HOWARD BERG – World’s Fastest Reader

Posted by on Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 in Blog

Reported by Jacqueline Sinex

This week’s Rotary Club of Austin meeting featured many special moments, and a visit from guest speaker Howard Berg.

President Bill Davies called the meeting to order. Vlad Bahrencu led the pledge to the American Flag, a sneak peek to a special occasion in his life he’d soon be sharing with all of us. Ann Graham gave our invocation. Members, guests and visitors were greeted by President Elect Nominee Harold Benkoski and were introduced by Ken King.

The day was heartfelt with multiple Paul Harris Fellow award recipients: Meade Bauer (PHF +6), Michele Heyman (PHF +5) and Scott Rider (PHF +2). Michele also presented her daughter, Rebecca, with her first Paul Harris Fellowship Award. Congratulations to each of you!

Judge Lee Yeakel approached the front of the audience along with Vlad Bahrencu, to conduct an official ceremony swearing in Vlad as a U.S. Citizen. Vlad’s family and friends attended, and all members and guests applauded our new American citizen!

Judge Sylvia Holmes announced our upcoming Membership Soiree to be held on Thursday, March 12th at the Headliner’s Club. RSVP with Tillery Castillo.

Scott Rider invited members to attend a wine and craft beer party hosted at his ranch on Friday, March 20th, complete with games and “trash can punch”.

During announcements, Mary Reynolds shared information about the ongoing toy drive (accepting new toy donations) and the storybook-character themed event at Pecan Springs Elementary School to promote the kick-off of their upcoming summer reading program. Members are encouraged to volunteer to help kids from Pre-K through 1st grade enjoy the costumes, picture taking, and frame decorating.

After Fellowship, Tarby Bryant introduced our guest speaker Howard Berg, also known as the “world’s fastest reader”. Howard presented a program on how to increase productivity, and he cited that “Best learning comes from the best.” He is a Rotarian and current Secretary of a Rotary E-club outside of Dallas.

Howard said, “It all started in Brooklyn.” He is from New York, and as a child he felt that the “one consistently safe place” was the library. He attended college at SUNY Binghamton, while also working several jobs. He sought out ways to increase his productivity, and this resulted in completing his course requirements rapidly; for example, reading 48 books in only 3 days toward his science degree. He was able to complete both his degree in Biology and a 4-year Psychology program in only 1 year.

He shared several case studies of young students who have participated in his program to read and study faster. Most of them were younger than 20 years old and graduated college, law school, or post-graduate school so quickly that by the time they were in their early 20’s they were already securing successful careers.

Howard shared 3 main points of his learning program: Information overload, “waking up” your emotional state, and memory.

Point 1: The problem of information overload. We are constantly bombarded with an excess of information, and our brains struggle to process it. As tips to start teaching yourself to read faster, he shared these steps:

First, read the page of a book at your normal pace. Then, re-read that page with your hand/finger moving along each row and focus on following your hand/finger to read. Over time you will find yourself reading about 20% faster, collecting the information you need instead of concentrating on every word.

Point 2: The most important skill of all may be to recognize your emotional state.

Howard invited the crowd to participate in an exercise. Everyone stood and touched each of their shoulders with the opposite hand, then each knee, and then put a hand in the air, made a fist and said “I feel great!”

Howard explained that people, organizations, and companies need to be aware of both how they are creating emotional states (such as “I feel great!”) and of how they are extinguishing emotional interference (such as “I can’t do that.”).

Point 3: Memory. Most of us use visual and aural queues to remember things more productively than just reading the information. This relates to how one can better study subjects like math. While some students may not understand math concepts immediately or think they are “not good at math” it’s possible to explain it to them in a different way to allow their brain to pair visual and aural queues.

In another audience exercise, Howard presented a series of numbers, 1 through 10, with a picture of an object and a phrase that related that object to the number (for example “1 for pole”, “2 for shoes”, and “3 for tricycle”). This learning method was to make it easier for people to memorize an association of numbers.

We heard another successful case study about a man named Brad V. who was able to complete his undergraduate degree in college in only 6 months, while also learning Chinese in 3 weeks, so he could achieve his goal to be a traveling missionary.

Mr. Berg finished his presentation by sharing his desire to help kids and schools with potentially free/no cost programs that teach his learning method.

As the meeting concluded, President Davies shared that our next program would feature Joe Williams, Co-Founder of Keller Williams Realty. Wayne Courreges III led the Four Way Test, and the meeting was adjourned.

More About Our Speaker:


How to Increase Your Productivity by 100% With the World’s Fastest Reader

Howard Stephen Berg is recognized as the world’s fastest reader thanks to the cutting edge accelerated learning techniques he developed that turn information overload into information assets.

Respected internationally for his contribution to the learning process, he is listed in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records for reading more than 25,000 words a minute and writing more than 100 words a minute. Howard uses his talents to train you on how to stay on top of the information your success depends upon.

Howard is a graduate of S.U.N.Y., Binghamton where he majored in Biology and then completed a four-year Psychology program in one year. His graduate studies at several New York City colleges focused on the Psychology of reading.

Howard is the spokesperson for the SONY E-Reader along with Justin Timberlake, Peyton Manning, and Amy Sedaris. He is also a featured guest on Fox News, and Fox Business News with Neil Cavuto. He launched the 4G network for Optus, the second largest phone company in Australia.

Howard has appeared on over 1,100 radio and television programs including Neil Cavuto, Jon Stewart, and Live With Regis. His brain-based learning strategies have been hailed as a major breakthrough in publications like Forbe’s FYI, Selling, Men’s Health, Red Book, and Bottom Line Magazine, and have been featured in dozens of newspaper interviews throughout North America.

Howard has created more than 14 other accelerated learning programs including speed math and memory. Berg’s Time-Warner book, “Super Reading Secrets,” is in its 28th reprint, and Barrons books requested him to write a text for students. Howard’s Nightingale-Conant program, “Mega Speed Reading,” grossed over $65,000,000, and established him as a leader in brain-based learning. He is mentioned in a number of books as a leading expert on brain based learning and has been honored by over 9 books that track outstanding professional performance including, “Who’s Who Among Emerging Leaders, and 2,000 Notable American Men”.

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