Photo Reading Personal Learning Course – Modelling Paul Scheele
Does Photo reading work?
For my NLP Masters Modelling assignment I chose to model an expert Photo reader, Paul Scheele. Although I did not expect to be perfect by the time I finished I did want to see an improvement in my reading speed and comprehension.
I already had the Photo Reading Personal Learning Course so it was just a case of working my way through it. The goal is to learn to photo read books in 5 minutes at a speed of 25,000 wpm (words per minute)
When I started, I picked the books “The Photoreading Whole Mind System” and “Natural Brilliance: Move from Feeling Stuck to Achieving Success” (by Paul Scheele) to get an idea of how long it takes me to read and make and improvement.
Before starting it took me 5 minutes to read 5 pages the old fashioned way of reading left to right and going back to make sure I’d read every sentence and understood it. This is the standard way that people read.
It is important to not be hard on yourself when doing something new and not feel pressured to get excellent results first time. Making it a game removes that pressure and allows you to have fun with the experience. The idea of photo reading is to get the information without having to see the words consciously.
At the start of the learning process I had unconscious incompetence (fear –v- excitement) and did not know if I could do it or how well it would work.
I started by reading 2 pages with a time constraint of 45 seconds (1500 words per minute). I didn’t get through it all and felt pressure and frustrated. I was experiencing Conscious Incompetence (frustration –v- confusion)
I prepared by stating my purpose ‘to be able to read quicker and absorb more information’ as well as ‘complete the process with results I could write up in a report’. Then the audio program guides you through entering the ideal state of mind by doing a guided relaxation meditation and using the Tangerine Technique of placing an imaginary tangerine on the back of your head and opening up your peripheral vision.
I had another go at reading the book I’d started and this time I managed to get through 12 pages in 5 minutes.
Then preview the book by ficking through and surveying it by looking for contents, bold heading, key trigger words. Then reviewing the book by writing the main trigger words and a one sentence summary.
For The Photo Reading Whole Mind System by Paul Scheele, the trigger words for me were: photoreading, reading, prepare, preview, photoread, activate, rapid read, state, tangerine, survey, dip, whole mind, integrate, group activation, synoptic and mind maps.
For the photoreading stage, the spine of the book was prepared by flattening it out by opening the book up and working into the centre from the edges.
I once again went through the relaxation exercise, counting from 3 (relax body) to 2 (relax mind) to 1 (imagine a flower/plant in a peaceful scene) and entered an accelerated learning state. Positive affirmations are made to accept the process and to learn something. Then I relaxed my eyes and went into photofocus and stared at the blip in the centre of the book and the white space, looking at the ‘space around the words’. The audio prgram then guided me through the book to make sure I covered it in 20,000 wpm, by flicking through the pages every 1-2seconds.
After photoreading it is best to take a break of at least 20 minutes or preferably overnight to allow ‘incubation’ of the information in the mind.
Understanding the authors scheme helps with activation and you can usually find it out from the contents, eg. Problem, main argument, solution.
We are also allowed to super read and dip into areas we find interesting. This is to understand the structure and allows us to retrieve eseential information to build a mental summary. Super reading is going as fast as possible over the text till something catches your attention and then dipping into it and reading a couple of paragraphs that answer your questions. Another alternative was to do skittering, where the eyes ‘dance’ over the page and stop to pick up the information needed. Skittering also gives the conscious mind ‘security’ in that it has not missed any words and spotted them all.
To manually activate the book I mind probed by going through some questions to answer. I did a comprehension test of answering 20 questions and scored 17/20 (85%). One question was a true or false, whether there was a story of a jeweller, I was certain that there was no mention. When I went to open the book to super read it again for activation, I opened it and looked at the very paragraph where it WAS mentioned! Had the mind, intuition picked this up whilst I’d been photo reading to reveal it to me consciously when I needed the answer?
Finally you can rapid read a book if you want to get more out of it. This is like speed reading where you cover the whole text from beginning to end, dipping in where you’d like to get some more information and then quickly moving on again, skipping areas that are not relevant to your purspose.
Starting from 5 pages in 5 minutes, to 12 pages in 5 minutes, then finished with reading Paul Scheele’s book at 20,000 wpm.
Photo reading does work and whilst I may not have full comprehension yet, 85% is a respectable score and my reading speed has improved. I can also get through pages faster now and know what I do want to read, may want to read and what I have no interest in continuing with further, saving me lots of time. Your mind and intuition can also guide you to the answers you are looking for once you have photo read a book, getting you the information you need faster.
I have moved towards conscious competence (not integrated –v- use successfully) and the next steps would be to practice and use photo reading more to get to Excellence and Mastery.