One of the first ways to speed up a reaction is with the use of catalysts. Remember that the reactants of a chemical reaction must reach a particular activation energy level in order for the reaction to occur. In order to make certain reactions occur faster, catalysts can be used.
Catalysts work by lowering the activation energy level that the reactants must reach in order for a reaction to occur. Since the reactants have to reach a lower activation energy level, the reaction rate itself is increased.
Another thing to note is that catalysts are not necessarily used in the reaction. We know that reactants react to form products, yet the catalysts themselves do not have to convert into products. This is partly because catalysts are not included in the reactions. It is almost magic that catalysts can remain the same; however, this is not always the case.