It is capable of swallowing 400 pages in less than an hour and a half. It is this feat that allowed Mohamed Koussa to be crowned speed reading world champion in 2017. Beyond his impressive performances, the former literature and history teacher now provides training accessible to beginners to read faster and better. He drew his own method from his experience, which he detailed in his book “Quick reading”, published in 2020 by Retz editions.
If he counts all types of profiles among his clients, many are those who want to read in order to increase their efficiency at work: “Today, everyone is confronted with infobesity. Faced with this overflow of information, reading more quickly is a way of distinguishing what is important from what is not”, explains the trainer.
#1. Create a bubble around yourself
Reading takes preparation. There are many stimuli that can capture our attention when it should be directed to reading. Among the enemies of the attentive reader, Mohamed Koussa cites in particular social networks, the mobile phone, but also his office colleagues and the work environment in general: “We live in a world in which everything is done to divert our attention. The concentration required for reading is greater than that required for the tasks of daily living. It is therefore necessary to operate a smooth transition between these two moments”.
To reach this higher state of concentration, the professor advises performing a breathing exercise based on meditation techniques for two or three minutes: “If we don’t take the time to make this transition, our brain will do it for us. The first minutes of reading are often more difficult because we have not yet reached our maximum concentration,” explains Mohamed Koussa.
#2. Read as a strategist
Contrary to the idea that a book must be read in one block, from the first character to the end, Mohamed Koussa proposes to act as a strategist. The trainer considers that speed reading must be combined with a form of strategy, and recommends using the technique of preliminary exploitation before moving on to reading itself: “It is often used instinctively by readers effective. The idea is to start by reading the back cover, then the summary or table of contents. We try to identify keywords that could awaken something in us. Then read the introduction and the conclusion. »
This method, which obviously does not adapt to fiction books, allows the reader to concentrate only on new information, and not to waste time on notions already understood. Mohamed Koussa also advises his students to spend a few minutes leafing through the books, always to identify any keywords that could then guide the reading.
#3. Don’t be afraid to take notes
“In France, we have a culture that tends more towards writing, unlike other countries that favor oral learning. says Mohamed Koussa. He recommends using this feature to better memorize the product of his readings: “By reading, we make our visual memory work. By writing at the same time, we make our motor memory work and we thus optimize what we retain”. Note-taking therefore has a double effect, because it allows better retention, while selecting the most important elements.
#4. Read with your body as much as with your eyes
To significantly increase your reading speed when faced with a text, the coach once again advises trusting your instincts: “When you’re a child, you naturally tend to read by following the text with your finger. It’s a good thing, because the eye has a rather anarchic movement, and we don’t necessarily know in which direction to look. So it’s interesting of him give a frame using a pen for example. »
This support also allows you to modulate your reading speed, by moving your pen faster and faster as you progress in speed reading. Once again, the gesture also makes it possible to combine visual and motor memory.
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Quick read: 4 tips from a world champion
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