One of the best ways to improve your reading speed and focus is by reducing the supervillain known as subvocalization. In this episode, I give you 3 hacks to do exactly that.
Subvocalization is the inner voice you hear reading along with you in your head.
If you have to say the words inside our mind as you read, your reading speed is limited to your talking speed…NOT your thinking speed.
But you don’t need to pronounce most words in order to understand what they mean. You know them by sight.
Leaders are readers. JFK spoke at about 300 words per minute, but is said to have read 1000 WPM. That’s 700 words per minute he didn’t pronounce.
3 Ways to Reduce the Habit of Subvocalization
- Stretch yourself.
- Read faster than you normally do.
- Your mind is always looking for shortcuts. When you read faster, it will spend less time saying filler words like “and” or “is.”
- You want to read not for words but for ideas.
- Listen to music.
- Find music you enjoy that doesn’t have lyrics.
- Classical music works well.
- You want to be in an alpha state when you’re learning, and listening to Baroque music (60 beats per minute) can help.
- Listening to music can help drown out the sound of our inner voice.
- Pattern interrupt.
- When people are reading, you’ll sometimes see them moving their lips.
- You need to distract your mouth and give it something else to do so you can disengage from that speech mechanism in the brain.
- Hum. That resonance will prevent you from talking to yourself.
- Chew on your knuckles or fingers. It’s not very sanitary, but it works.
- Chew gum. Some people say chewing gum actually helps your brain.
- Count. If you’re counting internally, you can’t also simultaneously subvocalize.
- GO DEEPER: As you read, you have eye fixations AKA where your eyes move as you cross the page. As you count, group each line into 3 sections – so 1 is the first part of the line, and so forth. This helps you build strong reading proficiency. When you see a word, you read the whole world – not the letters within it. Strong readers see multiple words together because they’re looking for ideas.
- These practices will be distracting in the beginning, but your brain is very efficient. After you do this for a while, it’ll start paying more attention to what’s in front of you.
BONUS: 4.Take a class.
- We have a complete program that’s focused on reading speed, retention, focus, comprehension, AND enjoyment.
- We focus not just on speed-reading but on smart reading because when you understand what you’re reading, you’ll inherently read it faster and retain more of it.
- Get a demo of this! Join my FREE online interactive web class here.