1. What is a recommended time to practice the speed reading exercises?
My recommendation is 10 minutes of practicing (number finds, saying "a-e-i-o-u", etc.), don't place an emphasis on comprehension during this time. Then read for 20-50 minutes as you normally would, focusing on comprehension and adapting your new skills to your reading time. Practice your exercises for another 5 minutes if you notice yourself slipping back into your old habits. This may be frequent in the beginning, but it will lessen over time.
2. Do you recommend using a pacer such as a pen, pencil, pointer, etc.?
If it helps you: Yes.
If it doesn't: No.
Using a pacer reminds readers to keep moving forward and not to re-read, which are both positive elements to becoming a faster reader. For me, using a pacer has always been distracting. I don't use a pacer, but if it helps you, keep doing it.
3. When I practice the speed reading exercises should I read as fast as I possibly can, or just a little faster than I normally do?
Your main focus should be breaking your old reading habits and learning new habits; with that in mind, practice at a speed that forces you to take in the text in a different way.
4. Are there any other ways to do the number find exercises?
Yes, you can also substitute words and phrases for the numbers. Examples of this and other variations will be in the "Learn to Speed Read" book.
5. Do you have to practice speed reading every day, every time you read, or can you do it every once in awhile?
Yes, Yes, and Yes. Reading efficiently is a skill like any other. In the same way that practicing your piano scales helps you become a better piano player, so do reading exercises help you become a better reader. The amount that you practice speed reading should fall in line with your own reading goal. Do you want to be the greatest piano player? Do you want to be a better piano player? Or would you just like to know a little on the piano for every now and then.
6. What should I do when I come across a word I don't know?
While I'm reading, I write words I don't know on a yellow pad. When I'm finished reading, I go back through the words, find their definitions, and re-write the word with its definition on a new page. Lastly, I write a short story, usually a dialogue between two characters, where every sentence contains one of the words on my list. I this example I used the words alphabetically to make them stand out in the sentences I wrote.
Here's an example:
Jeff stood at the edge of Greg's desk, "I must say that I abhor the abeyance of my employees. The only reason I abide by you, is do to the fact that you are my sister's husband. My only hope is that someday she will abjure her love for you and realize worthless you really are.
Greg shrugged off the insults like an abraded knee.
7. Is there software you recommend to help in learning how to speed read?
I like Spreeder. It's an easy to use program with a great set of customizable features.
8. When practicing the exercises does it hurt to revert back to your old reading habits?
Yes, when your old habits kick in, just take a break and go back to practicing.
9. I'm "reading" fast, but I don't have a clue what I'm reading. What's wrong?
Nothing, you're just practicing. Saying this is like a baseball player taking his practice swings, before he's up to bat and saying, "I keep swinging, but I'm not hitting anything. What's wrong?" You're learning to take in text in a new way, and it will feel awkward at first, but over time it will feel more natural. The difference between "practice reading" and "reading" is when you "practice read", you're not focused on comprehension and remembering what you read. When you "read", you're central focus is assimilating the text mentally for its purpose in your life.
10. Can I have permission to post your video on another website?
11. I've read your website, I've watched all the videos, and I stil have a question. Can I contact you?
Absolutely. Before you ask a question regarding speed reading, be sure to read through the FAQ and watch all of the videos, because an answer is probably already there. If not though, or you'd like further explanation on a technique, feel free to contact me through the website.
12. Do you give one-on-one speed reading lessons?
No, but in the future I do webinars.
13. How long will it take before I can speed read?
The ability to speed read is not a fixed destination, instead think about it in terms of a spectrum. How many hours do you need to practice playing guitar, before you can play "Stairway to Heaven"? Well, you've got to learn a certain amount of chords, a certain amount techniques, as well as other little riffs, licks, etc. in order to play the song start to finish.
With reading ask, "How long before I can double my reading speed, and maintain my current comprehension level?" Because everyone reads differently, it's hard for me to specify a certain date or time in which your reading rate will double, but you can determine it yourself. Test yourself by taking a general reading test online, I like the one's that calculate your wpm and give a 10-20 question quiz at the end of the reading. Then practice the exercises 10 minutes and follow it with 20-50 minutes of reading a day, and after a week test yourself again to see where you're at. You may have doubled already at that point, or you may have made a small gain, from there calculate how long it will take you to achieve your goal.
14. Do you have a speed reading school I can attend?
That would be cool, but no, I don't. There will be a comprehensive workbook will be available in the store, which I've designed to take an average reader through a series of exercises to increase their reading rate and comprehension.
15. I'm in college and I have multiple books to read tonight before tomorrow, but I read really slow and my comprehension is awful. If I speed read through these books will I remember everything for my tests tomorrow?
No, because you won't actually be "speed reading", instead you'll more than likely be scanning or "practice reading", which lends little to none in the comprehension area. Asking this question would be like saying, "I've never exercised in my life, but I'm competing a triathlon tomorrow, so if I run for a little on the treadmill tonight, will I take first place tomorrow?" Once again, no.
16. When speed reading, how should I pace myself?
When "practice reading", read at a pace that helps break your old reading habits and helps build new reading skills. When "reading" for comprehension, read at a pace that forces you to be actively engaged with the text. If you find yourself daydreaming, push yourself to go faster, and when you feel you're starting to miss important items, slow down.
17. How fast should I turn pages?
The rate at which you turn pages has no more effect on your reading speed than picking your nose does on your ability to run a mile.
18. How many lines of text should I looking at, at once?
As many lines, paragraphs, pages, etc. where you are are still able to interpret meaning from the text. Remember, If you're going faster than that, you're practicing.
19. After speed reading a text, should I go back and re-read more slowly for comprehension?
If you don't remember what you read, then you probably weren't "reading" the text, but instead scanning it, or practice reading it. More research shows rereading hinders comprehension, but if you need to know something that's on the page, and you missed it, by all means go back and get it.
20. Can you give me a specific program of exercises and practices that take me from being an average reader to being able to speed read?
Yes, the workbook that will be available in the store goes over a process from start to finish. But all of the information in it can be found on my website and in the videos. The workbook is an example of my method, but feel free to develop your own course through the information provided in the videos.
21. How fast can you read?
When I was 18 I read between 75-100 wpm with about 50-65% comprehension. Through practicing the methods in the videos, I now read between 500-1000 wpm (depending on the material) with 75-90% comprehension.
22. What is the best phrase repeat while reading? "A-E-I-O-U"? "1-2-3-4"?
That depends on the reader. I'm a musician and I like to have a rhythm when I read, so I usually read in 3/4 time, repeating to myself, "One...Two...Three...One...Two...Three", I find this also helps with speeding along my fixations on a page. But some people find that saying words that are too short, give them plenty of time to still sub vocalize, in which case I recommend lengthening the amount of syllables in words in the repeated phrase, such as: "dolphin, lizard, reindeer, walrus." Or increase to three or four, until you're sub vocalizing only a little bit.
23. How long should I say each vowel when practicing "A-E-I-O-U"?
The goal is to distract your vocals with another sound so that they do not say the words printed on the page. As long as you're minimizing the amount of sub vocalization you do, then say them however long or short as you like.
24. Are there any books you recommend reading?
Yes, all of the books I'm reading and have finished reading, complete with notes can be found on my profiles at Readernaut.