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Communicate. Don’t just READ. (ExecuRead Tip #2) November 5, 2014

Communicate. Don't just READ. When reading a book, memo, technical report or intelligence document, the roles of speaker and listener are reversed. You become the audience and the author wants to communicate with you. And there's an essential reading strategy for extracting maximum comprehension and retention out of everything you read.
Step 1. The author wants to tell you what he's going to be telling you. So, PREVIEW the material. Who is the author? What do you know about him? What other material has he published? What's the relevance of the title? Look at the table of contents, the executive summary, visual aids such as graphs, charts, maps and diagrams. Go to the end of the article and read the conclusion and summary. Then read the introduction. Now scan through the document and look for information that appears to link the introduction to the conclusion. You're attempting to identify the framework of the article. The preview serves to trigger background knowledge that you can bring to the article and the preview serves to stimulate curiosity to find out more.
Step 2. The author now wants to give you the information. So READ the material. But focus on the larger ideas rather than detail minutiae. You are adding flesh to the framework that you built in the preview. And larger ideas are easier to integrate into the framework and easier to understand. At the same time, this process is stimulating your curiosity to want more information. To want detail and data specifics.
Step 3. Let the author tell it to you again. So RE-READ the material. But this time, work on the details. They'll be easier to grasp and understand if you can see how they fit into the big picture. And repetition will enhance retention.
Step 4. Let the author tell you what he's told you. So POSTVIEW the material. Spend a few minutes reflecting on what you've learned from the reading. And if there are any areas, details, facts or references that require clarification, revisit them.
Of course, if you want to further enhance long-term retention and memory, start a mind-map / wire-diagram after the preview and add relevant information to this diagram after the read, re-read and postview.
And if you're concerned about having sufficient time to use this strategy, and would like to increase your reading-comprehension speed, give me a call. I'd be honored to help. Over the past 30-plus years I've helped thousands of professionals achieve a 3 to 10-fold reading-comprehension speed increase in just 10 training hours.  (Word Count : 423   |  Reading Time : < 1 minute)
Next Posting : Why do you read so slowly? (ExecuRead Tip #3)


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