Speed Reading Techniques: Increasing Reading Speed Using a Pacer

The BEST way to increase your reading speed and stop regression, which occurs when you reread the same material, is to use your hand as a pointer.   Regression is usually due to faulty eye movement that occurs while reading. This section of this guide will help you to eliminate regression!

The main tool that we will be using to eliminate regression is called a pointer.  A pointer is simply a reading accelerator that redirects your focus along the lines of the text.  Basically, a pointer will guide you as you read.  The pointer and your eye should follow each other as you read.  In this chapter and the next chapter, I will introduce several methods that have been successfully used as pointers. Your goal should be to practice each method and see which one you are most comfortable with.

Why Use A Pointer?

As humans, we are equipped with the best speed reading accelerator and yet many people do not use it at all.  The wonderful thing about using your hand as a pacer is the fact that it is always with us.  Unlike a ruler or a pen, we cannot misplace our hands which make it the best tool to increase your reading speed.

Due to the fact that your eyes have to focus on each word individually, they move in bumpy movements.  For example, imagine driving a car when you are stopped at every stop sign on your way home.   This is the same phenomenon that occurs when you are reading.  Given this information, the fastest you can go by reading word-by-word is around 250 words per minute.  Due to the fact that it takes our eyes a quarter of a second to fixate on each word, you will be reading around 4 words per second or around 240-250 words in 60 seconds are a minute.  More than likely, you are affected at times by regression and thus the average reading speed is more like 220 WPM.

With a pacer you are not giving your eyes a chance to stop and refocus, instead you are teaching your eyes to follow the pacer and read at that speed. 

The Most Common and Best Pacer!

To use your index finger as a pacer just follow these instructions:




Begin by pointing your index finger


Place the tip of your index finger just below the words you are reading.


Move your finger at the same rate as your reading speed from line-to-line


At the end of each line, lift your hand slightly above the text and bring it back to the beginning of the next line where you will repeat the process again.

It is very important that to read and move your index finger at the same rate.  At first this method may seem a bit childish or you might be a little embarrassed to do it but this is the method that the fastest readers in the world use.  If you are serious about increasing your reading speed then you will make this a habit and use your finger as a pacer every time you read.  The rule here is very simple, the more you use your finger as a pacer the more you will increase your reading speed.  Many students have doubled their reading speed using this method in the first week alone.  If you are experiencing faster reading speeds by using this method then you are doing something wrong.  Make sure that you are not just sliding your finger from left to right without reading any of the words.  As stated before, the word that you are reading should be the same word that is above our index finger!

This is the most simple and possible the most effective pointer. It is very easy to master and will enable you to increase your reading speed as you get better.  You should spend several minutes a day reviewing this method because it will really boost your reading speed.  Some people might take several days to master this technique and in that process that might increase lower reading speeds.  Nevertheless, this method is worth putting your time and effort into because you will be using it though out this course.  Your goal at the end of this guide could be to read as fast as you can wave your finger in the air.

After several times of practicing this technique to make sure you have the right form, you should take a practice reading test by using your finger as a pointer.  If you continue to use your finger as a pointer you will realize how much it is helping you and you will find it very difficult to read without it.