1. Read only the first sentence of a paragraph.
If your author is good author, he or she will begin each paragraph with a key statement that tells you what that paragraph is about. By reading only the first sentence, you can determine if the paragraph has information you need to know.
If you're reading literature, this still applies, but know that you may miss details that enrich the story. When the language in literature is artful, I would choose to read every word.
2. Skip to the last sentence of the paragraph.
The last sentence in a paragraph should also contain clues for you about the importance of the material covered. A last sentence often serves two functions -- it wraps up the thought expressed and provides a connection to the next paragraph.
3. Read phrases.
When you've skimmed first and last sentences and determined the paragraph is worth reading, you still don't need to read every word. Move your eyes quickly over each line and look for phrases and key words. Your mind will automatically fill in the words between.
4. Ignore the little words.
Ignore the little words like it, to, a, an, and, be -- you know the ones. You don't need them. Your brain will see these little words without acknowledgment.
5. Look for key points.
Look for key points while you're reading for phrases. You're probably already aware of the key words in the subject you're studying. They'll pop out at you. Spend a little more time with the material around those key points.