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10 TOP SECRET computer shortcuts that save you time & money

Think you know Microsoft Word?

We've delivered three advanced Microsoft Word courses just recently and it always strikes us how people think they can use Word by just getting by. With Microsoft Excel for example, people generally realise which bits they need to get better at, but with Word, they often have no idea that they a making a meal out of doing things the (very) long way round. Having bitten the bullet and decided to attend an advanced Word course, we generally hear lots of comments like "I can't believe I didn't know I could use Quick Parts to quickly insert common text into my documents" or "I've been creating tables of contents manually for years - agggghhhh!" or "I never knew there was a keyboard short cut to double line space my assignment text.  I can now do it with one click instead of several".

Well they know now! Did you?

17/07/2017

So you're arranging computer training for your staff? Read this first!

We’ve been called in to train in organisations where lots of attention has been paid to the logistics of how the training will happen. However, we have also experienced a variety of *issues* (or challenges), as we like to call them, that happen during the training. Some of these can be easily avoided and can help the event be far more successful. Hopefully some of these will help you if you are planning on hosting a training event for your staff….

 

Provide a suitable and quiet area for the training, (unbelievably we once trained in a corridor), and a colleague we know delivered some training in a converted mortuary room (don’t like the sound of that one too much)

 

Try to ensure there are no interruptions during the training. You might think it is a good idea to have the training delivered on the reception desk so that the receptionist can be trained and answer phones at the same time along with dealing with visitors but the interruptions will mean they don't get as much from the training. They probably won’t be a very effective ‘receptionist’ either on that day.

 

Observe the minimum numbers advised by the training provider – this is for a reason so everyone gets the chance to ask all the questions they need to and fully participate.

 

Hold a pre-course briefing with staff to find out what they want to get from the training. You might find out that they (or you) have completely unrealistic expectations that you can challenge and address beforehand. We often train people who say they have ‘no idea’ why they have been asked to attend.

 

Your training provider should be able to give you ‘training needs analysis’ forms (TNAs) if you need them. These will help you and the delegates work out what needs to be covered and what level the learners are currently at. Do try and work with the training provider as they will have your best interests at heart to ensure everyone gets the most from the course.

 

Don't put someone who is an Excel novice on an intermediate Excel course, just to fill the seat. Again, this is frustrating for everyone as the other learners may feel held back by the skills of the novice, while the novice may quickly feel out of their depth.  This also makes the trainer’s job harder to ensure everyone gets what they need from the training event.

 

Make sure the room is suitable and big enough, enough power points, with a computer each, so that everyone can try out new skills and make the necessary mistakes in order to learn. We often say that you don’t learn to drive by sitting in the passenger seat, and attending a computer course is no different.

 

Tell the training company what times you want to work around if necessary – a good training provider should be able to accommodate a later start, earlier finish, unusual break times and so on to fit in with your company requirements.

 

Let the training provider know in advance if you have any specific requirements such as a learner with additional needs, so that they can make sure everyone is happy and comfortable.

If you want a course that is somewhere between the standard levels, for example is a higher level than introduction level, but not quite intermediate, then discuss this with the training provider in advance. This really shouldn’t be an issue.

 

Sometimes a workshop approach to training may suit your staff better. This means staff can bring along specific documents that they want to work with or have issues with so they can make best use of the time.

 

To summarise, a training provider worth their salt, really cares about helping your staff and ultimately your company to be more productive, so do work with them to make sure your learning event is a huge success! Good luck.

21/07/2016

Welcome to the new website!

Presumably if you've landed here, then you've already had a little look round the site?  We'd be very interested in what you think - please drop us a line :-)

19/02/2015

Adam Brown (Owner) - The Orchard Book Shop, Huddersfield

 I used your service to help me with my basic email organization and found the training very professional and your approach understanding. I can now organize my emails properly and would recommend you to anyone who needs assistance.