Increasing Your Reading Speed Using Schematic Clues

Schematic clues

Just what constitutes Schematic clues in text? Both nouns and verbs in text constitute its Schematic clues. Nouns offer information about the people, places, and things while verbs describe any actions that are taking place. The first step towards increasing your reading speed is to make a habit of looking for the people, places, and things doing the activities. Fortunately your brain is well suited for selectively filtering any information that you consciously command it to detect. Let me prove this to you with a simple experiment:

  • Take a look about you and make a mental picture of all the red objects you can see.
  • Look very carefully and make a detailed map of these items.
  • Next, close your eyes and picture everything around you that is colored blue.

Notice what you brain just did? It said, “Wait a minute, you told me to look for red, so how am I suppose to remember anything colored blue?” Your brilliant brain searches and finds exactly what you tell it to look at. The same thing transpires while reading. You must tell your brain to look for people, places, and things, and their actions; and it will seek and it will find them.

There are some very useful filters that instantly empower your brain with the ability to

spot important Schematic information. These are the same filters you were taught to use in school when writing. These filters are the questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

While reading you must constantly ask yourself these questions to get the following related outcomes:

WHO is this about

WHAT is this about

WHEN is this occurring

WHERE is this taking place

WHY is this important

HOW can I use this information?

A simple and effective way for remembering this information is to picture these key questions floating in your mind on cartoon shaped balloons linked to their appropriate data. The more visual you make your important information the faster you will be able to read and later recall it.

For example, if I read about Paul Revere riding his horse to warn the Minute Men about the impending British invasion during the American Revolution, then I would do the following:

  • I see Paul Revere’s name pasted on my WHO balloon,
  • I paste a picture of him warning the minutemen on my WHAT balloon,
  • I see him riding into the woods on my WHERE balloon.
  • It is during the American Revolution so I paste this on my WHEN balloon
  • He does this because he is a patriot so I paste this on my WHY balloon.
  • Paul is using a horse to accomplish his task so this gets pasted on my HOW balloon.

The following is a graphic illustration of what I am suggesting you do in your imagination:

Schema description

Now that you can easily spot Schematic clues you will learn how to use these clues to increase your reading speed.

Let me give you an example of how to use Schema to speed up your reading in unfamiliar material. One of the most successful books ever published is the “Power of Positive Thinking.” Other self-help book authors often use the structure of this book. First, there is a paragraph describing a potential problem. Next, there is a paragraph describing how to solve this problem. Finally, there is a 28-page story about someone who has the problem and successfully used the solution. Do you really need to read these 28 pages if you already understand how to solve the problem? Absolutely not! You won’t waste your valuable and limited learning time doing this either. Instead, only use this additional help if and when required. You will find a new zip in your reading speed with essentially the same comprehension. Next, we shall deal with the secret to maintaining an alert, focused, and positive cognitive state that is essential for successfully conducting business using Emotional Intelligence.