1. Stop the voice inside your head
This is extremely common amongst readers. When you speak inside your head as you read, it hinders your speed. This is how we are taught to read in elementary school. The habit still persists in many of us, but slows our reading speed.
By reading inside your head, you tend to read around the same pace as you talk. This means that your reading speed is restricted to the speed at which you speak. You need to train your brain to processes the information instead of reading it. For example, when you see a “Stop” sign, you process it instead of reading the entire word. This is what you need to be doing.
If you have problems reading, try with instrumental music playing on headphones or chew on some gum.
This is the act of reading multiple words at once and is the key to reading faster. A person can take in several words at a time, even though we are trained to read each word at a time and not miss a single article. The key is to focus on trying to read three words with one glance. Continue down the page like that, taking note of how much faster you complete the entire page of text.
To start the next step, take a pencil and lightly draw two vertical, parallel lines down your page, separating the text into three sections. Start reading at the top left corner of the page as usual and cover up everything below that line with your hand or a piece of paper. Focus on reading the text in each section as one thing. Chunk the words together and read them at a glance as you would, a road sign. Keep doing this down the page, moving the paper accordingly. You will notice that your speed was faster than before.
3. Eliminate rereading of words
Make sure you break the habit of rereading the words on the page. This is because the average person tends to go over words they have already read. This prevents you from being able to increase your reading speed.
Most students do this without realizing that they are doing it, which makes it a bit of a tricky habit to break out of. The easiest way is to use your finger or bookmark to guide you along. Keep your finger running back and forth across the page, without stopping or going back. Keep tracking the words as your finger continues to make its way down the text. When you get to the end, think about what you read.
4. Peripheral vision
The above techniques are to help you view and comprehend several words at one time. Instead of chunking in smaller groups of words, try reading one line at a time. This involves looking at the center of the line and using your peripheral vision to read the rest of it. Scan the page in this manner and, when you reach the bottom, you will find that you still understood what you read, but you did it in record time.
5. Use a Timer
Set a timer for one minute, reading normally as the time dwindles down. When the timer goes off, note how many pages you have read. Keep doing this, continuing to beat your previous count each time. Set goals, and soon you’ll be able to increase your reading speed.
6. Set a Goal
Ensure that you read a certain number of pages to read each day/week/etc. and stick to it.
7. Read More
The more you read, the more you will be better at it. The better you are at reading, the more you will increase your reading speed.
8. Use a Ruler
Simply place an index card below each line and slip it down as you read. This will ensure you stay at reading one line at a time, rather than flitting your eyes about and taking nothing in.
The more words you add to your sack of words, the faster you read. The faster you read, the more you can read.