It may shock you to believe that as a professional copywriter, I actually spend the majority of my time researching and reading. Truth be told, the “writing” portion of the job comes much easier… excluding editing. Gawd! I hate editing. Ah hem.
Anyhow… back to reading.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is developing content that strictly sounds good. In other words, pushing content that is without substance, and/ or lacks value to the actual customer.
For a professional copywriter, one of the most important parts of executing any project, is having a clear understanding of the product, service, and its “true” value to the target audience. And in order to accomplish this, I read… a lot.
If you’ve ever made empty promises to yourself, or have unfulfilled New Years resolutions claiming that this year will be the year that you read more, then you already know about the struggle. You understand the amount of time, commitment, and dedication it takes to actually sit your derriere down, and read.
At least… I do.
Whether you’re a librarian, student, policy writer, or president of an exclusive hipster only book club, you’re gifted the same amount of daily hours as the rest of us - 24. And with work, home, family, and “you-time,” sometimes reading can feel like the biggest drain of time there is.
What if I told you that you could double, quadruple, or maybe even… Hey, I’m not a mathematician.
Okay, what if there was a way to increase the amount of words you read per minute - increase your reading comprehension – thus allowing you to read more, in less time? What if you could learn and comprehend twice the amount of information in half the time? Do you think that would be a valuable skill-set worth picking up?
As a copywriter… I did. And wouldn’t you know it… I was right.
Here's how I did it...
John Slavio’s audio book, Speed Reading: Double your reading speed and comprehension overnight with these quick reading hacks for beginners.
It was just the thing I needed to take my reading comprehension and speed to the next level.
With clear instruction, the narrator (Justin Roberts) begins this hour long session with taking a quick, one minute assessment of your current words per min (WPM) speed rate. This is important, as it will help you gauge your development while you practice.
He then discusses the importance of having clear, laid out goals for what you hope to accomplish with speed reading – often in terms of WPM or average number of lines in a paragraph. Without giving a dissertation, the audio book breaks down the philosophy of speed reading, while covering common reading tendencies (such as moving your lips or listening to your inner voice while reading) and reversing problematic childhood reading habits.
Once you have a good understanding of some of the things that may hinder you from becoming a speed reader, I think you'll find it much easier to pick up some of the more basic steps in actually learning the techniques.
He then goes on to discuss some of the more popular and effective methods, such as: the single finger, multiple finger, card, and ruler techniques. Slavio gives a thorough breakdown, while also giving often used variations of each, like “The Vulcan.”
Things like recognizing word groups and the importance of expanding your vocabulary are also covered in this brief, yet informative session.
I’m a fairly quick learner, so it didn’t surprise me that I was/ am able to take these basic concepts and apply them immediately.
Honestly, I was going to take issue with the subtitle of the book, where it suggest that you can “double your reading speed and comprehension overnight.” After all, nothing happens overnight… right?
However, while researching the very next day, and putting what I had learned to action… I realized the that I was able to double my reading skill within the course of a single day. No… I didn’t quadruple my reading speed, nor am I suddenly some speed reading demon, but based off of the words per min formula, I simply can’t argue with the results.
I hope you’ll have the same (or better) experience.
Although results may vary, I’d recommend this book to anyone looking to boost their productivity or increase their reading comprehension without slowing down your day.
About the Author
Craig Anthony is a trained and knowledgeable copywriting sommelier - specializing in pairing rich, complex copy, with meaty & succulent product based content that seamlessly entices target audiences, and leads them towards the "Add to Cart" button.