One of the most common questions I’m asked is about reading comprehension: how can I boost my understanding of what I read? In this episode, I reveal the 3 Rs to boosting your reading comprehension.
One of the most common questions I’m asked is about reading comprehension: how can I boost my understanding of what I read?
Many of us have read a page in a book and forgotten what we just read.
Reading speed is important…but not at the expense of comprehension! The problem? Traditional speed-reading has always been associated with skimming and skipping.
But I think it’s important to retain and understand what you read. After all, you don’t want your lawyer or doctor to just get the ‘gist’ of what he/she is reading.
Years ago, I received a call from someone panicked because they needed a replacement keynote speaker at the last minute. I didn’t know anything about the topic – but the original speaker had written a book. The person who called me knew I was a speed-reader and wanted me to read the book and present on it. So I did – and humbly, it was the highest-rated presentation of the entire conference.
I was able to do that because I could assimilate the information, memorize it, and develop an interactive presentation quickly. You can do something similar with my 3 techniques to boosting reading comprehension.
To go even deeper into this, join our flagship Kwik Reading program. This 6-week program isn’t just about speed-reading but smart reading – so you can read quickly and understand everything you read. Click here to learn more.
3 Rs to Boosting Your Reading Comprehension
1. The first R stands for Read.
You can only understand something if you’ve actually read it.
Schedule your reading because if you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen.
One of the best things you can do to improve your reading speed is to reduce subvocalization, aka the inner voice reading with in your head. Learn how to do that with Kwik Brain 012: 3 Hacks For Rapid Reading (How To Reduce Subvocalization).
To read more effectively, listen to Kwik Brain 007: How to Read Faster and Kwik Brain 004: Read 1 Book A Week (52 Books A Year)…Without Speed-Reading!.
2. The second R stands for Relate.
After you read something, talk and relate about what you’re reading to someone else.
You need to train yourself to learn what it really means to understand something, perhaps for the first time.
I had a brain injury at 5 years old that caused learning challenges, and it took me an extra 3 years to learn how to read. When teachers asked me to talk about what I read, I couldn’t do it because I couldn’t understand it.
Talking about what you read is a powerful tool to teach yourself what it means to understand something brand-new.
Dedicate 3 minutes to talk about what you’ve just read.
Talk about the plot, what you’ve learned, when or where it’s happening, and more.
When you talk about what you learn in your own words, you make the information your own.
How can you best relate the information to people?
The best way is to talk to someone live in front of you.
The second-best way is to talk to someone on the phone.
The third-best way is to talk to a live non-human, like a pet or plant.
The fourth way is to speak to an inanimate object, like your voice recorder or a bottle of water.
There’s not that much difference between speaking to a human and an inanimate object. The important part is that you’re not talking to yourself. You must externally verbalize about what you’ve read.
If you’re speaking to another human being, asking them to ask you questions will further boost your comprehension.
3. The third R stands for Rite.
Talking out loud about what you’ve read causes you to make the information your own. So does writing about it.
Taking notes is one of the best ways to retain what you read.
Handwrite notes and split your paper in half, so you’re using one side of the page to take notes and the other side to make them. Learn more about this process in Kwik Brain 013: How to Take Notes for Rapid Recall.
We also have a grid system we explain in our Kwik Reading program.
If you want to go deeper into this, join our flagship Kwik Reading program – which boosts your reading speed up to 300%! Click here to learn how you too can boost your reading speed, focus, retention, comprehension, AND enjoyment.
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