- Posted: January 2014
- By: Jack Carroll
How to PhotoRead
One of the techniques which has been of great use to me for academic study, professional development and general learning is PhotoReading. PhotoReading developed by Paul Scheele is a five step process where you’ll not only by able to read quicker, you’ll process and recall the information at a far greater rate than before.
To do this you follow the steps which are below, but also get yourself in the ideal learning state for you. One of the ways to do this is the tangerine technique which is taught on the PhotoReading. Here’s a brief description, relax your body and hold an imaginary tangerine in your hand, visualise what it looks like, feel the weight of it and even smell it, now imagine moving that tangerine to the top back part of your head whilst breathing slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. Once you have done this close your eyes and imagine your peripheral vision widening while holding the image and the feeling of the tangerine at the top of your head, open your eyes and enjoy the relaxed yet alert state you are now in. This technique stabilises attention and creates the optimal state for the mind to connect with the text.
The five steps to PhotoReading are:
1. Prepare - State the reasoning as to why you want to read this book
- Get into the ideal state for you (see above)
2. Preview -Look over your materials briefly, content pages, blurb, book structure.
-Decide whether to continue or not.
3.PhotoRead -Once again ensure you are in the right state of mind, free from inner dialogue. -Enter the PhotoFocus state. To do this soften your eyes so that if you were to look at typical book you can see all the edges of your book, but the words on the text may seem defocused consciously, relax your physiology, and notice that as you turn each page you may see a blip through the middle of the page similar to how if you hold a finger out from each hand and softened your eyes and widened your peripheral vision you may notice a third finger mysteriously appear. This may take practice, but becomes much easier when you are in the right state.
- Turn each page at a consistent pace (roughly a page a second) whilst mandating the photofocus and alert yet relax state. One of the best ways to block out conscious distractions is to chant repeatedly relaaaax, relaaaaax, 4-3-2-1 as you turn each page.
-The PhotoRead is an unconscious process, you will not have a conscious representation as to what your are PhotoReading at this stage.
-At this stage we take a more in depth look at the book. Scan through the contents page and various pages again, looking out for trigger words that capture your attention. Write down each trigger word you see which feels right.
-Based on this trigger words and your intention for reading the book as whole formulate some questions that you know you need the answers to in order to get the best out of the material.
-This is where you will bring the material to consciousness.
-Give yourself at least 20 minutes break after this to allow the information to process, some recommend an overnight activation period including Scheele.
-Review your questions written down in the postview. -You have three main reading techniques to use during the activation stage all of which could have their own article. These are SuperReading, Dipping and Skittering. I’ll briefly offer a simple description of super reading and dipping where are often used in tandem. To super read run your eyes down the page whilst retaining a soft gaze and relaxed posture, your peripheral vision will pick up words on your left and your right, but keep the Rhythm as you may notice trigger words and sentences that capture your attention. As this happens feel free to dip into the text and a read a sentence or two until you have what you required from that passage and continue super reading until you have found it necessary to dip into the text again.
-Create a mindmap, the more colourful the better utilising key terms, images and any additional descriptions which are of use to you.
-After doing all of this you may feel that you wish for even more clarity on certain points made in the book, if this happens read the relevant section in your own time, but zip past anything you find that you know already, is not relevant to your overall purpose, this is called Rapid Reading and is a great way to gain clarity quick.
This is a very brief description to a simple, but incredibly effective learning system. Of course practice and more knowledge on certain parts of the approach is required to get really good at this. Hopefully this article gives you more of an insight as to what PhotoReading is and where you could use it. To learn more about PhotoReading I recommend both reading the book ‘PhotoReading’ by Paul Scheele and joining us at our live 2 and half day program where you will cover each stage in great detail. The end result is you leave the program able to PhotoRead a book an evening easily. For more information visit.