I was never a reader. I didn’t read much at school and even throughout my university life. I have no idea how I passed but I was quite fortunate that I did. Then again, studying Information Systems didn’t exactly present you with library of texts to consume. I use to see leaflets and flyers around uni for speed reading claiming that you can read twice as fast and improve comprehension, but I just didn’t take it seriously and to an extent, didn’t believe it.
In 2002 I discovered speed reading after getting into memory and my whole life changed. I was now able to read much faster with greater comprehension than ever before. I went and bought books to read, rather than xbox games. I actually read the books too rather than it sitting on my shelf gathering dust. It started my journey of personal development as I discovered a whole new world of doing things better, quicker, faster.
For those who don’t have time for 1-to-1 personal coaching from me or read my book The Yellow Elephant which has an extended section on speed reading, below is the basic concept and technique to get you started. I would say it is the quickest speed reading course in the world. Here it goes:
Read with your finger!
That’s right. For those who have been told at school that using your finger to read is silly, it is not the case. In fact, reading with your finger allows a flow to your reading which helps you to not go back and re-read. Going back and re-reading (Back-skipping) not only slows you down, but it also breaks up your concentration and you begin to lose out on comprehension. Also your brain is doing the reading, not your eyes. Using your finger enables your brain to reach out further into the sentences that help you read quicker.
The speed bit explained.
Many think speed reading is skipping or skimming words. Some believe only the keywords are read so we get the ‘gist’ of what we read. Again, this is incorrect. Speed reading is reading in images. If we can visualise the words in context, then we are in fact speed reading. So how does the speed bit come in? Well firstly we don’t visualise word by word. We visualise in groups of words or sentences. By visualising the groups of words, in context, helps us to exponentially read faster. If we try and read word by word, we won’t get the image in our head until we finish the sentence. Speed reading helps us to create context around those words in images, helping us to visualise content to improve our understanding.
Tansel Ali is a 4-time Australian Memory Champion most famously known for memorizing two Yellow Pages phone books in only 24 days. An international bestselling author of the books, ‘The Yellow Elephant’ and ‘How to Learn Almost Anything In 48 Hours’, Tansel is a sought-after memory expert, keynote speaker and memory coach.