Reading out loud is definitely a good way to improve second language but one way you can increase your reading speed and to look for important information is to consider some questions that you can ask yourself before reading the paragraph.
For example, if you are reading an article you might ask yourself before you read it:
<ul><li>Who are the main people in this article?</li><li>Where did this event take place?</li><li>What is the author's opinion?</li></ul>
You can think of other questions as well. By doing this you prime your brain to look for relevant information and improve your skimming speed.
Having said that - practice, practice, practice.
Hope that helps! And well done learning a second language - you will get to go places you have never been and meet people you never would have otherwise!