How to read anything faster with higher comprehension

The Boardroom Education is here to help you save time, boost memory and performance, and enhance communication skills – including making the most of every networking opportunity.

I’ve heard it said (by Simon Rigby) that a business book acted on is worth £40,000.  We laughed about this on his excellent recent taster session for Action Coach when he shared how he’d said to his family members, “I’m going to give you £40,000!”  That got their attention!  Then he gave each one a key business book!

What if we, at The Boardroom Education, could get you access to such wealth in less time?

The speed reading technique we teach delivers instant results and requires no practice!  So, after a little tale about how I came to live in Dorset (it’s relevant to speed reading, trust me), I’ll share the key techniques.

Lex Moves to Poole on Purpose

Way back in 1999, I moved from High Wycombe to Dorset to work as a Master Trainer with Buzan Centres.  Tony Buzan is one of the most well-known names associated with learning in a brain-friendly manner.  Buzan Centres trained teachers and trainers, and were based in Poole.  This was one of the most positive moves of my life – leading to years of happily teaching speed reading, memory skills, and the amazing mind mapping technique that Tony invented.

I particularly enjoyed training teachers to pass on these skills to their own students.  Speed Reading is one of those programmes that ‘just works’ if you trust and use the process.

Much of my work was also with Civil Servants – who, like Barristers, Lawyers, and Solicitors – have a vast amount of printed material to process.  Perhaps the best aspect of all these programmes, however, was the consistent feedback I received:

“I never knew Speed Reading could be so entertaining and interesting!”

It was as if people expected learning about Speed Reading to be difficult or even boring.  On reflection, perhaps this is because many people find reading hard work.  So, here’s the really good news: Speed Reading is easy and leads to great pleasure from the technique.  As the Readers’ Digest describe their brand: it’s “Reading for Pleasure.”

The Boardroom Education and The Boardroom Network

Whilst moving to Dorset was undoubtedly one of the best choices I ever made, ‘finding’ The Boardroom Network, has been even better.  How so?

Well, training, up to now, has been a very pleasant yet fragmented experience for me.  I’ve travelled up and down the country and actually Internationally (teaching Touch-Typing in Houston, Trinidad, and in Alaska was a definite high point!)  The missing piece was working consistently with one group.  The peer group support that we have at The Boardroom Network offers us the opportunity to learn far more effectively, and to become way better at turning our good intentions into great habits!

I feel I have found my ‘Tribe’ and now, with The Boardroom Education, we have the opportunity to build our own Learning Organisation.  As a foretaste of that, let’s see how easy it is to learn to speed read from one article!

Why Learn to Speed Read Now?

We all have 168 hours a week to invest in this marvellous experience called, “Life”!  Being in business is about return on investment – and that’s not just money – it’s time too.  Speed Reading gives you more time back whilst also improving the way you comprehend and keep new learning.  I believe Simon Rigby’s assertion that every business book learned from and acted upon is worth £40,000.  This means that we are looking at a financial return on investment too.  Thus, every moment that passes where you and I are not benefiting from this easy technique is a loss of return on investment.  ALL the major productivity gurus cite reading as a core foundation to their success.

So let’s learn how to read faster with higher comprehension.

What Sesame Street and Advertising Cameras Have Taught Us

Did you know that the TV Show that revolutionised Children’s Education – Sesame Street – was nearly a failure?  The show was carefully researched before the Pilot episode was produced.  Educational Psychologists advising the script-writers were resolute on one point: mixing people with puppets would not work – it would confuse the children and thus compromise their learning.  The pilot episode was prepared and then amazing technology was used to monitor the children who were the test audience.

This technology is eye-tracking cameras.  These cameras are able to ‘track’ where an audience is looking on a screen – TV, computer, tablet, Kindle.  This is vital for advertising campaigns, and very powerful when it comes to developing educational materials.

The results were nearly a disaster for Sesame Street.  Every time a puppet came on screen – the children were rivetted – giving that segment of the show their full attention.  When the humans came on screen, the children soon lost interest!

What saved Sesame Street?  Mixing the humans with the puppets!  In this way, the children stayed engaged and the educational content could be delivered.  Yes, sometimes it pays to ignore the experts!

This same technology has been used to prove how people’s eyes move when they read…

…and it’s not how you think!  Most people think we read a bit like a typewriter.  Smooth, straight lines, with a neat carriage return to get to the next line’s content.

On the ‘live’ workshop, you will be able to see the truth for yourself in seconds, but let me give the spoiler alert here, because I’m about to share the truth with you!

Your eyes take tiny photographs of the page (called a ‘fixation’) and then jump to the next photograph (the jump being called a ‘saccade’).  Without controlled technique, the truth is that our eyes jump forwards, backwards, skip lines, and even go off the page!  It’s a bit like trying to decipher someone’s phone call when they’ve got an intermittent signal.

You can just imagine how confusing this is for the brain, and therefore why so many people find reading such hard work – it is!

The Quick and Easy Solution

The quick and easy solution is to take control of the flow of fixations and saccades so that the data stream coming into the optic nerve is smooth, accurate, and flowing.  Not only does this help us read faster, it helps us read more accurately.  Reading more accurately increases engagement, concentration, and comprehension.  It’s win-win-win!

Can you see how this just keeps getting better and better?

All we need to do is turn our finger and eye into an optical scanner!  When you first learned to read, you put your finger on the page so that you could keep your place.  Back in the days when we still used printed telephone books, we still had to use this technique to follow the information from the person’s name to their telephone number.  With so much similar data on the page, this ‘tracking’ technique was essential.

Thus, it’s back to basics with a little bit of added panache: your eye needs a guide to read smoothly, accurately, and quickly.

Of course, there are posher ways to do this than using our finger.  On the ‘live’ programme, we give away lacquered Japanese chopsticks.  Their fine point and strong distinctive colour make them ideal as a reading guide – a bit like a Conductor’s Baton – picking out the key points!

The trick is to run the chopstick (or your finger if you’re caught out without your chopstick!) under the line you wish to assimilate at the fastest possible speed and with the highest accuracy.

And, as promised, it gets better.  You can use your visual guide as a metronome – setting the pace.  With a bit of calibration, you’ll soon discover how fast you can move the chopstick whilst ‘knowing’ that you’ve taken in and understood every single word.

What About Skim-Reading?

Skim-reading comes later, if you need it.  The technique I’ve shared with you is used by top editors, proof-readers, and legal experts where accuracy is essential.  You can have the confidence that you have read every single word and processed this thoroughly in your brain.  This technique not only builds competence, it also boosts confidence.  And, yes, it works particularly well for those with dyslexia.  In fact, my favourite testimonials have to do with dyslexics who have broken through into the joy of reading.

This technique not only builds competence, it also boosts confidence.


Want More?

If that sounds too easy, let me hint at a few further refinements:

  • Holding the book at arm’s length so that you get more words per ‘fixation’ – thus boosting your WPM (Words per Minute) without effort
  • Always reading on purpose so that you deep process the information to fit your outcome – also thereby boosting engagement and comprehension
  • Use highly focused natural light to help the fovea get the best impression – the photograph for the brain to learn from
  • Clearing your working memory before you start so that all your mental processing power is available to data grab
  • Using instrumental music to help the brain get into the ideal state for assimilation and for setting the pace
  • Using memory techniques like mind mapping to lock down the learning as soon as you’ve got it.

Tony Buzan’s book, “Speed Reading,” is an excellent introduction to this set of techniques, but there’s an even better way…

How would you like to attend a 3 hour Speed Reading practical session at Hotel du Vin in Poole?

By the end of the three hours you’d be reading faster with higher comprehension – in a way I can prove (yes, we measure it!)

What’s more, you’d also have a free Japanese chopstick with which to wield your new Speed Reading magic!

When I deliver this programme in the Civil Service, the cost per participant is £275 ex vat.  How about if we ran a taster for 15 people and moved the decimal place?  No, not that way to £2750 but the other way to £27.50?

Would that be amazing or would that be really amazing?

If you want to get on the list, message Lex on 0 777 8 221 222 or email

Come and experience the magic for yourself… and bring a friend – that way you’ll get two Japanese Chopsticks and you can treat yourself to a takeaway!