Retrieve the manual from the drawer or shelf where it lives. Sit in a chair, or maybe on the floor, or perhaps stand next to my bike, depending on what I'm trying to nail down. A beer is optional, but always encouraged.
Once properly situated and comfortable, I will open the manual, typically to the table of contents or the index. I'll go to the section I was looking for, read it, maybe read it again, and then perhaps thumb through the manual some more. If I'm in front of my bike, I may put the manual down but blocked open in such a way that I can refer back to it if need be.
IMHO, I *am* really good at manuals. They don't require much balance at all, and I am rarely moving fast enough to require brakes.
As to the balancing on rear wheel type of manual, apparently they are much easier if you have short chain stays. Some bikes have ones that are like 15 inches.. those are easier than one that's 17 inches or whatever.
I don't use brakes when I do them, but I can't do them well, so there might be a connection there.