If you are just beginning to search for help in learning to speed read, you may easily become overwhelmed. With such a variety of approaches, mediums of learning, and contradictory information, it would be easy to give up learning this valuable life-long learning set of skills. Please don't give up! Mastering speed reading can change your life for the better. Here are some important things for you to consider before you start.

To succeed at mastering speed reading, you need to understand that it is about training your brain, not just getting your eyes to move rapidly through the print. All speed reading programs will teach the eye movement part (and some do this with a mistaken outdated approach). Few approaches teach the comprehension process that requires the engagement of your brain/mind. Because of the complexity of how your brain processes information, you want an approach that can help you understand better how to engage the brain/mind at rapid rates, if you are going to use the skills as a life-long approach and not fizzle out after a short period with some success.
So are you ready to learn more about your brain and how to process (comprehend) at high speeds?

If so, you have these options:

1. Scrounge the web for free stuff. This will only get you confused because there is so much mis-information on the web with contradictory statements. Most of the "free stuff" is really often a come-on for some other thing the website owner is selling. Or, the "author" is not really a qualified expert. Additionally, this approach leaves it up to you to read and develop the skills yourself on your own.

2. Buy a software program. The primary focus of every software program I have seen is getting the eyes to move more efficiently. These can be helpful to some extent, but they don't address the comprehension side of mastering speed reading with real depth. Also, many of the software programs approach the "eye-span" (the number of words focused upon with a single eye-stop) from an outdated and proven incorrect manner of using the eyes during the reading process. Is there a "help-line" if you have questions on the content of the program, or is the support merely technical support for the software? How will you get help if you get frustrated, or confused?

3. Read a book. Reading better is the end goal. Good books on speed reading can be informative, but they do not change your behavior. You are trying to change very complex behaviors that don't lend themselves to merely reading a book. Ask other speed readers you may know if they learned from a book. I have yet to find a highly skilled speed reader who mastered the skills by reading a book.

4. Listen to an audio program. Similarly to reading a book, these can be informative, but not effective for changing your behavior. Another problem with the audio training is that most learners also need to "see," and "do" when learning a skill. It is not what educators refer to as a multi-sensory approach which has been proven to engage much more of the brain when learning. A multi-sensory approach is best.

5. Buy a DVD training video. Of all the mediums explored to this point, this is the best, but still lacks the personal help you will probably need at points along the way of developing your speed reading skills. Again, where is the expert if you have a question or need help?

6. Enroll in a class at a local college. This is a better choice, but you are limited by the time constraints of the class schedule and have to organize your busy life around it. For example, most of these classes occur over a weekend or two. Cognitive psychologists will say it takes a minimum of 30 - 45 days to master a complex skill before it becomes habit. Another critical question for this option is what are the qualifications of the instructor? Many of these instructors have not gone through a rigorous training process themselves. In fact, I've known many "speed reading" instructors that teach as a result of merely reading a book, which means they are not an expert, and probably haven't mastered the skills themselves.

7. Enroll in a class lead by an experienced and qualified expert. Don't waste your time or money on any approach that can not verify the qualifications of the expert and allow you access to the experts' advice. If I want to learn how to a build house, I wouldn't want to learn from a software engineer. Because everyone has a unique style of learning and a complex brain, you want to learn from someone who understands those differences. Paying for expertise is significant when considering your lifelong mastery of the skills.

In considering how you can best master speed reading, the last approach is probably the more expensive, but the investment has a far better chance of paying you huge dividends in the long run. If you invest in a proven program that gives access to an expert and that leaves you with a life-long set of accelerated learning skills, you will be better off and more competitive in today's marketplace. This is merely one of the "life-changing" benefits I mentioned in the beginning. With proper training, you can literally speed read yourself to the top.

Now that we have covered your best approach to mastering the critical skills in speed reading, I invite you to discover more helpful tips at: http://speedreadingtactics.com/speed_reading_newsletter.html

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 inquiry@productivelearn.com. 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 ProductivElearn.com, Inc. You can learn more at http://speedreadingtactics.com/speed_reading_newsletter.html and download the free eBook, "The 10 Top Mistakes When Learning Speed Reading."

Additional Resources covering Speed Reading can be found at:

Website Directory for Speed Reading
Articles on Speed Reading
Products for Speed Reading
Discussion Board
Ed Caldwell, the Official Guide To Speed Reading