Congratulations on taking a step towards learning to read faster by "speed reading." If you're like most people who are trying to improve their reading skills to the level of super fast speed reading, you are probably wondering how to do it while maintaining, if not improving, your comprehension. Many of my students come to me after they have invested time and money in learning to speed read only to report that they can move through reading material at the rate of 1200 - 2500 words per minute, but cannot understand what they have read. That happens because they have not learned the secrets of comprehension at high speeds.

If you are not comprehending, or understanding the material while your eyes are flying over the print, you are not reading!

Reading, whether it is done speedily or not, can be defined as how your mind processes the printed symbols in a meaningful way. In other words, if you are not getting any meaning from a page of print, or screen, you are not understanding or comprehending.

For most people the challenge of mastering speed reading with comprehension is learning to adjust your perception of comprehension. As adult readers you take the process for granted and do not really understand what it means to comprehend because you have been reading for so many years. For most people the process is taken for granted.

If comprehension is a challenge for you, whether you are reading fast or not, you can overcome this difficulty by knowing that there is actually a learnable process for comprehension. This idea is quite different from the approach you learned as a youngster. You should also note that I describe a process, or a series of steps. Comprehension is a process to activate your brain/mind's response to the print.

Unless you are reading something very short, then the challenge to comprehend is that you are probably getting lost in the "pieces" of the meaning puzzle, rather than understanding the document, book, article, etc. as a "whole" first, before trying to understand "everything." Your mind is not prepared for all of it, whether you are doing it at the high speeds of a true speed reader, or whether you are reading in your traditional linear manner.

In other words, learn to see the forest for the trees. Applied to reading, we call this "getting the gestalt." Gestalt loosely means understanding the "whole." Neuro-science has proven that our brains comprehend most efficiently when we first understand the "whole" of something it is considering. Our right hemisphere (which is not usually active with traditional linear reading) perceives the world as "wholes." The left hemisphere of the brain breaks things into the various pieces of meanings.

They key to better comprehension, whether you read fast or slow, is to see the Whole before overloading your mind on its parts.

Traditional one-pass linear reading focuses on taking in the individual pieces (and words) before any meaning can be achieved. The result is that most people have a difficult time remembering all those pieces before the pieces have any meaningful connection. Comprehension breaks down because there is no linkage.

I recently received a link in an email that helps to demonstrate this process visually. Although the original intention of the visual was different (and powerful for its own original sake) it is useful for our purposes of learning to see the gestalt while reading. "Click Here

After watching this demonstration, can you develop your comprehension to zoom out and in similarly? Notice that as the scene opens up you don't have any orientation to what you are seeing. That is what happens when the mind is not prepared.

By learning to engage the right hemisphere, as well as the left hemisphere while reading enables true speed reading at high speeds to occur with comprehension. This can happen more easily and rapidly when you have prepared your mind for the depth of the material by using the comprehension technique of "getting the gestalt."

Now that you understand the mystery of comprehension at high rates of speed reading, I invite you to learn more Get Free Tips .

Author's Bio: 

Ed Caldwell is the creator and publisher of the "Masters Online Program: Dynamic Reading, Memory, and Recall" and other live and web-based learning programs. As former National Director of Instruction and Certification for the world famous Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics program, Ed has 30 years experience teaching and testing new strategies to help people from all walks of life learn to read more efficiently. Trainer, speaker, and writer, he can be contacted at Having trained tens of thousands of people, he has mastered the art of the coaching, especially when learning speed reading. Ed is the creator and president of Productive Learning Systems, Inc, and, Inc. You can learn more tips and truths about speed reading at and download the free eBook, "The 10 Top Mistakes When Learning Speed Reading."