Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics
Sometimes known as the Pioneer of Speed Reading, her first system about speed reading: Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics was published in 1959, and her seminars were popular throughout the 1960s. Her interest began when she was in University just after WWII and noticed that her University Professor could read and mark an 80 page term paper in less than ten minutes.
She was amazed to discover that he could actually read 2500 words per minute, though he couldn’t explain how he did it. She got to thinking that maybe there were other people with the same skills and began her search, finding 50 people over the next two years, of all ages and from all walks of life.
Evelyn Wood Speed Reading
She analysed their techniques and discovered that they read more than one word at a time, and their eyes glided easily and quickly down the page. They adjusted their speed to the type of material they were reading hence retaining and comprehending all relevant information. Evelyn Woods began to teach herself these same principles, and developed a system for teaching to others as she did it.
One of the main things which slow down the speed of an average reader is that they sub vocalise, or read each word individually. When we first learn to read as a child we are told to read out loud, so that the teacher can check on our progress and we can practice making the correct sounds of the word on the page. As we progress with our reading, we are then told to read to ourselves, which we do by reading each word silently in our heads, and often mouthing the words as we go along.
Evelyn Wood realized that this slows down reading, as it is only possible to read as fast as we can speak, when in fact we should be able to read as fast as we can think. People who have a faster reading speed remember more of what they read, because they generally have more concentration and comprehension, they read at their natural thinking speed.
She also advocates the use of a pointer to help with the speed of reading, to avoid eyes from wandering and the re-reading of words.
Evelyn Woods Reading Dynamics course has been popular all around the world, and was studied by John F Kennedy and many other important figures as a method of reading and remembering information from thousands of words per minute.