Speed Reading: One Trick That Does Work
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Many, many, (many?) years ago, back when I was in high school, we were required to take a speed reading course to prepare us for all the reading we’d have to do in college. To this day it’s still one of the best courses I’ve ever taken and I use the techniques I learned almost every single day. Today I’m going to share one speed reading trick with you that works for you when you’re reading, but it will also help you write more memorable content for your blog.
Find The One Important Sentence
This speed reading trick is based on a rule of writing: A paragraph usually consists of three or four sentences, all focused on one topic. When you change topics, you start a new paragraph. (I’ll get into this more in a minute.) Because this is a rule, it will always be true, no matter what you’re reading – news articles, blog posts or your favorite novel.
Typically, the first sentence in a paragraph contains the all the key information. The other two or three sentences are used to expand the idea and provide more information.
To increase your reading speed all you have to do is scan your eyes down the page, picking up only the first sentence in each paragraph. In the beginning you’ll have to force your eyes to keep moving but you’ll be surprised how much you pick up. Eventually, you won’t even have to read the whole sentence, you be able to pick out just the keywords.
How Can You Use Speed Reading To Improve Your Visitor’s Reading Experience?
This speed reading trick is one of the most basic lessons of any speed reading course and even people who’ve trained themselves to read fast without taking a course use this same method. Now that you know the trick you can use it to improve your readers’ engagement with your blog.
Most people who read online only scan your content, using this exact same method. So if you learn how to properly construct a paragraph they’re automatically going to absorb more of your content. Here’s the definition of a paragraph:
From the Indiana University Website:
A paragraph is a series of sentences that are organized and coherent, and are all related to a single topic. Almost every piece of writing you do that is longer than a few sentences should be organized into paragraphs.
Write your topic sentence: Generally, the first sentence of your paragraph is the topic sentence. Assume your visitor is only going to read this one sentence. Keep it as brief as possible but get your message in.
Write the body: The rest of the paragraph should explain, in more detail, using facts, arguments or examples.
The minute you start writing something new that is not related to that topic sentence, that means it’s time to start a new paragraph.
It takes practice to learn speed reading but once you do it becomes a habit. And the more you practice the better your comprehension and retention. But you already know your blog visitors are only scanning your content so use this trick in reverse to make sure they read what you want them to read. Learn to construct better paragraphs and strong topic sentences so those speed readers get your message.