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Speed-reading

In today’s work world we are faced with a lot of reading in the form of journals, reports and email messages.  It is important to be able to read fast so that you can finish your work earlier and thus devote more time to other important areas of your work.  With this in mind, you will be happy to know that speed-reading is a technique that you can acquire at any time.  Here are some of the important skills that you will need for speed-reading:
1.    Whenever you are speed reading you need to use your finger.  This is because our eyes have an innate tendency to follow a moving object.  Thus, as you move your finger across the page your eyes will pick up the words at a faster pace.  This may seem a bit irritating at first, but this is good because you will know that you are actively engaging in learning this skill.
2.    You also need to learn how to better develop your peripheral vision.  This can be done by teaching yourself to look at a few words at a time so that you can eventually read at a speed that exceeds 1,000 words per minute.  It is best to learn how to do this while reading a newspaper because it is divided into columns with only 4 to 6 words per line.  Your goal here is to put your finger in the center of each sentence and stretch your vision as much as you can to capture as many words at one time as possible.  This technique may slow down your reading speed at first, but eventually you will begin to read faster and better.
3.    Another trick that will help you to read faster is skimming and scanning. This is a form of “adaptive reading,” meaning that you should learn to skim through the article and pick out only those key words that are actually important.  Usually this is not a big problem for most people.  This is especially true for these people whenever they are reading articles that they are actually familiar with.  For instance, if you have bought a new DVD recorder and want to know how to use the recording function, you are not going to spend the time to read the entire manual.  Instead, you will skip to the portion that has to do with recording.  However, practicing this technique is helpful whenever you are reading newspapers, magazines, emails and Internet web sites.  Your goal here is for your eyes to sweep through the text and find only the information that you are looking for.

Regardless of which technique you are working on, remember: practice makes perfect.  Not only will speed-reading help you to read things faster, but it will also improve your vocabulary and increase your general knowledge.  However, you are not going to be able to learn how to speed-read over night.  It is going to take some patience and discipline while you practice the aforementioned techniques.


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