Photo: How to watch YouTube videos faster
Image courtesy Siler Blue

Summary: When you are watching YouTube videos for the information but not their entertainment value, you’ll want to learn these four simple steps to speed up the process.

Professional communicators, whether they are marketers, public relations pros, journalists or ad professionals, often find ourselves watching videos on YouTube, and not for entertainment. YouTube hosts a treasure trove of valuable professional content, including:

  • Webinars,
  • Keynote speeches,
  • Conference sessions,
  • Product demonstrations,
  • How to videos,
  • Industry podcasts,
  • Expert interviews.

The problem is that though the content is valuable, consuming it takes more time than you’d like to devote to it.

How many times have you come across a 90-minute webinar on a topic that is valuable to you only to set it aside for “when I have more time,” and that time inevitably never comes?

How To Save Time Watching YouTube Videos In 4 Simple Steps

Fortunately, YouTube has a little-known tool that will literally cut the time in half that it takes to watch these videos. Today is your lucky day because I’m going to tell you how to find and use this valuable trick!

1. Find The Settings Icon

First, find that webinar video you’ve been putting off till you have more time and then cast your gaze to the bottom of the video, where the play and pause controls are located. Shift your gaze to the bottom right-hand corner of the video where you’ll see additional controls. The one in the middle that looks like a gear is your Settings control.

Screenshot: YouTube Settings Icon

2. Navigate To The Speed Menu

Click on the gear icon to activate it. The Settings menu will appear, from which you’ll see the Speed option. Click on that.

Screenshot: YouTube Settings Menu

3. Choose Your Preferred Playback Speed

Now you have the option to choose the preferred playback speed of your videos. You can slow it down to a quarter of the normal speed (but why in the world would you want to do that?!?) and you can speed it up to twice as fast as the normal speed.

Click the number 2 or 1.5, if you prefer speakers who don’t sound like they’ve just inhaled helium.

Screenshot: YouTube Settings Speed Options

4. Watch Your Video In Record Time

Return to your video and watch it. Your video will sound funny at first (especially at twice the speed) but your ear will quickly adjust while probably adding a year to your life. (This setting will persist as you view other videos on YouTube.)

Try it out on this video tutorial of how to watch YouTube videos at half the speed:

Hat tip to Efficiency Is Everything, who provide the same tip for how to watch Netflix videos faster.

Video Transcript

If you’re like me, you watch a lot of YouTube videos and a lot of them are informational videos.

Types Of YouTube Informational Videos

I will watch webinars that last an hour or longer. I’ll watch speeches, keynote speeches for professional reasons, that lasts a long time. I will watch podcasts on YouTube. I’ll watch How To videos. And a lot of times I just want the information in the video but I don’t necessarily–I’m not watching it for entertainment purposes. And for that I would like to get through the videos quicker than it takes to them at normal speed.

I’m going to show you a tip for how to watch videos at half the speed; YouTube videos at half the speed. Save more time, cut down the amount of time it takes you to get through a video and save a lot of time while doing so.

This is my YouTube channel for my podcast, BeyondSocialMediaShow.com. We’ll go there for marketing. Let’s take a video here. Here’s a podcast from previous weeks ago and I’m gonna skip to the beginning here.

Four Steps To Watch YouTube Videos In Half The Time

And the tip is—so this is 29 minutes, 30 minutes long; you can watch this podcast in 15 minutes if you use this tip. In the controls of the YouTube player, you have this little gear icon right here. That is settings. If you click on the Settings icon, you can see there is a setting for speed. It is currently at normal. That’s the default setting for YouTube videos. But you can change this; you can change it to speed it up by a quarter, by a half or slow it down, actually, by a quarter, by half. Or speeding up to one and a half speed, one and a quarter speed, one and a half speed and two speed. So let’s–twice as fast. You’ll hear the quality is like a chipmunks video now.

You get used to it. Your ear adjusts to it. You can actually take in all the information, you just do it in half the time. So there you go. Watch YouTube videos in half the time. Save a lot of time doing so. There you go.