Stop Subvocalising To Speed Read

If you aren’t reading more than 400 to 500 words per minute, I’ll tell you why…

First, you need to purchase my Speed Reading Video Program, because what I’m about to say isn’t going to make much sense unless you know the technique of SPEED READING…

Once you have purchased it, you’ll understand that the #1 reason you haven’t doubled or tripled your reading speed is because you are still sub-vocalising.

That means you are still saying the words in your head.

Mindy wrote to me recently:

“I have recently purchased the speed reading videos and have been using them for 2 days only. However, what I found is that there would be sub-vocalisation when I try out your method. You did not address this issue in your videos. What should I do to avoid it as it is slowing me down.

Secondly, I am currently studying law and would be having my exams pretty soon. It is a closed book exam. As you would know, law is a subject that has plenty of sections and subsections eg. hearsay exception (s.116, s.114) etc. By reading it quickly, I would not comprehend it at all. I would need to read it slowly and for a few times before understanding them. That would beat the purpose of speed reading in the first place. But I can’t seem to understand them when I use your method. Trying to speed up would result in no comprehension as I have done.

I hope you could clarify these matters for me. I had high motivation when I watched your video but upon trying it, it seems to be demotivating me more and more as I don’t seem to make any progress. It seems that with speed, I am sacrifising my comprehension which is ridiculous. Please help. Thanks.”


How to stop subvocalising to increase reading speed

When you read, you are in fact saying the words in your head, that is called subvocalisation. To STOP doing that, you have to set aside some time when you can practice READING FASTER THAN YOU CAN COMPREHEND so that you can EXPERIENCE WHAT IT’S LIKE NOT to say the words in your head.

Mindy, you are not reading FAST enough for this to happen.

Yes, WHILE YOU ARE PRACTICING, you won’t be reading and comprehending very well, but you need to EXPERIENCE what it’s like for the words to come into your mind SILENTLY. Once you’ve experienced this, you’ll crash through the 400 to 500 word barrier like a steam roller down a hillside. It is THE breakthrough you need to have to become a real speed reader. The investment is worth it – if you don’t do this, you’ll never get beyond 500 wpm.

If you want to prove to yourself it’s do-able, watch this YouTube video that runs at 1,000 words per minute. The words COME TO YOU so it’s easier than on paper, but it proves YOUR BRAIN CAN HANDLE IT!

The FASTER you read, the more you can comprehend

Mindy, comprehension is enhanced with speed reading, but what you are trying to do is MEMORISE and REMEMBER stuff, which is not the same as comprehending.

To remember, recall and memorise things better, focus on the strategies in my eBook “Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort” and the BONUS “Speed Learning Video” that comes with it.

You’ve made the mistake a lot of people make – trying to speed read and speed remember – it doesn’t work that way.

How to remember more of what you’re reading

Mindy, I suggest you keep speed reading and then go BACK to the exceptions, precedents and special rulings and HIGHLIGHT them. You can then come back to these points in your pre-exam review.

Speed reading gives you the TIME to review and commit these to memory.

You’ve asked GREAT QUESTIONS and I know that when you apply my suggestions you’ll get breakthroughs – let me know how you go by leaving me a comment on this blog.

4 Responses to “Stop Subvocalising To Speed Read”

  • Hello Marc,

    Thank you so much for your study book and your speed reading video. They are both useful.

    I have the same problem of subvocalisation as Mindy and I would like to stop it. I have difficulties to stay focused on what I’m reading and I know I’m losing time.

    Could you tell me how to get my mind focused?

    English is not my mother tongue but I have to improve my speed reading in English as quickly as possible.

    Thank you so much, I have an exam and your book is really helpful.


    • Farida,
      You are asking two inter-related questions about speed reading.

      First, is the subvocalisation – it’s the easiest thing that’s hard to do. Just because you THINK you need to do it and it’s only when you STOP doing it that you realise you don’t need to do it. The only way to STOP sub-vocalising is to pick up a fiction book (not a text book!) and read as fast as you can – literally just go full-speed and keep going, slow, fast, slow, faster… keep pushing until you realise you’re not saying the words anymore – you WILL skip and miss a lot of words, but that’s not the point of THIS EXERCISE – the goal is to get to the point where you can READ fast enough that you simply CAN’T say the words in your head. This can usually be achieved within less than 1 hour of practicing this exercise.

      Most people don’t do it because they are anal retentive and WANT to read and SAY every word – you have to give up that belief system. That’s why it’s hard. Once you do, you realise how easy speed reading is!

      The second issue is about focus – the reason you’re struggling in English is due to a lack of grammar and vocabulary. I know the feeling. I am fluently bilingual English/French. Even though my mother tongue is French, I have a much more extensive English vocabulary. What that means is that when I am speed reading in French, I have to TRUST the system and process.

      Before I continue, you should know that I left Canada 10+ years ago, rarely speak French and read less than 1 French book/year to my close to 100 books/year in English.

      The process is that even though I might not get the exact meaning of a new word I am reading – I keep going. Within the CONTEXT of the page/chapter, I can figure it out… I have to trust that my brain is smart enough to weave these unknown words with the known ones so that WITHOUT searching for a dictionary meaning, I can extend my vocabulary – one book at a time.

      I have to admit this takes a lot of faith and belief as well as experience. It’s also assuming you have a good foundation in the language – I cannot yet do it in Spanish. I can speed listen, but cannot speed read in Spanish (yet!).

      Let me explain what I mean by speed listen. On a business trip to South America (Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile) several years ago, I was able to listen to meetings conducted in Spanish and Portuguese, listen and understand 70% of the words and while speaking English, engage with my hosts with very little difficulty. The key is to trust your intuition and let the vocabulary (and grammar) build by contextual association.

      I was able to do this several months later in Flemish, while attending meetings in Belgium – to the astonishment of my business colleague who couldn’t believe his eyes/ears. He even tested me, asking me to repeat what had been said several times. I was more than 90% correct, which for the discussions we were having (non-contractual) was sufficient to avoid the annoyance of constant translation.

      One last point – when you are speed reading – you have to be focused. There is no other way. If you are are losing focus, you are NOT speed reading, you are just reading fast. That means less than 500 words per minute. You have to be totally focused to read 1,000 words per minute or more.

      I hope that helps!
      Dr Marc Dussault
      Speed Reading Expert

  • Thank you so much Marc

    Actually I’m French also and I’m planning to move to Canada.

    I will try to practice first in French the speed reading to get my breakthrough.

    I have another question, How can we discover what we DON’T KNOW we KNOW. I have just seen your video and I realised that I was more focused on what I already know instead of what I don’t know I know.

    Thank you, in one week I am more organised in my work. It’s great.

    • If you’re French, you want to try speed reading in French because you will have your breakthrough sooner, faster, easier.

      As for what you don’t know you know, that’s a great question – I teach that to my clients on an on-going basis, it’s all about learning how to find distinctions and SPECIFIC characteristics that reveal what’s working versus what’s not. For example, if you tell someone about your good study habits, you might hear yourself say something you didn’t realise you knew. For example listening to instrumental music while speed reading

      That is why I published the instrumental tracks to my first album… So people can listen to the music without the distractions of the words and REINFORCE the positive message/rhythms…

      Onward and upward!

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