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How to boost your Reading / Comprehension Speed and Save Time. January 5, 2015

Use your finger!

No seriously, try sliding your finger under the words while reading them. Giving the page the finger increases reading speed and enhances concentration and comprehension.

Physiologically, man is a hunter. Our eyes are designed to respond to movement. At school, we used our finger on the page while learning to read. Our eyes learned to track and follow this movement. Then, in the 2nd grade, teacher told us to take our finger off the page. The result -- no tracking movement. So our eyes started wandering laterally, along the line of print, and vertically, up and down the page. It's called Regression and most of us will regress consciously and sub-consciously, some 60 to 70 times per page. Regression kills concentration and comprehension and yet it's a bad habit easily eliminated.

MARSOC Marines whom I've trained can now process reading material at more than 5x the previous rate resulting in a superior capacity to act and a larger well of knowledge and information to draw from.

Eliminating regressions is one of a number of techniques we use to increase reading / comprehension speeds. I'll talk about additional techniques shortly. Suffice it to say, with just 10 hours of coaching over 2 days, my students are averaging a 5-fold increase in reading / comprehension speed.

Interested? See my Course Calendar for upcoming courses.

Another tip to boost your reading / comprehension speed ... January 14, 2015

So you're using your finger to eliminate regressions? If not, go back and read my last post.

Now if you are going to be reading faster, the question is whether your brain can process information at these higher rates. And if the answer here is positive, then we need to look at the delivery system.

Let's talk about your brain. Do you ever have concentration problems? Mind wanderings, distractions, falling asleep while reading? Ever wondered why?

It's a matter of input versus capacity. Let's assume your reading rate is 300 words a minute. (If you don't know your speed, go check it out.)  And let's assume that the capacity of your brain to process & assimilate the printed word is 3000 words a minute. (If you don't believe me, go and look at the results of some of my students.) And here's your problem. You're dripping the information into your brain at 300 words a minute while your brain is sitting there wanting 3000 words a minute. So your brain wanders off to think about something else more interesting, or decides to catch 40-winks while you get around to keeping it occupied. And because your brain cannot think about two things simultaneously, while it's thinking about what you're going to do this evening, it's not paying attention to the reading you should be focussing on right now. This is problem #1.

Then we have problem #2. What happens to your speed when you're trying to read important material? Your speed goes down. Why? Because at the same time that your school teacher was telling you to read without your finger (and led you down the path to regression), she imparted another gem of misguided wisdom. She told you that if the material is important, READ IT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY! So the theory is that when speed goes down, comprehension goes up. Right? WRONG!

Comprehension is a by-product of concentration and concentration is a by-product of speed. So if speed goes up, concentration goes up and comprehension goes up. Again, if you want evidence, go and look at my list of top-performing students. In just 10 hours they increased their reading speed 10-fold or more and maintained or improved comprehension. Agreed, these are my top="performers." But over the past 14 years of teaching in the USA, with students ranging from rocket-scientists to you="know-what," the average has been a 5-fold reading speed increase with equal or better comprehension.

And if you want to learn how to do this, join one of my public courses in Charlotte NC or call me about setting up a group on-site course at your location. The math is simple. What is your time worth? How many hours a day do you spend reading?  How much time and money would you save if you could read and comprehend 3-times, 5-times or even 10-times faster?

"ExecuRead is a game changer" says Marine SpecOps Team Commander, Capt X. "I made it mandatory for my Marines who now process reading material at more than 4x the previous rate resulting in a superior capacity to act and a larger well of knowledge and information to draw from."