England & Wales Personal and organisational development

Workshop: Speed Reading & Retention – Fast Reading Techniques and Memory Strategies


This is a highly interactive session that has been developed for Councillors, who want to develop their skills in speed reading and develop the ability to use memory techniques.

It is a very practical programme which will demonstrate how to use different reading styles in order to maximise the limited time that is available for review and retention of material.

During the workshop, we will be using a variety of different exercises and examples to show ways in which a reader can double their reading speed, without losing retention.

This will include strategies for reading at speed from tablets and screen including awareness of some of the programmes that are available online which can be used to learn how to improve eye/brain relationship.

Later on in the session we will also be exploring the way that the brain absorbs and retains information as well as looking at some interesting and pragmatic solutions to help minimise eye strain and to improve concentration.

Importantly, we will also be talking about strategies for understanding ‘dense’ documents – technical reports/legislation – which are typically harder to read. We will be identifying ways to analyse written information which are more about retention than speed.

This means that the programme features ideas around reading more effectively – not just reading information faster.

Delegates usually report an immediate speed increase of around 50% in their ability to scan a document for its main points.


9.45     Registration & Refreshments

10.15   Introductions, welcome and programme overview

10.25   How our brain works

10.45   Memory skills

11.45   Refreshment break

12.00   Introduction to mind mapping

12.30   Lunch

13.15   Principles of speed reading

13.45   Assessment of current reading speed

14.00   Different reading styles

14.20   Refreshment break

14.30   Eye guides

14:40 . Reading from screens and electronic devices

15.00   Reading for retention

15.30   Programme summary and close.


Miranda Smythe

The course is facilitated by Miranda Smythe from The Baikie-Wood Consultancy Ltd. who has 30 years experience in writing and delivering personal development programmes.

Miranda uses many of the techniques herself and is an exceptionally fast reader. She has also used some of the study ideas when undertaking her own learning and research and is committed to sharing these incredibly useful and practical techniques with others.

Who should attend?

This is a highly interactive session that has been developed for all councillors and officers who want to improve their speed reading techniques.