Imagine being able to read twice or even three times as fast as you read now. Wouldn’t reading suddenly become a whole lot easier? Because of the way we are taught how to read, our reading speeds are well below what they could be.
Here is some inspiration for you:
13 year old reading 13,000 words a minute
Our Speed Reading and Learning Specialist
|Michael Tipper is our guest in this Speed Reading interview. Starting off with what he thought was a very bad memory, Michael has worked his way up over the years to becoming a specialist on speed reading, memory and learning.|
Have any questions as a result of the interview? Leave them in the comment section.
Table of Contents
In this section the separate questions are presented as audio. Below the recording there are bullet points with what I found the take aways. Use this section if you want to hear specific parts.
- Speed reading and society/education
- About Speed Reading
- What is the relation between reading speed and comprehension of the material? (3:09)
- Do you know that feeling that you read a name and are not able to articulate it after reading? (2:38)
- Would you recommend speed reading to everyone? (3:01)
- What are related skills, and should we learn them together? (2:06)
- Where do you advise people to start? (1:53)
- Michaels experience
- What are your favorite books? (4:03)
- The realization that there is a lot of capacity left unexplored is something you share in your presentations. Does that realization expand to other fields as well? (2:22)
- Do you have a golden piece of advice? (4:26)
- Do you believe language precedes thoughts? (3:02)
- Last pieces of advice
- Afterthoughts (1:56)
Audio and main points
Could you give a short introduction of you, your background and what it is you do?
- Michael Tipper
- Specialist in memory development, speed reading, mind mapping, accelerated learning and creative thought
- Personal productivity and effectiveness
- All about how the mind works and how to get more from it
- Interest started out of personal issues with memory
Why do you prefer the title specialist over expert?
- Constantly learning
- Always finding better ways and techniques
How did you end up as a specialist?
- Learning about memory flipped the switch
- Started off not knowing that memory and learning could be optimized with techniques
- Realisation that memory, reading speed and learning speed are not inherent
What is the significance of reading in our digital society?
- It will never lose its significance
- Other media are gaining importance too (e.g. video)
- Concentration and attention span are much lower due to our instant information society
- Finding what you want to read is even more important that reading fast
- Our education system limits our reading speed to a fraction of what we could do
- You need to develop the dicipline to not get sidetracked while reading
Is speed reading an innate ability or can it be learned?
- We all have the innate capacity to learn to speed read
- Our schools teach us to read in a way equivatent to tying our legs together
- You’ve never been told that you can read much faster, thus it is all you know
- The brain can take in information very very quickly
- The biggest challenge is overcoming the belief that you are reading as fast as you can
How does the education system cripple us?
- It is not on purpose, but the methods are old
- The education system is at fault for not using the new information available
- I can read at least twice and often 3 to 5 times as fast as other readers
- Teachers don’t understant it, and thus assume students won’t get it either
- There are too many philosophies, like “what is the best diet”
- The problem doesn’t hurt enough to be solved, like for example the case is with obesity
What is the relation between reading speed and comprehension of the material?
- Michael reads 700-2000 words a minute
- Reading and comprehending is different from reading and remembering
- Most people don’t remember the text by the time they finish it. Often because they read too slow.
- What we expect to do when we read and what we actually do it often different. We are not taught to remember what we read. We were just taught to convert words to sounds.
- All we do is read and understand, to remember you need to go through the step of remembering
- Comprehension does not equal memory
Do you know that feeling that you read a name and are not able to articulate it after reading?
- Michael has the same challenge
- The brain likes taking shortcuts, it will recognize the shape of the word as a name but not convert it to sound.
- It has advantages and disadvantages based on why you are reading
Would you recommend speed reading to everyone?
- It is criminal how we are taught to read at school. We can read 6, 7 or even 8 times faster than we are taught
- We should educate the educators
- Speed reading should be ingrained in society
- On an individual basis it is highly recommended if you have trouble with the amount of reading you have to do
- Changing a skill you’ve had for years will require some effort and frustration
What are related skills, and should we learn them together?
- They are taught as separate skills but go well together
- Depends on your goal with reading
- Speed reading is a deceptive term, “effective reading” is much more accurate
- “Better” reading or learning depends on your definition. You need a toolkit
Where do you advise people to start?
- Don’t start with speed reading, start with the skill of finding what you want or need to read
- Start with learning to define your goal and finding what readings are really needed to attain that goal
- For processing information, use mindmapping
What are your favorite books?
- Inspiration: Jonathan Livingston Seagul
- Self-improvement: The magic of thinking big
- Classic: Think and grow rich
- Recent reads: The war of art, Do the work, Take the stairs, Start with why
The realization that there is a lot of capacity left unexplored is something you share in your presentations. Does that realization expand to other fields as well?
- In the case of memory you just need to learn how to use it
- Most people believe they have a poor memory, which Michael disproves using exercises in his presentations
- If your beliefs on memory are wrong, many more must be wrong
Do you have a golden piece of advice?
- Get very very clear on what your goal will look like when it is achieved
- Know what is tastes like, looks like and feels like clearly in your mind
- The mind is a goal seeking mechanism
- Goals based on generalizations and vague terms get generalized and vague results
- After that, do whatever it takes until you have achieved that goal. Within moral, legal and ethical boundaries of course
- Sometimes achieving your goal is really hard work
- Don’t try, only do
Do you believe language precedes thought?
- The deeper levels (reptilian) levels of the brain responds first
- The mammalian brain (level above) will respond with feelings
- The cortex (outer layer) responds in language
- Systems in the brain go both ways, so language can also influence the deeper levels
- For some understanding language is not required
- There is a lot of information out there
- Enjoy life, learn to love yourself
- Don’t become a “student of success”, don’t just read things but do them
- Find some ideas and apply them
Interview as a whole
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