Benefits of Speed Reading for Entrepreneurs

Speed reading is a technique used to increase reading pace while maintaining or improving a high level of comprehension. The average adult reads at a rate of approximately two hundred fifty words per minute while understanding about seventy percent of the material. Some speed reading programs have been proven to increase the rate of words read per minute to five hundred while maintaining or improving comprehension level.

Evelyn Wood, a school teacher, accidentally discovered her speed and focus were improved when she used her hand to manually underline the text she was reading. In 1959 she introduced the first speed reading program in order to aid students with their studies. Since that time, the technique of speed reading and the course options available to learn the technique have improved and expanded. Today, individuals can learn speed reading in a classroom setting, through a virtual program, or by reading one of many books on the subject.

The primary purpose of speed reading is to promote the reader beyond subvocalization. Subvocalization is the natural tendency of an individual to read at the rate he would speak the words aloud. It takes takes much longer to mentally process the text as speech than a person can actually comprehend the given material. The first step in getting past the habit of reading at speech pace is called meta guiding. Meta guiding is simply running a finger or pen under the text while reading. This focuses the attention on specific words and introduces a natural forward flow. With some practice, an index card or other simple bookmark may be introduced to further increase efficiency.

At first, an individual may be able to process more text, but the level of comprehension may stay the same or even decrease slightly. Speed reading is not a skill that can be fully utilized at the first attempt although the benefits will be noticed immediately. Students know that learning new material can be tremendously aided by a thorough skim before delving into the new subject. It helps to give an overview of the topic and mentally prepare to process the information. A new speed reader will be able to use his skill to skim more efficiently with his first attempt with simple meta guiding. With more practice and the addition of more advanced speed reading skills, a speed reading student will see a vast improvement in his studies.

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category: Business skills, Entrepreneurs