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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Review: The Speed Reading Secret

The Speed Reading Secret is a new release from my publishers, WCCL. It offers the eye-catching guarantee that it will triple your reading speed within an hour. Failing that, WCCL say, not only will you get your money back, but they will also pay you $100 for your trouble. The course has been prepared by the accelerated-learning expert Dr Michael Masterman.

As with many of WCCL's courses, The Speed Reading Secret is available as an instant download. Once you have placed your order at the website, you will receive an email telling you how to download the course material. This comes as a Zip file containing twelve MP3 files, along with six bonus items in the form of PDFs.

The course itself is a series of twelve audio lessons. Each of these is quite short: the longest (lesson 12) is around eight minutes, whilst most are about four. As per the guarantee, the total duration of the course is just under an hour.

The lessons can be played on your PC or on a separate MP3 player. As most include practical exercises, however, I'd recommend listening on your PC, with a book to practise on near at hand. Your practice book can be anything you like, fiction or non-fiction, but (Dr Masterman says) it should comprise text only. You could listen to the lessons over a period of two or three days, but my advice would be to set aside an hour or so and go through all of them in one sitting.

The lessons are delivered by a gentleman with a laid-back, US accent (Dr Masterman, I assume). They are accompanied by some low-key background music which helps relax you but does not distract from the content. The lessons follow logically one from another, and (as mentioned above) many include short, practical exercises. Time is allowed for these in the audio, so you don't need to keep on stopping and starting the lessons.

The course teaches a simple but effective method for improving your reading speed. I tried it myself, and was amazed by the difference using Dr Masterman's techniques made. I'm quite a fast reader anyway, but using these methods I was able to read extracts from my test book at least twice as fast. And that was, literally, after just an hour spent listening to the course and performing the practice exercises in it.

One thing that surprised me at first was that no written transcript of the lessons is provided. Having worked my way through the audio files, however, I think I can see the reason now. If there was a transcript, it would be very easy just to say to yourself, "I won't bother listening to all these, I'll just read the transcript instead." If you did that, however, you would probably not absorb half as much of the content, and you would most likely skip the practical exercises. Listening to the audio files virtually forces you to do the exercises, and I think you learn much better as a result.

In fact, though, you do get plenty of written material with the course, in the form of the six free bonus items. One of these is an 83-page guide, "How to Improve Reading Speed and Comprehension". This actually covers many of the skills taught in the audio course, and also looks in a little more detail at the important matter of how to avoid sacrificing comprehension in the pursuit of speed. The other bonus items include two speed-reading hypnosis downloads, a guide to improving your memory, and so on.

The full-price of The Speed Reading Secret is $39.95, but watch out for WCCL's regular special discount offers on the website.

If you need to learn to read more swiftly - e.g. for work or college - The Speed Reading Secret should equip you with the skills you require. And you can, of course, keep on playing the lessons and repeating the exercises to boost your reading speed still further.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great products, thanks putting together a review, Nick

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Rex Tang said...

Speed reading programs are indeed helpful if you want to improve your speed at reading. I've actually invested into a speed reading software and it was really worth it.

I've got what I've paid for and it made me a more productive researcher and writer.

12:19 PM  

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