Your hidden voice, it’s a result of how you learned to read. During those years of learning to sound out simple words like C-A-T you also learned to speak whatever you read. “I don’t say everything that I read,” you may be thinking. However there have been those who study readers who have noted their vocal cords vibrating even when no audible sound was heard. So no, you may not be saying aloud what you read, but chances are good that you’re using what Stanley Frank, former Executive Vice President of Encyclopedia Britannica, calls your hidden voice, your voice that still pronounces everything you read as if you were reading aloud.

“So what?” you may be shrugging to yourself. “What’s the problem with using my ‘hidden voice’? I still read really well.” I’ll tell you what’s wrong with your hidden voice. It limits how fast you can read. While there are appropriate times to “subvocalize” what you’re reading, like when reading poetry, think, dense textbooks, jokes, dialogue & the like. Many if not most material can be digested at amazing rates when it’s read without using your hidden voice.

For now, don’t worry about that voice. Just know that it’s there. Reading seep caps “at around 900 words per minute when done with the hidden voice. 900 WPM isn’t a bad speed, either. It’s quicker than even the top students generally read. So, if you haven’t already, take the speed reading test #1 & then after reading my last article try putting into practice the suggestion on reading test #2 to see how much quicker you can read. Ideally you’d take the tests and practice speed reading in a book, but perhaps you’re reading this on an iPad or similar laptop tablet that resembles a book in that you can hold it and brush your finger across the screen as you read.

After doing those two little tests you’ll be excited to see that your reading speed instantly increases. You WILL have to practice the skills however if you hope to keep your new reading speed. Similar to any learning, you will need to spend some time each day to get better, but this should spur you on to practicing the skills mentioned in the other article. It may even excite you so much that you get into a speed reading class. Many online schools offer this type of education.

You can tell by your reading speed how effective you’re using your hidden voice. If you are reading at 200 – 400 WPM (learn how to track this in this article) you are most likely regressing back to previous words, reading many of them more than once. While some words should be read more than one, it’s a temptation to do this many more times than is necessary to read & understand. An efficient use of subvocalization & your hidden voice is achieved at around 400 – 600 words per minute. This is the place at which top students typically read…that includes college students!

When you’ve mastered the art of not regressing you will be able to attain reading speeds of 600 – 900 words per minute. This however is the point at which reading with your hidden voice tops off. Practice until you get to this point regularly and you’ll be ready to break the subvocal barrier & take off into the sky of Mental Soaring (a term used by the Evelyn Wood program & adressed in another article), reaching the great hieghts you were meant to as a student!

Comments are closed.