Effective Speed Reading – Notes for Managers, Coaches and Mentors of Participants


Illumine Training - Parts of the brain

To get the most out of the course, delegates will need to be supported as they start to think and work differently. This page will help managers, coaches and mentors to provide that support. Here you will find:

  • Information about the course
  • What to expect after someone has attended the course
  • Suggestions to help you perform a useful review with the course participant

The Course

People will learn how to:

  • Read more quickly (including adopting a different approach to reading that ensures that reading is more effective as well as quicker).
  • Prioritise and save time – read what’s important and manage information more effectively.
  • Increase comprehension.

We run both a half day and a one day version of the course. On the one day course there is more time to practice the techniques. There is also time to introduce more information on memory than is normally included on the shorter programme. Here are the key aspects covered:

Benchmark Speed, Beliefs and Attitude

Current reading speed is measured and perceived comprehension captured. We also look briefly at people’s beliefs about reading and later discover that many long held beliefs are wrong and/or unhelpful.

Rapid Pre-Read

On this course we spend almost as long looking at the process of reading and how to read more effectively, as we do at simply increasing speed. This starts with a process with which to ‘attack’ a book (or any other document) in a structured and constructive way, before starting to read it. Mind Maps are used to summarise the book, although detailed information about how to Mind Map effectively is beyond the scope of this course.

Reading Faster

Delegates learn how to read significantly faster (usually doubling or trebling their reading speed), A number of simple, but profoundly effective techniques are introduced and practised; all based on a clear understanding of how the eyes and brain work together when we are reading.

Environment, Motivation and Concentration

Some time is spent looking at the importance of proactively taking charge of these elements. INSEAK® A process called INSEAK® – the INtelligent Strategy for the Effective Acquisition of Knowledge – is introduced. This is a framework that can be applied to all reading for information and knowledge.

Memory Rhythms

A basic understanding of how memory works and how to work with the natural rhythms of forgetting and remembering are introduced. This knowledge is invaluable for anyone involved in formal studying, but can be equally useful when applied to day to day tasks involving the assimilation of information and knowledge.

Practice and Action Planning

At the end of the course delegates are encouraged to think about how they are going to use what they have learnt. We make the point quite strongly that it is up to them to put the techniques and perspectives covered into good use.

What to expect after someone has attended the course

Everyone attends the course for slightly different reasons but they will all have opportunities to use what they learn. Delegates are usually very keen to put their new skills into practice. A little well-directed support and encouragement by manager, coach or mentor can make a big difference. We hope the following notes will help you give that support:

What to expect                 What you can do 
When reading, the delegate should be getting into the habit of previewing the material and also being more selective about what they read.Ask the delegate to explain the process they are using. Explaining it will reinforce their own learning.
When reading, the delegate may use a pen or their finger to help them read more quickly.Using a guide of some sort when reading, helps most people enormously. However some people are initially self-conscious about doing so. Positive comments along the lines of ‘it’s great to see you using what you learnt on the course’ can make a big (positive) difference.
Delegates may make changes to when and where they do their reading – taking responsibility for the effectiveness of their reading by adjusting the physical environment as well.Encourage this as reading effectively is partly dependent on how motivated someone is and how well they are able to concentrate. What works for one person may be very different from what works for someone else.

Conducting a review after the course

Many managers like to follow up courses that their people have attended. The style and format of these reviews varies widely so here are some prompts for suggested discussion points:

  • Action Plan – at the end of the course all delegates are encouraged to commit to specific actions to use and reinforce the things they’ve learnt. That action plan is a good start point for a review.
  • Reading – how much practice is being done to turn the new way of reading into a habit. In the first three weeks, practice and using the techniques increasingly to read ‘important’ as opposed to peripheral material, is essential.
  • Coaching Others – have there been any opportunities to coach others in the use of the techniques or in any of the other things discussed or taught on the course?
  • General – it will be worth going back to the original reasons for attending the course and also review the other notes in this section that describe the course and use them as a prompt for your discussion.

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