Re: Speed Reading
- Jennifer makes some good points. I echo them, and yes, you may call me
biased, as I also lead courses based on Tony's work here in Canada. But
just because it may have the appearance of bias doesn't mean it's not
backed up by solid experience.
I started my reading test at about 165 wpm, and in one day of training
was over 500. No, the reading wasn't "the same" - it was different, as I
was using different techniques. And the results haven't been the same
since then either. My experience has been that my comprehension,
retention and recall of *any* material I have been reading, using the
Range reading techniques, has improved directly - and dramatically -
because of them. I have used (and continue to use) them to study some
complex Chinese philosophical / medical texts, (I'm also an acupressure
therapist) and they work just as well for complex technical material as
they do for "light" reading. The improvement has been limited only by
the amount of effort I have put into the practice, and the overall time
I have devoted to it.
I had the good fortune to be trained in Range Reading (range referring
to using a range of skills and speeds, adapted and appropriate to the
purpose at hand), by Jamie Nast, Master Trainer for North America, and
Vanda North. I believe both of these people have great integrity and I
also believe that they both are honest when they report their own
improvements in reading speeds - with reliable comprehension and
retention - having learned and applied the principles properly.
I've pondered the email points Charlie has brought forth, and what
stands out for me is the repetitive levels where skepticism asserts
itself; I was skeptical as well. I still am. YET, in admitting my
skepticism, I was (and continue to be) willing to set it aside and
actually try on the new behaviour / skills, rather than to allow the
skepticism to rob me of an opportunity for growth. I'm glad I did,
because there have been times in the past when I have allowed myself to
*not* try something new, as a result of listening to my inner skeptic.
Improving my reading speed and comprehension proved to be a surprisingly
emotional breakthrough, and one which my skepticism, with all it's
insight, failed to predict. It lead me to questioning what the function
of the skepticism is. It wants to protect me from emotional pain; the
pain of disappointment or disillusionment or looking like a gullible
fool. So now skepticism is my friend - as it helps me hunt down the
places in my psyche where I have placed an artificial limit on myself,
stopping me from risking, and there just might be an "aha!" waiting to
happen. on the other side.
We're all more than we think we are.
Alexander Townend (contact information below)
Natural Genius Training & Development
Tools for Change. Tools for Growth. Tools for Freedom...
Canada Toll Free: 1-888-319-6677
Cell: 905-815-3996 (a local call from Toronto and Burlington)
Phone: 905-335-4628 (a local call from Hamilton and Burlington)
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Great post, Steve. The course I took in college, which
only upped my speed by about 25%, was based on the
Woods technique. This is why, when it came time to
take the Woods course, it just didn't resonate:
nothing offered there was new.
The Berg course that utilized the visual centers of
the brain's capabilities, as well as encouraging
analytical thought, really played into things that I'd
already begun to discover, or knew from Psyc courses.
It also FELT much more natural than the other courses.
If I'm not comfortable with a thing, I know that
chances are I won't use it, unless there's an
extremely pressing need for it.
There's a fair bit more to it than the things I
covered in my post, too. And, he gets to the meat of
his subject really fast, as opposed to taking weeks.
One thing I make a practice of doing that I don't see
taught anywhere, is that I try to find a way to make
info that bores me interesting to me. I don't think
you can teach this, though, since people's interests
differ. We kind of have to find our own way on that.
All you can do is make others aware that this can be
done, and that it makes study much easier.
This is an area of interest for me also.
First, let me say that I agree with Claus in that you
can read and learn,
and then not be able to recall every written word, but
still be able to
access the general fund of information. Having said
that though, I must
say, my university courses which buttressed reading
discussion, projects, etc. did "stick with me" better
through the years.
I just got SpeedReaderX. It had good reviews on the
net, and I must say
that it's a nice tool. I have many speed reading
books. I find that most
are based on the Wood stuff. (Evelyn Wood?). THe most
far out one is
"Photoreading" where you don't even focus on each
word--or even each line.
Just let your peripheral vision "photo glimpse" the
page and then over night
the content of the material is supposed to crystallize
knowledge--at least that's what the author claims.
Actually I'm a school
psychologist, so much of my university course work was
on teaching/learning reading--not speed reading, but
beginning level reading
skills. It's actually sortof ironic that the bulk of
(and there's a TON of it!) suggests that teaching
phonetically (little bits
first; bottom-up) is more effective than whole
top-down) for acquiring reading skills. But as many
speed reading books
point out, this is antithetical to speed reading.
Anyway... Last thoughts: Basic cognitive psych 101
tells us that verbal
info has to be ATTENDED to and ENCODED to get past
sort-term memory and into
long-term. If we read word by word (with little voice
in head) I would say
we're encoding 'verbally.' However, IMHO, we don't
always need to do this
for the written word. For example, if you're skimming
the newspaper and
your first name is in it, it's likely to 'jump out' at
you. Similarly, the
words STOP, LOVE, DANGER, or MOM might be ones that
your brain could
associate/pair with whatever behavior or feeling they
correspond to BEFORE
you're even really aware (at a verbal level) of what
the word was.... If
this is true, then the info must be getting encoded
the language centers of the brain (Werneckie's Area in
Lobe??). This shouldn't be too surprising of an
occurrence considering that
the visual parts of the brain are way way bigger than
the language parts
and, from an evolutionary perspective, are much much
older. Given these
half-baked meanderings, it seems like, in as much as
you are so familiar
with the words of a given text that each word can be
non-verbally, then you can move to visually encoding
combinations of words
DANGER (one word) DO NOT ENTER (combination) .
Okay last thought--really: Don't forget the previous
poster who indicated
that level of interest in the subject, prior
information, energy level, etc,
etc, are all extremely important in "getting" what you
===SteveK321= ========= =======
T5, WindowsXP, PocketMirror, Anagram, MacrosExpress,
pToolSet, Hi-Launcher, Pedit, MyKbd.
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around