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Straight Talk

Guest: Howard Berg ,Guinness Book of World Records Fastest Reader

Travis Miller: And welcome to Straight Talk with Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller. I’m Travis Miller.

Jimmy Vee: And I’m Jimmy Vee.

Travis Miller: And I’m super excited with this call today because I’m bursting at the seams, chomping at the bit here, to get as much information out of our guest as we possibly can, and I really mean it. I’m going to tell you who he is in just a second, but here’s the thing.

You know, over here we – you know, we create a lot of content, and people often marvel at the amount of material and content that we create. Writing books, articles, newsletters, blog posts, videos, etc cetera, etc cetera, etc cetera.

Jimmy Vee: That’s right, and everything you can think of. And to do that it requires a lot of input.

Travis Miller: Yeah. Literally. To output like – you know, it’s like aging beef. You know? To get like one pound of aged beef you’ve got to start with like three pounds of raw beef, and then it ages and they cut out the outside. Right? Well similarly, to get this quantity of content, for every pound of content we put out, we’ve got to consume like five pounds of information in order to get it out. To be prolific. Okay?

And in my opinion – I’m sure Jim agrees, we’re only partially prolific.

Jimmy Vee: Yeah.

Travis Miller: We’ve got a long way to go to be great. Right? So the trick to that is consuming a lot of information. Well, if you think it’s hard to write a lot of information, you ought to try consuming five times that quantity of information. It can actually become quite a burden.

Jimmy Vee: You actually go well, how can you possibly have the time to absorb all that and do all that? I asked that question. We’re going to answer it today.

Travis Miller: That’s the big solution we’ve got here with our guest, whose name is Howard Berg, and Howard has a very elegant and simple introduction here which is this. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, he is the fastest reader in the world. Howard, thanks for joining us.

Howard Berg: It’s great to be here.

Travis Miller: And you know, Howard, I should say probably, you know, more than just you know, as you call it, the carnival trick, reading very fast that I’ll let you expand on in just a minute – much more importantly than that, the fact that you can read fast is that you’ve actually developed a method to teach other people to emulate your skill.

Howard Berg: That’s correct. One of my businesses, we own a school, it’s an online school, and many of my students are completing high school in 2 ½ years with thirty to forty-five college credits using the system. We just had a nineteen-year-old pass the bar exam in California, and he finished college and law school, and he passed on his first top try. And to show it’s not a coincidence, his sister’s fifteen and she’s a first-year law student. His brother’s seventeen, he’s a second year law student. And his other brother is twenty-two. He’s an attorney and flight instructor.

You had another nineteen-year-old graduate with his master’s degree in math with a 3.97 graduate degree and a 4.0 undergraduate degree in economics, and we had another one who was twenty-two and became an English professor. And this is just an example of children using the tools we teach to adults. The tools don’t change. What changes as you grow older is instead of reading Harry Potter, you’re reading how to Google or how to – how do you Google ad words, or you read a book on how to use Photo Shop or Infusion Soft or any one of the many tools that we as info-marketers use to make money.

Travis Miller: You know, the reason I highlight this is because it’s so important because you know, you being able to do it is fantastic, and that’s great and that makes for an interesting bit on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno or something. But what I think most people care about is how can I do it, too?

And that’s going to be the focus of our time together on this interview and this program here, because you’ve actually got some life tips that you can share with people that they can use to improve. Right?

Howard Berg: Absolutely. You know, I have been on a lot of shows. I’ve been on about 1,200 shows, and it’s always fun, but I always enjoy more teaching people how to do this, because you never know who the next person’s going to be and what they’re going to accomplish because they got that extra information.

Jimmy Vee: Well Howard, I know you told us off the record here, but I want you to tell everyone the Guinness book accolade that you’ve received, how many words a minute or pages per minute was the record?

Howard Berg: It was eighty pages a minute, and it was between 25,000 and 35,000 words. It depended on the book. Some books have more words. Smaller print. Some books have bigger pages. So it wasn’t really the number of words as much as how fast could you turn the page and look. And I found a page and a half a second was about as fast as you could reasonably go through something and actually know what you read.

How do we know? Because Regis and Kathy Lee gave me a book on going to the movies that hadn’t been published. They said you’ll read it and tell us what it’s about, and when I got there they said we changed our mind. The writer’s coming to test you. So I had to memorize the book in twenty minutes. I read it four times. It was an encyclopedia of movies. Every three pages was a completely different movie. Had no continuity or story. That was – I was like this was great. It’s like a dictionary. And I got 100. They tested me for fifteen minutes. I got every question right.

Travis Miller: [Laughter] You’re a maniac.

Jimmy Vee: Holy moley!

Travis Miller: So it’s interesting, though. So what you’re saying is that the part that slows you down on the reading is the page turning and looking. Not really the number of words on the page.

Howard Berg: Yes. Yeah, the words is really not the issue. You could read a page as fast as you can look at it, but of course, that’s the highest level possible. Realistically a normal person could expect to go 100% or more in about 2 ½ hours time. That would be a very realistic goal. Breaking the world record, not as much.

I had a woman in New York about fifteen years ago reading six words a minute. Now the range of normal reading is 150 to 400. So six is a little slow. [Laughter] And she was upset because she didn’t take the world record in four hours and I said it was good that she set high goals for herself, but she probably was stretching just a little too high this time. To go from six words a minute to the world record in four hours. I said if you could do that, it wouldn’t be much of a record.

Travis Miller: [Laughter] That’s right. That’s right. You know, some of your material I was looking at, you say that reading the road in a car at seventy miles per hour is actually easier than reading a book at 200 words per minute. What do you mean by that? Why is that?

Howard Berg: Could you say that again? I didn’t hear you.

Travis Miller: Yeah well, maybe I’ll fax it to you and you can read it. Maybe that would be quicker. [Laughter] You said that reading the road in a car at seventy miles per hour is easier than reading a book at 200 words per minute.

Howard Berg: Yes, and this is an important point, because understanding the difference between reading the road and reading a book helps us to understand why we read so slowly and how to fix it.

You know, driving in a car, we’re reading in four directions. The front, back, left and right. When we’re reading a book, we’re reading in one direction because the book is right in front of us. And when we’re in a car, we’re also monitoring our odometer, our gas gauge, we’re reading instructions. We’re often so bored doing all that we turn the radio on. We talk to our friends. We make cell calls. So the fact that ––

Jimmy Vee: We play video games and watch DVDs. [Laughter]

Howard Berg: Yeah. Yeah. And some people are drinking coffee and putting on their makeup. Not guys necessarily, but you see all kinds of things going on in cars, and it’s so much data going on, you think their brain would be overwhelmed when you compare what you’re doing at 200 words per minute in a book. And yet riding in a car and talking on the cell phone is easier. And the reason is simple.

When you’re in a car, your brain sees and processes the data as a movie. It’s visual. It’s analog. You take it all in at once. When you’re in a book, there’s a little person in the back of your head pronouncing one word at a time. You’re hearing the page with your eyes. You’re digitalizing it. And that’s what slows us down. Like using your eyes to hear, which is digital. Music takes time to listen to. Paintings are instantaneous. A book is a painting made out of pictures called letters, and we should be processing it visually, not auditorially. And by learning how to do this - it takes about 2 ½ hours – a normal person can increase their reading rates by at least 100% very easily.

Jimmy Vee: Now Howard, that’s very interesting and I understand the concept completely. Makes total sense. I am a audio learner all the way. I like to listen to things and I retain a lot better when I listen. So being an auditory learner, when I read I definitely am hearing what I’m reading. So for a guy like me, is that a stumbling block for a program like this?

Travis Miller: Yeah, you’re disqualified. [Laughing]

Howard Berg: No, no. Not at all. People who are auditory or kinesthetic will still be able to double or triple their reading speed very easily. Now when you’re talking about going to the world’s record, reaching the highest level of a page and a half a second, then it would be a problem.

Jimmy Vee: Okay, well that’s not my goal so.

Howard Berg: No, it’s not a realistic goal, nor is it a goal people should have. See I think people focusing on the wrong thing with reading anyway. It isn’t about reading. It’s learning. And as I mentioned to you guys before we started, we’re more interested in how fast you can learn something. I did a four-year site program. In my senior year I took six science courses a term, and I did a whole four-year program in a year. I did a graduate course in educational psychology in seven hours. This was a full semester. And I took an advanced placement test which was a six-hour test in fifty minutes and got a B+. One of my associates got his bachelor’s degree, one of my students, got his bachelor’s degree in six months. He went to Thomas Edison, which is Rutgers’ extension program. And using this system he was able to do several classes a week. Took him six months to get a four-year degree. And that’s not typical or common. Typical in our schools is kids doing college in two to 2½ years, and that’s very, very typical. Many of our kids graduate high school with forty, forty-five college credits.

Now not everybody wants to do that, but what they do want is to learn. I’ll give an example. I got an opportunity last spring to do a free cruise to Hawaii with my wife. The cruise line said we don’t want speed reading on this cruise. We want Photo Shop and digital photography, and that’s no my area. I mean, I know how to learn fast enough. I’m not a digital photography expert. But nevertheless, I knew with my skill I could do it.

And in ten days I read ten books on Photo Shop, and I did a cruise and gave four one-hour workshops to photographers. And they’ve invited me back for a free cruise whenever I want. Now if you’re familiar with Photo Shop, it can take a normal person anywhere from one to three years to get competent at it. And I had ten days to be able to teach this to professionals.

Travis Miller: Tell me about that. So going back to the types of learning as Jim was bringing up. How does that – you know, how does that affect the situation? Tell us about those types of learning.

Howard Berg: Well, there’s actually different kinds of learning. You might – the first kind of learning is called literal, the second kind is called implied, and the third kind is called inferential. And here’s how we teach this in our school, because it’s really simple.

We use a dime. Everyone listening has seen a dime. And if I ask you guys literally tell me what a dime looks like, what would you say?

Travis Miller: I’d say round, silver, thin.

Howard Berg: Good. And that’s a pretty accurate statement, and how interesting was it?

Travis Miller: Not.

Howard Berg: Not very interesting. That’s how most people learn. They learn the words on the page, they don’t know what they’re looking for. They don’t know what to do with it when they find it. They’re just learning the words – and it’s boring.

We’re going to notch it up to the implied level of learning. Tell me something you could do with a dime other than spend it as money. And to give an example so you know what I’m talking about, you can use a dime as a screwdriver. What else could you do with a dime?

Jimmy Vee: Table leveler.

Howard Berg: Yes.

Travis Miller: You could scratch off lottery tickets.

Howard Berg: Yes.

Jimmy Vee: You can stack them and make castles and little bridges.

Travis Miller: You could eat them and stop yourself up. [Laughing]

Howard Berg: I had one – that’s one I hadn’t heard before. I was in New York and I heard someone say well, if you’re being tailgated on a highway and you fling a handful of dimes out the window, it’ll shatter the windshield.

Travis Miller: Oh, my gosh. [Laughing]

Howard Berg: But they said quarters are more effective. Well, it costs more. That wasn’t the reason I moved out of New York, but that’s – did you notice what happened? We ratcheted it up. Your brain shifted gears. You weren’t thinking what does it look, you went to what have I done with a dime. What have I seen done with a dime. What might I consider doing that I never thought about before. It was more interesting. There was some creativity. There was some emotion. There was some visualization. The brain got more involved. Now we’re going to go to the high level.

Travis Miller: And what was the first kind of learning?

Howard Berg: First was literal.

Travis Miller: Literal.

Howard Berg: It was just words on the page.

Travis Miller: And this was implied. Right?

Howard Berg: Implied is just the stuff that you used that you know already.

Travis Miller: Okay.

Howard Berg: Now we’re going to go to inferential which is what people really need to do when they’re learning for business. When they really need to learn something and understand it.

There’s actually a story behind the dime, and it’s called the dime story. Who’s on the dime? Roosevelt. Why is he on the dime? Well, when he was thirty-eight, he caught polio and it almost killed him, and he became the first President to serve from a wheelchair.

Back when he was President, 13% of the population had polio. That was one in eight children. And there was no cure. So he started to raise funds for polio by throwing birthday balls every year on his birthday. And he started the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. But even with his help, it wasn’t enough money.

Along came Eddie Cantor. He was a famous radio host and Vaudeville singer and comedian, and on his national show he said send your pocket change to the President. And he had friends. Friends you may have heard of. George Burns. Gracie Allen. Al Jolson. Famous entertainers at that time. And they also had radio shows. And they all told their audiences to send their pocket change to the President.

Soon dimes started rushing to the White House. 2.6 million dimes which was a lot of money back then. And they took those dimes and Jonas Ark was able to use those dimes. In fact, Eddie Cantor coined a phrase March of Dimes to Washington. That was where the March of Dimes came from.

Travis Miller: Okay.

Howard Berg: And these dimes found the cure for polio, so when Congress decided to get rid of the mercury-head dime, who better to put on the new dime than Franklin Roosevelt, the March of Dimes, to help find a cure for polio.

Now if I asked you tell me something about the dime, what are some of the things you could tell me now?

Jimmy Vee: I could tell you so much now.

Howard Berg: You could talk about polio.

Travis Miller: Of course.

Howard Berg: And Roosevelt. Cantor.

Jimmy Vee: Al Jolson. March of Dimes. Radio shows. Pocket change.

Howard Berg: You could write a report right now. No trouble. No memory. No special tricks. What we did – and this is what’s important for our listeners – is we did three things. We made it interesting, we made it meaningful, and we made it significant. And for people that are in info-marketing, these are very important points.

See most of us in info-marketing were focusing on the marketing, which is what we should focus on because that’s where the money comes from. But the info part is important, too. What would happen if we were able to learn more, not just learn more but make it easier for the people who learn our techniques and read our information – for them to learn quicker and faster, and retain better, and recall with less effort. What would that do to our return rates? They would go down. What would that do to repeat clients? We’d have more of them because they’d be satisfied that they were getting what they came for and then some.

So it’s very important in our industry to learn not just how to learn faster for ourselves so that we have more data to create products with, but to make the products we create brain friendly so people can actually use them and apply them with less stress and more success.

Travis Miller: Okay. Good.

Jimmy Vee: That’s awesome.

Travis Miller: That is very important.

Howard Berg: May I say something that would be also very significant?

Travis Miller: Please.

Howard Berg: One of the key things missing in info-marketing, it’s a big blind spot, it’s state management. The state that you’re in when you learn is the state that you need to be in when you are using the information. Let me explain what I mean by that.

When the army trains people to stay safe, they actually shoot live bullets at them so that they’re terrified. So when they actually have live bullets being shot at them, they are able to remember what they learned. If they hadn’t learned how to protect themselves sitting in a classroom and sipping hot cocoa, then when someone shoots bullets at them, they wouldn’t remember anything. They’d be too scared. The police do this in training people in simulations. The fire department. Everyone trains in these important departments in situations that create the emotional state that they’ll need to use to use the information.

Well, we don’t do this in info-marketing. When you think about how many times you got nervous or frustrated or tired, and what did that do to your performance? What happens when someone is learning the product or service and they get frustrated or tired, or confused, and they get in a negative state? What are the negative states that are keeping people from using their products successfully? And what are you doing to prevent that? And what are the positive states that people need to be in to make sure they can use the products successfully? And what are you doing to create that?

These aren’t small problems. They account for a lot of returns and frustrations we experience with our clients. So by learning how to create emotional states, we can create higher customer satisfaction. So these are just simple things, but you don’t hear about these things ever when talking about info-marketing. We hear about Google and ad words and we hear about Face Book and social networking, and screen pages, but nobody talks about the information in making it brain friendly.

Travis Miller: You know, in terms of learning – and obviously what you’re saying is that you know, it’s more important than just reading quickly. It’s to learn quickly. Right?

Howard Berg: Right.

Travis Miller: And you know, when you’re learning obviously there are different levels of learning, and we usually strive for it personally. We strive for the mastery of material. And that’s what we really want people to accomplish using our information, is to master the material as well. What kind of advice do you have for someone who’s trying to you know, actually wants to master material? How does what you say apply to that accomplishment?

Howard Berg: That’s a great question. I have a good answer. The program we have has four sections. Read, study, test and write. And the study section has a tool that I want to describe that we call ABCOQ. ABCOQ is a technique for targeting with laser precision what you need to learn. What we do is we have students or learners or info-marketers set up a table in word, a three-column table, and they put the first column is called header. The second column is called key points, and the third column is called reference.

Your five keys elements that need to be learned in any nonfiction study. And those five things are – we call ABCOQ. Which stands for abstractive terms, which is simple for the new words. The words that are underlined, bolded, italicized, special fonts, colors, they’re at the back of the unit in a glossary. The new words.

B stands for biographies, which means the new names. The people. C stands for chronology, which is numbers or dates. 1492 in the history book, or 3.14 in a math book which is Pi.

Travis Miller: Yeah.

Howard Berg: O is – you know the bolded headers that we use to separate the sections? We use that a lot in info-marketing to chunk. It separates each chunk from the next one. We make an outline of those bolded headers. And lastly, we make a list of questions.

Now this all gets written up in the three-column table, and in the first column you put in the words, the names, the dates, the headers, and the questions. Now this is very important. When you go back, what you’re going to do this time, in the middle column you’re going to put in what does the word mean, who is this person and what did they do? Why is that number or date significant? This is the four key points that you learned in that heading section of the text or of the product, and lastly, answer the questions.

Now the important thing is you’re doing it in your own words, and there’s a reason. During World War II there was a gentleman called Malcolm Knowles, and he helped win the war, and most people never heard of him. When women went to factories for the first time to work, it was a disaster. It was a disaster because they were told it would be a disaster. They didn’t know how to use tools. They wouldn’t be able to use tools. They believed it, and when you believe something it becomes self-fulfilling. His job was fix it quick because we don’t have anybody here to make the machines that the soldiers are using except women. He was sitting in a cafeteria and he heard two women and one woman said I don’t know how to use a drill press, and kind of cringed. And her girlfriend said it’s easy. Just like the mixing bowl in the kitchen. When you pull the handle down, instead of going through batter it goes through wood. And that was the solution. Everyone needs to learn in their own map.

A laminator became an iron, and instead of spraying starch on a shirt, you’re spraying plastic on wood. So what you’re doing here in the middle column is you’re explaining what the words mean – the people, what they did, the dates, the numbers, the key points, the questions – in your own words. In your own map. Now you own the information instead of viewing it for three or four seconds the way most people study. You have to think about it, find a relationship between what you have on your text and what you already know, and lock it in place. Like the mixing bowl and the drill press.

And now you own that information, and instead of you getting it five minutes after you put it down, you’ve actually learned, and you can retain it, and you can recall it.

And the interesting thing is, as useful as it is for learning, we had a group of eleven to fifteen-year-olds do a semester of college, sophomore college psyche. Lifelong developmental psyche. In one week they finished a thirty-chapter book using the system, and fifteen of the eighteen students passed the CLEP test which is an advanced placement exam for credits, in one week.

Well imagine not just doing it to learn the things you make the products with, but imagine using this system in your product so that the people who are learning are told precisely what they need to do to learn, absorb, retain, and recall the key points of how to market. How to set up a website. How to use Google ad words, whatever it is you’re teaching them, so they actually can remember and use it. What would that do to your numbers? How would that help you in terms of your profitability? That’s exactly what’s missing in info-marketing.

Travis Miller: Very interesting.

Howard Berg: That make sense?

Travis Miller: That makes perfect sense. Absolutely. Well, I don’t want to get into it, but you made a funny point about there’s too much emphasis on marketing and not enough emphasis on info. And a bit tongue-in-cheek, and you’re right, though. In putting more emphasis on learn, absorb, retain and recall.

Howard Berg: Well, we’re actually going to make more money if the people who buy our products actually learn what we teach them.

Travis Miller: Of course. Of course.

Howard Berg: And to make more money and become more successful because we made it easier. You’ve had teachers who drove you crazy. You know how painful those courses were. And yet others that made you smile, and you know how much more you learned in those classes. As info-marketing is, what are we doing to make our life easier? Most people focus on what we were doing in school, which is content. Give them good content. Teach it well, and they’ll be happy because that’s all people ever expect.

Well, what happens when you notch it up and instead of not just giving them the content, you insatiate that content with learning tools, so when people are done, they actually can use the information without all the stress and forgetting that takes place.

Travis Miller: Right, right.

Howard Berg: It makes sense, but we don’t do that.

Travis Miller: So how did you get started into all this?

Howard Berg: Well for me, it was – there were two starts. My first genesis was when I was a kid. I grew up in projects in Brooklyn. I know I live in Dallas, but you may have noticed I’m not a native Texan. [Laughing] In Brooklyn ––

Travis Miller: Yeah, I wouldn’t have pegged you from Brooklyn there, Howard. [Laughing]

Howard Berg: And they had a lot of gangs. And I hung out in the library. I found out very young that libraries are for gangs what churches are for vampires. They just don’t go there.

Travis Miller: Okay.

Howard Berg: And I got really good at reading because I spent a lot of time reading. I was at college reading level at sixth grade, which is very good. When I got to college and I studied science, I got fascinated by the brain in my junior year. Decided to do the four-year psyche program in a year. They said you can’t. You’ll have to take six science courses a semester. Frankly, you’re not smart enough. No one should do that. It’s too hard.

That’s when they realized no one ever told me how to learn. Not at school. Not at work. Nowhere. They’ll tell you what’ll happen if you don’t learn and why you want to learn and why you need to learn, but no one tells you why. You remember the words to I Shot The Sheriff, and you don’t even want to, and then you learn something that actually matters that could help you, and fifteen minutes later you don’t know the title of the book and who wrote it, let alone the material.

Travis Miller: Right.

Howard Berg: There’s got to be a way to learn things that matter the way we learn things that we barely care about, and there was. And so I spent that summer studying meta-cognitive psychology which is big word for how do we learn. How do we read something and actually remember and apply it in some way? And I learned how to learn. Went through the program in a year. Got an 800 on the graduate rec. exam in biology. I went through forty-eight biotech books in three nights.

Now that’s pretty high level learning. We’re talking biochemistry, genetics. Self-physiology. This is not Harry Potter. This is really reading things with great depth, very difficult. And I learned to do it and then I wondered whether I could teach this to other people.

And we started this school about ten years ago and we see these kids and the things they’re doing are amazing. We just had a young lady sixteen, she was valedictorian at Cedar Valley Community College and graduated high school three weeks after finishing college. She was number one in the college and number four in the high school. And things like that don’t happen in a normal person’s world. In my world, we see these things every day. Kids doing amazing things.

And I’ve been training companies. You know Tom Morante?

Travis Miller: Um-hmm. Yeah.

Howard Berg: Yeah, I’ve done several programs for him, with his dentist group. These are very demanding people. Dentists don’t have time to waste. They have to continuously maintain an understanding of what’s going on. If there are changes in medicines, or surgical procedures, or new way of fixing teeth. The time you spend learning your trade is not billable hours. The time you spend learning the trade is essential to doing it, so if you can cut that time in half and get better outcomes, you’re going to make more money. So I’ve done two trainings with them. They’re going to have me back not this summer, but next summer for a third one.

Travis Miller: That’s excellent.

Jimmy Vee: You know, that’s funny. You said reading forty-eight – you read forty-eight biology books in a night, and you said ––

Howard Berg: Three nights. Three nights. I don’t want to exaggerate. [Laughing]

Jimmy Vee: In what? Oh, in three nights. Oh, okay. [Laughing] And you said ––

Travis Miller: That’s far less impressive.

Jimmy Vee: And you said these books aren’t Harry Potter. I would say that is Harry Potter shit right there. [Laughing] That’s like – that’s magical. Forty-eight biology books in three nights. That’s pretty darned good.

Howard Berg: Are you familiar with Infusion Soft?

Travis Miller: Yeah. Absolutely, yes. We use it every day.

Howard Berg: A lot of us use it every day. Okay. Now I went to the info summit last, I think it was November, when Dan was doing info stuff in St. Louis, and by the time I’d gotten the books that came with the program – and it took me fifteen minutes to learn Infusion Soft in terms of what it did – and 2 ½ weeks to completely set up a shopping cart with forty to sixty day follow-up sequences, an affiliate program, an opportunities program, I had the entire thing up and running. When the first tutor from Infusion Soft contacted me to give me my first lesson, I had already completed everything that needed to be done to make it work. Squeeze pages and everything.

Now here’s a good example of what an advantage there is to being able to learn faster. A lot of people would have spent four to six months to get that going. I had it working for me and making money for me in less than 2 ½ weeks. And that’s money in the bank. And that’s – it’s not like a want to read a book. I want to make money. I want to be successful. I want to help people.

What I’m doing makes a difference. It’s not about reading the book. It’s about being able to do my job better and help other people do their jobs better.

Travis Miller: How big of a component of this is speed reading actually?

Howard Berg: Speed reading is a lynchpin, and I call it speed reading because we really have that unique spin, that unique selling proposition that this is something no one ever did before. When people think speed reading, they think back to Evelyn Woods, and I actually had lunch last week with the former President. He’s endorsed me, the founder of Sylvan Learning has endorsed me. We don’t teach the typical speed reading which was basically you had to read fast all the time, where you couldn’t read fast any time. Because it was done through a series of conditionings, and over a period of several weeks, several months, your brain started to process a different way, and you always had to process that way or you lost your speed.

My system is more on a way to learn quicker. To find what you need, to know what to use to learn what you need quicker and more effectively, and I’m less concerned with the speed. I’d rather have you double and have 100% understanding or close to 100% than have you quintuple and not understand anything.

And the emphasis on other programs has always been on how fast you’re reading, and mine has always been on how fast can you learn and use the information productively.

Travis Miller: Yeah, that makes sense.

Howard Berg: Does that make sense? And I’d rather see you – did I learn a course in educational psyche in five minutes? No, it took seven hours. I mean, that wasn’t bad, but it’s not five minutes. They learn Photo Shop in one day. They know it took ten days, but ten days isn’t three years.

Travis Miller: Yeah.

Howard Berg: And they learned Infusion Soft in five minutes. It took me 2 ½ weeks, or it could take six months. See the difference? And that’s what we’re talking about. I’m not interested in how fast I can read the book. I’m interested in how fast can I take that information and do something useful with it that I need to accomplish.

Travis Miller: And in addition to the reading element of it, what are the other – you know, what are the other parts of swift learning that people need to accrue?

Howard Berg: Sure. Well the study section is the analysis. It’s learning – if you’ve ever read a book, a calculus book, and it said this is easy. Everyone knows. It’s obvious. I don’t see it. I don’t know it. It’s not obvious.

Travis Miller: Yeah, I try not to read calculus books. Yeah, I know what you’re talking about.

Howard Berg: Yeah. It’s frustrating. First of all, you feel like you’re a total idiot because you don’t know what you’re reading, and then they tell you it’s easy you don’t know what you’re reading. What made it so easy – yeah, you spent the last thirty-five years teaching calculus. Calc it would probably seem pretty easy. On the other hand, if you’ve never looked at it before, there’s a whole lot missing.

And so what we need is a way to create an analysis. To look at things that don’t make sense and to break them down and figure out where am I in trouble, what don’t I know, how can I learn this.

A good example. The questions that we ask are critical to our learning. See, we ask why am I a loser, and why doesn’t anyone like me? What will you learn?

Jimmy Vee: That you’re a loser and no one will like you.

Howard Berg: I’m a loser. Right, and how would that help you?

Jimmy Vee: It won’t.

Howard Berg: Whoa. But what if you asked how can I be more loveable and successful? Now what would you learn?

Jimmy Vee: How to be loveable and successful.

Howard Berg: Okay, now what if you’re reading something and saying why am I so stupid, why don’t I understand this? What would that help you with? It wouldn’t.

Jimmy Vee: Wouldn’t.

Howard Berg: Make more of the trash. But what if you asked how can I learn this? What does this mean? Here’s a good question. What’s the next best thing that I can do now? The study section teaches you those tools to doing the next best thing. Now that you’ve identified something, you need to know and don’t know, how can you get to know it and know it quickly effectively. So it’s the ability to break down and analyze and understand.

The writing program has two sections. The first part is on templates that allow you to quickly create documents. I’m talking super fast. We’ve had people do doctorial dissertations in as little as six weeks. And I mention that because that’s the same level of writing as doing a book. And we had people do masters theses in as little as three weeks.

It’s like a Lego set. These same templates can be used for e-books, special reports, web copy. It’s just a matter of putting in your needs into the template. And it’s just one, two, three, it lays it out. You finish fast.

The second part is on flow. How do you get into flow? How do you keep flow going so that when you have a deadline? Have you ever had a situation where it was due today, and your brain just wasn’t working? It was sleeping, or it was frustrated and nothing was coming out that you could use, and you didn’t have any time to waste?

Travis Miller: Right.

Howard Berg: I show you how to turn that switch. Flip the switch to get in a creative state, state in a creative state, so you can actually accomplish what you need to do in a fraction of the time so you can get your writing done, and you put into your template.

And lastly, there’s the test-taking module, and that’s useful for people who have to take certifications. The people who have to continuously test out like doctors, attorneys, to show that they’ve maintained a certain level of success. It’s good for people writing info-marketing because it could teach them how to make quizzes and tests that can assess whether the learning is taking place so people will have a better sense have I acquired the skills I need to go on before I move to the next section. If they’re going to learn how to do it fast, and when you know how to take a test, you know how to make a test.

And testing is part of the assessing of the learning, and if we’re not doing that in our product, if we’re not assessing the learning, then what are we doing it for? How do we know anyone’s accomplishing anything? We need to do assessments.

So the nice thing about the program, this is very usual, it’s one of few programs where you can take it to become more productive in your business, and then share it with your kids or your nieces or nephews so they can be better in school. It’s very rare you see something like that. Where an adult and a student can take the same program for two completely different reasons and get the same outcome, then both are happy.

Jimmy Vee: What is the youngest age that you’ve taught this to?

Howard Berg: The youngest that I’ve worked with has been in Toronto, and it was the third grade and it’s not what I recommend. I usually recommend sixth grade and up. But there was a principal there, he told me his kids had college level reading, and they were in the three grade. Not college – eighth grade. And I said – I know in the United States eighth graders have third grade reading. In Canada third graders have eighth grade reading. I said I’m willing to do the program, but I’m not promising you anything.

Turns out these kids are reading five seconds a page, and it blew my mind because I tested them and they actually retained and recalled. And it just shows you – and I said to myself, what kind of a future do I see for a child in third grade who could read five seconds a page and has all that time left in their life to do all that reading? What could they accomplish? And the answer is anything they want. Anything they want. Where’s the restrictions? There aren’t any.

That’s what life should be like, and that’s what we need in our businesses is info-marketing. We work with information. If we can learn more in less time, if we could absorb it and retain it better. If we could explain it or elucidate so that the people that we are sharing what we learn with our clients can use the information faster, better, less frustration, get into more positive states when they use it, and become more productive and successful our businesses will flourish.

And that’s why I’m here. Because I’ve found something that works that no one’s doing, that everyone in our industry needs and nobody knew about it. It was a blind spot. It wasn’t even on people’s radar, but it should have been.

Travis Miller: Yeah. Howard, let me just ask you a side question here. Why is it that you see people, speed readers, using their hands?

Howard Berg: Good question, and there’s actually several good answers. The eye is like a camera and remember we’re using it like a gear. Sometimes you’ll read and you’ll see a word that interests you and you go back and read it again because it was interesting. That’s wasting time. It hasn’t changed. Or we tend – some people have a condition called visual regression where they read things over. Like I – I see – I see the dog. I see the dog near. And they keep rereading and it helps their brain link.

When you’re using the hand, the hand becomes the baton in the orchestra. It’s the maestro’s baton that coordinates the whole operation of the orchestra. The hand keeps the eye focused in continuous freestanding text more like a visual camera and less like an ear. And it takes again about 2 ½ hours to do this effectively but here’s a trick people listening can do immediately.

Go to a book that has familiar material that you already understand. I want you to open up to the first page of the first chapter. Put your hand on the first line and go from left to right across the text and have your eyes follow your hand. And when you get to the end of the line, move your hand to the next line and do this again. Go as fast as you can understand and no faster. And what you’ll experience is the ability to go somewhere between ten and 20% quicker in about five minutes of practice.

And that gives you a sense of how much power there is in the full program, but at least it gives you a sense of what your potentials are, and you could actually see it happening rather than hear about it.

Travis Miller: Now would you say that a person’s sort of you know, their intelligence somehow plays a role in their ability to learn faster, and read faster?

Howard Berg: Obviously natural ability is a factor. Stephen who got his master’s degree at nineteen was a gifted person, but would he have gotten it without our help? Probably not. I think that we all have things we excel at. I have very bad handwriting. I will never be a good calligrapher because I have very bad handwriting. So books that involve artsy things that aren’t in my area are harder for me to understand because I haven’t got a map than books that are in an area that I understand.

However, there’s really two things at work. As adults we tend to read a lot in subjects we have an interest in and want to know more. As an info-marketer, I want to know more about how to write copy. I want to know more about marketing. And so I’ve read lots of things on this, but I want to read more. And I’m going to be able to learn those new things quicker because there’s a lot of familiar information there already. I know the words. I know the concepts, which is easier than having to learn all the vocabulary from scratch.

We’re really doing one of two things. We’re either using a map we have to fly through new information efficiently, or building a new map. To me, Photo Shop. I had absolutely no understanding of it. No background. No vocabulary. In ten days I became proficient enough to teach an expert. That’s an astoundingly fast learning curve.

Okay. Had it been say in biology or psychology, areas I know very well, or a lot of marketing areas, I’ve been on 1,200 shows, I’ve been on shows, I’ve written several best sellers, things of that type which I have a background in, I could do much quicker than something I know nothing about. So yeah, intelligence is a factor. Aptitude is a factor. But what is more important is there are no real limits. Whatever it is you can do, you can do it faster and better with the right tools. If you have to put a house together with your bare hands or with a tool chest, where do you think you’d get better outcomes?

And the same thing’s true of learning. If you use the right set of tools, you’re going to get a better product, a better outcome, than if you just grunt it through. You could grunt it through, but you waste a lot of time, and your outcome will not be as good as it should have been for the time you invested.

Travis Miller: Okay. Well, listen, this is very interesting. You know, and I really ––

Howard Berg: In fact, there’s a website – I was going to say there’s a website if people want to look at. It’s Howard Berg Presents. Is it okay if I give them some information?

Travis Miller: Please do. Absolutely.

Howard Berg: Okay. It’s Howard Berg Presents, and what we have is a complete learning program which is the ultimate learning program, and we’ve actually created a special offer today for the listeners. It’s the full set of DVDs, it’s six DVDs and a workbook disc. It’ll teach them how to read faster, and retain information better so they can get more information into their heads and make more products.

It’ll teach them how to write quicker and more effectively so they can get their copy done and create more special reports and products. It’ll help them with testing.

But we also have some special upgrades that are a bonus for the first twenty people. I’m going to be giving people a free one-hour wide video seminar on how to learn anything faster and better, that they can share with their customers. We’ll video it, so that will be something that they can use as a product, as a special bonus or a feature because they’ll be able to put it on their website.

And second, I will give them a free private thirty-minute lesson. If they want to get a free lesson, I’ll teach them how to do this myself live using Go To Webinar, and I’m also going to do an additional Webinar on memory and recall. A thirty-minute Webinar for the people that buy today or get the program, and so this is going to be something that’ll help them to be able to be more successful in their work.

And if they become an affiliate of the program, and they put that link on their website, then they’ll be able to sell the program and make their money back that they spent getting it and make a profit on it. So everybody’s succeeding at the same time. So again it’s HowardBergPresents.com, and Berg is spelled B E R G.

Jimmy Vee: So HowardBergPresents.com.

Howard Berg: Yes. Yes, B E R G, and it’s $131.67 a month for three months so it’s not going to be very expensive. I’m giving them 3,900 hours and three tools. Giving them a free video seminar which I’ll do specifically to them. So let’s say you got one of my programs. I’ll do a Webinar for you and your audience, and then you would be able to record that Webinar and play it whenever you want and show that to you customers as a gift or a bonus, and at the same time you’d be able to market the product and make some money doing it. So it’s a win in both directions.

Travis Miller: Well I tell you, I really like what you’ve done here to link the reading, but actually tie it to the payoff which is the learning. What seems obvious but I do think it’s probably missed, you know, a lot of times in the discussion about speed reading, and so this really is like sort of this comprehensive idea with listen, how much better can you be at what you do, whatever it is? Whether you are an info-marketer, or you have a small business of some sort.

Jimmy Vee: Exactly.

Travis Miller: You know – and you know, all the gravitational marketing is about educating your prospects, helping people find a better solution, using information to position yourself as an expert, as authority, a trusted advisor. And how much better could you be at that if you can consume information faster? That’s what I think is impressive about what you’re doing here.

Jimmy Vee: Absolutely. And if they can consume the information you give them quicker, understand it better, apply it more effectively, so they’re not just learning the information, but they’re learning it inferentially. They’re learning what they can actually do with that information to make their businesses succeed, and make more money in their businesses.

Travis Miller: Okay. That’s great. That’s very good. Very good package, and very modestly priced I think, if I understood it correctly.

Howard Berg: Yes. It’s just $132 – pull it up. I think it’s $131.67 for three months. So I know, you know, people today, you know, we have to be frugal, but at the same time we want to grow our businesses. So I wanted to make this as easy as I could for people. We have a thirty-day money back guarantee, and they’ll also get a free private lesson with me online as well as the workshop that we’ll do to their people that will allow them to have a product, they can productize that. They can use it as an incentive, as a bonus. A special feature. As a special report to draw people to their websites.

The world’s fastest reader will teach you how to learn anything in half the time, click here, and they come to their website.

Jimmy Vee: That’s awesome, Howard. And you know, everyone out there, you know, their may be – some people may be thinking frugally, but even in times of frugality, the best investment is in yourself. And this program, you know, more than many I’ve come across really can deliver significant and lasting benefits if you embrace this information, learn it and utilize it because it has the impact to really allow you to consume more, learn more, and produce more value. And the more value you produce, the more money you make period. And that’s it. I love this.

Howard Berg: I never think of cost. I always think of how much can I make with something instead of what it’s costing. Because if something’s going to make more money than it costs, then it’s a no-brainer. And when you can make more product and offer better products, and do what you’re doing with less stress, and get more done in less time for $131.67 a month for three months, it’s a no-brainer. If you can’t make that back, you’re in the wrong industry. [Laughing]

Jimmy Vee: That’s true. It goes back to your question earlier. You know, how come I’m such a loser? Or how much is this going to cost versus how can I be more positive and be more likeable? And being – you know, how can this – how much can this make me. So those are the – it’s the same dichotomy of questioning right there.

Howard Berg: Can I tell you a quick story. I have – I mentioned we had students. One of my groups, they live in the Sugarland area in Houston. This is a group of eleven to thirteen-year-olds, and they were taught this program and they wanted to start their own company. One of the youngsters in my group, her brother had Down’s Syndrome. So they decided they were going to do a nonprofit and raise research money to buy mice. Because it’s very expensive, the mice they use in the Down’s research. Extremely expensive.

So they created a felt mouse, they sent the prototype to China. These kids learned front page on their own. Built a website. We teach them public speaking. They went on FOX and NBC, and they spoke for Rotaries and Lions in the Houston area. In one year – remember, these are eleven to fifteen-year-olds – they raised $93,000 to Down’s research.

And this is the best part – they won the silver pyramid. In marketing the silver pyramid is the Academy Award. It’s the Oscar. And so you’re eleven years old, your first year of business you made $93,000, and you won the Academy Award. What made these kids capable of doing it? They learned how to learn.

Now learning how to learn wasn’t the whole picture. They knew what they needed to learn. They learned front page. They learned public speaking. They learned selling and marketing. There isn’t a person listening now that can’t do what an eleven-year-old can do, and there isn’t any reason why we aren’t doing it. We just didn’t know that we needed to, and now people know.

Travis Miller: Very fascinating. Howard, this has really been excellent. I thank you for spending your time with us, and your wisdom, and very entertaining.

Jimmy Vee: We appreciate you being here with us, and I’m excited. You know, I know Travis and I are digging into this material ourselves because we’re looking to at least double our income – our incomes, but also our consumption. Our income and consumption of information so that we can blast out more value to our members, all of our gravitational marketing maniacs out there. And also maybe Travis will give you a run for your money on the world record there, Howard. I don’t know.

Howard Berg: You never know. You know what? Nothing is more gratifying to a teacher than to have his student pass him by. That means you did your job well.

Travis Miller: Indeed. Indeed.

Howard Berg: So go to Howard Berg Presents. Howard Berg Presents. They’ll be able to get this program at a deep discount. We’re giving them $100 off the regular price, and we’re also giving them all those upgrades and bonuses, plus a free lesson. One-on-one with me. So I want to thank everybody for listening. I hope that they’ll take advantage of this opportunity.

Truthfully, we need to help each other. We’re all in the situation that’s going on around us, and if there’s something that I can do to help someone make more money, be more productive, then I think that there’s a responsibility to go out there and do it.

Travis Miller: I agree with you, Howard. I think it’s great. Alright, well thanks again so much for being here with us, Howard, and everybody who’s listening, of course.

Howard Berg: You, too.

Travis Miller: This has been Straight Talk with Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller. And I’m Travis Miller, the big idea guy.

Jimmy Vee: And this is Jimmy Vee, the five-foot high marketing guy. And always, we’re with Howard Berg. www.HowardBergPresents.com.

Travis Miller: And if you’re listening to this somewhere other than on our website and want to get more Straight Talk interviews such as this, or other information on gravitational marketing, check us out at www.gravitationalmarketing.com.