and keep practicing.

When you first learn to read you are told to sound out words and as a result, most people have a little voice in their head that reads every word to their bored brain. This voice is not helping you, it is holding you back. If you can remove this roadblock, you can greatly increase your reading speed.

I will show you how.

Let's start by explaining what speed reading is and what it is not. Speed reading is different from pleasure reading. Speed reading is a very rapid intake of visual information. When you read a novel to gain enjoyment, you usually want to read it slowly, almost in real time. This does not mean you cannot speed read your novels. To the contrary, speed reading will help your pleasure reading. Most novels have lots of detailed descriptions and slow parts. With your speed reading skills you can zip through these parts and resume normal reading of the best parts. You can finish pleasure books faster and still gain full enjoyment from them.

Speed reading does not mean reading at a maximum speed constantly. You adjust the speed based on the material.

If you are reading a text book you will naturally slow down when a new word is introduced. Take the time to look at it, pronounce it, look up the definition. When you see it again you can speed read through it without hesitation.

The majority of text books are filled with useless information. Some have as much as 80% wasted space. The start of a chapter includes a review of the previous chapter or a review of the material you studied last year. The author may also go off on tangents or discuss topics that are not of interest to you. You have no need to re-read all of this in every detail. You can speed read through it, refresh your memory and move on. When you come to a new idea or a complex concept, slow down and read it for full comprehension. Speed up again when you reach another review section.

Speed reading would generally not be used when reading poetry. However, it is exceptionally well suited to scanning newspapers and magazines as well as non technical textbooks.

 

Comprehension

Retention and Comprehension are important. There would be no point in speed reading if you could not remember what you read. There would be no point in speed reading if you could not understand what you read. Comprehension and retention are developed after speed techniques are learned. This mini-course and the Speed Reader-X systems are designed to teach speed techniques first. The online training system has additional comprehension development classes and memory classes, however this mini-course training system focuses on speed because speed must be learned before comprehension can be developed. It is exactly the same when a child first learns to read. They must learn the mechanics of reading and then they develop comprehension. When a child first reads they are only mouthing the words and cannot tell you what the sentence means. Once they are more adept at processing the words, they can explain what the sentence means. Speed readers must first learn the mechanics of speed reading, then they develop comprehension. We will cover more in future email segments of this course on comprehension.

 

Let's Get Started

In this first lesson you will practice keeping the voice in your head quiet. Choose a passage from your book. If you can find a children's book with narrow columns of text, that is best. Look at each as a whole. Not as individual words. Don't read it. Practice Viewing each word or if you can, each line, as an image. Recognize it and understand it. Keep the voice in your head quiet. The goal is to keep the voice in your head from slowing you down so you can see the words as images and not try to pronounce each one. If you are using the online system, try to keep up with the marker. You may have difficulty but that is OK. This is a learning exercise. You are not expected to master it on the first try. If you are reading from a book, you will need to push yourself to go faster than you feel you can.

Some people find it easier to use their finger as a pointer. It is better to use your entire hand if you do this. Try using your hand and then try reading without using your hand. Find out which is most comfortable to you. Some people find it faster using their hand and some find it distracting or slower. For the computer exercises do not use your hand. The passages are already highlighted in the practice sessions. You will have to determine if you prefer using your hand or not when reading on your own.


There are several hand motions used in speed reading. You can use your finger for underlining or drag it down the center of the page, or move it in an arc or S shape. It is not necessary to use your hand and there is no magic pattern. You will have to find what is comfortable for you. After you learn to speed read without your hand, try using your hand and see whether it helps or not.

Use whatever method you are most comfortable with.

After you have practiced keeping the voice in your head quiet, repeat the lesson and try to view two words at a time instead of one. If you can easily view two words then try three. The ability to view multiple words at once, instead of focusing tightly on each word, will greatly increase your reading capabilities. Most people can see at least two and some up to four words at a time.

Most people are also accustomed to reading only one word at a time which really slows reading down. Viewing words as a group is a critical step in successful speed reading. Practice this every time you speed read. Re-visit Lesson 1 to practice reading words as a group as often as you need to.

This exercise will build your visual vocabulary. Not your word vocabulary but your visual image vocabulary. Learn to view the groups of words as images.

Remember: When reading on your own and you come across a word you do not recognize, stop. Find out what it means. Otherwise, the rest of the passage may have no meaning when you have finished it. If it is worth your time to read, it is worth your time to understand.

Make sure you are comfortable. You should be able to easily read the screen. If you are uncomfortable or squint to read the monitor, you will not be able to concentrate on the lesson. Make yourself comfortable and relaxed. The room should be quiet. No loud music, no TV playing. Soft background music can be used for areas where total quiet cannot be achieved. If you have to pause during lessons to deal with children, cooking dinner, or anything else, you will not gain the benefits of the lesson. Lessons require complete focus and concentration without distractions.

If you start to become tense during the lesson, stop, sit back, close your eyes, relax and take a deep breath. When you are ready, you can resume the lesson.

Repeat the lesson until you are reasonably comfortable. You do not have to understand what you read or recall it at this point. Just work on silencing the little voice in your head and recognizing the words as if they were images.

You will be given a short reading test after you complete the word list. This is a base line to determine where you are starting from. Read the story at your normal reading pace. Don't try to speed read just yet.

Practice viewing words as images and groups on your own. Practice when you read a magazine or even a billboard. It is best to start with easy to understand reading material. You will find that you revert to using your little voice but practice keeping it quiet. Using familiar material will help you read faster without stumbling on new words or complex ideas.

That is the end of Lesson 1. Practice these techniques on your own. In Lesson 2 we will move into some more practical exercises.

If you are feeling extra confident, you can try taking another reading test at http://www.speedreaderx.com/free-speed-test/ and use your speed reading techniques. Remember, you have not learned comprehension yet, and you are only practicing the first of many methods you will learn. You should still see a noticeable result.


Bonus Comprehension Tip!

Many people read but do not understand what they read.
Perhaps you are one of those people. You read a paragraph and
at the end you stop and realize you do not know what it was about. That is a terrible feeling and you may think you are
dumb or be angry at yourself but this is very common.

The problem is comprehension. Many people read but do not
understand what they are reading. They are using a mechanical
process to read words but they do not have the skills to engage
their brain to understand and remember what they read.

Comprehension is an important part of remembering. If you cannot
understand what you read, you cannot remember it.

In the past it was commonly believed that by the fifth grade
someone either got-it or they didn't. That was the way many
teachers and school systems taught. Today we know this is completely
untrue and comprehension can be taught. You can learn how to
read and understand what you are reading.

I have put together a complete comprehension and memory course
to complement the Speed Reader-X system. This course includes audio introductions that explain how to improve your comprehension and memory(they are linked as explained in the course)

You can improve your comprehension for both speed reading and regular reading by using simple newly discovered techniques.

Tell Me More About Improving My Comprehension

 

 

 

FREE MEMORY EBOOK

Here is the free memory eBook I promised.

I am going to give you a free book called Advanced-Memory-Techniques. You can download it here

Advanced-Memory-Techniques.pdf

 

Good luck! Until the next lesson, keep practicing.
Michael Ford
President and CEO Elite Minds Inc.

 

 

Continue to Lesson 2

 


 

 
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