Optimized speed reading is a technique which consists in reading a text fully, word by word, at a speed higher than 500 words per minute (wpm). The usual reading speed is of about 250 wpm. A trained reader can reach a speed of up to 500 wpm. We can break this barrier if we train by using purposefully designed techniques. Using fast reading optimize understanding, memorizing and learning processes. Optimal reading starts at 900–1000 wpm.
Speed reading is not a text skimming method. Skimming implies only going through the aspects of a text which are considered relevant, in an attempt to extract information essential for the reader. Speed reading happens when we go through the entire text we wish to read.
Speed reading is not a photo reading method. Photo reading means swiftly going through a written material, by very quickly taking in the image of each page in its entirety, and then, by applying a series of techniques meant to activate the information in our memory. Speed reading is done by processing written information at an accelerated pace as the experienced reader goes through the entire text.
The optimized speed reading training is based on certain characteristics of the human brain and eyes, which can be optimized and taken advantage of by anybody who wishes this:
- The path for processing the meaning of written information is different and dominant to the path for processing visual features.
- When we read, our eyes move in a jerky manner over the text. The movement done by our eye muscles is not a fluid one, but rather one in jumps. They are the fastest muscles in the body.
- We can widen our visual field and read several adjacent words each time our eyes focus on the text.
- The speed reading training also involves the progressive deactivation of the movement of our vocal chords.
- Our working memory is operating optimally at high speeds. Visual information is stored temporarily in a sensory memory. All we have to do is to transfer it quickly into our working memory.
An efficient optimized speed reading training algorithm is based on the five above mentioned characteristics. Its main purpose is to train the eye muscles to move at a higher speed and to be able to process the information in a smaller amount of time. The visual field will progressively become wider and the movement of the vocal chords is constantly slowed down. This way, anybody who wishes to read faster and understand the information they read better has a proper tool to reach this goal.
All it remains to do is to train!