As a speed reading coach, when I get a new learner who has been frustrated by trying to learn speed reading in the past, I frequently hear something like, "I was zipping through materials at high speeds, but I just didn't understand the material." Here are 7 simple, but powerful tips that can make the difference.

1. Understand that moving the eyes faster and more efficiently is only one piece of the process. The second most important piece to speed reading is to get your mind to respond the print. The mind's response to the print is what comprehension is all about.

2. Eliminate all distractions. Unless you have developed a strong ability to read while there are lots of various background noises and movements, your concentration will jump around as a challenge to your comprehension. Busy office environments, student cafes, etc. are a source of distractibility. If you have some important reading to do find some way to block out the external distractions. Alternatively learn to control your focus and concentration. In fact, after mastering the proper techniques of speed reading, I can read almost anywhere without being distracted. It annoys my wife and daughter when they are trying to get my attention!

3. Reboot your brain. Think of your brain's short term and intermediate memory as if it was your computer's ram memory. With lots of activity, thoughts, and emotions, etc. it gets overloaded. Reboot your computer for a fresh start. One of several techniques that can help is simply taking a few slow deep breaths.

4. Read purposefully. Without a purpose in mind, your mind will jump all around. One simple thing you can do is to ask yourself why are you reading this? What do you need to get out of it? Keep those answers in mind as you read.

5. Summarize, summarize, summarize. Stop at logical breaks and summarize what you saw. In the beginning with high speeds, this might have to be done after each paragraph. As you build this skill, you will be better able to handle larger chunks of the content. This is perhaps the hardest part of the comprehension process.

6. Continue to ask questions about the material as you go through and do your summaries. The nature of questions on the mind is to find answers. You'll be amazed at how this focuses your reading and comprehension.

7. Immediately stop and make notes on what you have read. They don't have to be long. Shorter is better. Better still; draw a picture of how you interpret the information. Make the notes visual. This forces your mind to reflect, and digest what you have just inputted.

And now that I have given you these seven tips, I'd like to invite you to get instant access to more speed reading tips at

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. Ed is the creator and president of Productive Learning Systems, Inc, and, Inc. You can learn more at and download the free eBook, "The 10 Top Mistakes When Learning Speed Reading."