For entrepreneurs, speed is of the essence whether you’re reading a financial report, software manual, business magazine, legal document, and more. Hence, you must enhance your speed reading skills to get through tons of important information that comes your way now and then quickly, even as you juggle other responsibilities in your life and business. In today’s podcast, Abby Marks Beale from Rev It Up Reading and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions discuss speed reading skills for busy entrepreneurs.
Speed Reading Skills for Busy Entrepreneurs
There’s no denying the importance of speed reading for small business owners. Speed reading skills allow entrepreneurs to process information quickly and make informed decisions that affect their bottom line. In this world of rapid change, business owners should strive to keep tabs on information that helps them stay ahead of the curve by reading relevant books.
Many entrepreneurs struggle to read because they have not learned the skills to optimize their reading speed and understanding. However, with the mastery of speed reading skills, reading becomes a breeze even as you juggle numerous responsibilities in your life and business. You can’t become a successful entrepreneur if you don’t take out some time each week and invest in your private study. And smart entrepreneurs are keen on learning new things that will add value to their businesses and help them stay in the loop.
With this in mind, we discuss the skills that busy entrepreneurs must imbibe to fine-tune their speed and understanding while reading any book of their choice.
What Is Speed Reading?
Abby Beale, our guest speaker, defined speed reading as a set of active, mindful, and conscious strategies that allow you to quickly get what you need from any reading material efficiently and effectively.
Speed reading skills are techniques for increasing reading speed and efficiency by minimizing subvocalization, reducing the number of fixations (pauses) made while reading, and increasing the size of the reading span. It can help readers process information faster and retain more of what they have read.
As an entrepreneur, the amount of information you process grows by the day, whether by emails, business reports, newsletters, social media, books, or magazines. Hence, speed reading skills are essential, so you get through tons of information quickly and attend to other business of the day.
According to Mind Tool, most people read at an average rate of 250 words per minute (WPM). However, your ability to speed read could mean you can double this rate when appropriate. And it entails having control over your reading. Instead of reading everything the same and thinking about how it will sink in, you approach it in a very mindful, conscious way.
How to Improve Your Speed Reading Skills
Whether you’re reading a financial report, software manual, business magazine legal document, and more, speed is of the essence. Below are the most useful tools that will help you improve your reading speed.
Understand the outline of the material.
Most nonfiction materials are all written in a format called an outline. Therefore, to clearly understand the text you’re reading, you must first and foremost figure out the outline in order to grasp the main idea pretty fast.
Besides, you’re reading the flesh-out outline that is structured into varying paragraphs. And in most texts, the first sentence of a paragraph, also known as a topic sentence, usually summarizes the main idea and sometimes might serve as the text’s outline.
Other speed reading skills are:
- Identify your reading pace: To determine your current reading speed, find a passage and time yourself as you read. This will give you a baseline to work from as you improve your speed reading skills.
- Practice skimming: Skimming involves scanning a text to get an overview of its content. This helps you identify the essential information to focus on it later.
- Use a pointer: Moving a pointer, such as your finger or a pen, under the words as you read can help you maintain focus and increase your speed.
- Eliminate distractions: Find a quiet place to read where you won’t be interrupted by phone calls, emails, or other distractions. This will help you stay focused and read faster.
- Read actively: Instead of passively reading, try to actively engage with the text by asking yourself questions and connecting to what you already know. This will help you retain the information better and increase your reading speed.
- Train your eyes to move faster: This can be done by regularly reading short, fast-paced texts, such as news headlines or tweets. Over time, your eyes will become trained to move more quickly, allowing you to read faster.
- Take breaks: Regular breaks are important for avoiding eye strain and maintaining focus. Take a break every 20 to 30 minutes to rest your eyes and refocus your mind.
In conclusion, speed reading skills are important to business owners with limited time to do many things. It helps you know where to concentrate more while reading and improves your rate of understanding. In addition, you must know the intentionality behind every book you want to read, as this will help you make a better decision.
Learn More About Our Guest
Abby Marks Beale is a speed reading expert, consummate educator, and professional speaker who enjoys teaching busy people how to read smarter, faster, and just plain better. For the past 30+ years, she has taught thousands to build reading confidence and competence through the knowledge of simple yet powerful active reading strategies. She is the author of 10 Days to Faster Reading, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading, and Speed Reading: A Little-Known Time-Saving Superpower.
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