Microsoft Office products have been around now for over 20 years. Many people feel comfortable using these tools to do basic tasks. However, there’s a whole host of features that can save you time and your company money. Although you may envision it as rudimentary, there is great value in continuing education classes about Office products.
Pamela Smith, an instructor with Spindustry Training, has been educating people about Microsoft Office for over 20 years. At first, training focused on how to use the computer and Office products. As people have become proficient with the basic skills, the training is now focused on features of the programs that save time and streamline workflow.
According to Smith, many people don’t realize the potential for Word and Outlook. They know Word or Outlook well enough that they feel they don’t need a formal class. However, the students who attend the basic and intermediate classes will comment on the extended number of tips and tricks they picked up in class. They weren’t sure if they’d gain much from the basics class, but are pleasantly surprised how many shortcuts they learn. Smith says her favorite phrase to hear from a student is, “Do you know how much time this shortcut will save me?”
Smith focuses on tips and tricks to make life simpler. With hands-on training, students can explore both how to use a feature and why they’d want to use that feature. One of the best opportunities, according to Smith, is when things don’t go as planned. If someone gets an error message, it’s the chance to evaluate why it happened and how to resolve the problem – something everyone faces working from their own desk every day. It’s also important to show the various techniques used to arrive at the same outcome. There typically is a long way and a shortcut to do the same task, and it’s valuable for students to learn and understand both possibilities. Then they can decide how to approach a task in the future, knowing at times there are shortcuts to make it happen faster.
Spindustry Training offers a number of public classes in Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint. There are also new class offerings for Office 365, and coming soon, Skype for Business. We also offer private classes to organizations interested in customized training for employees. We call these Office Seminars, which are 3 hour segments. Our Office Seminars can be held at your facility or in Spindustry Training’s classrooms. Many seminars focus in on a specific topic, like Excel Pivot Tables, Excel Formulas, Word Working with Forms and Tables or Word Newsletters and Flyers. We also ensure we integrate company-specific examples into the curriculum to benefit that particular department.
Lindsey Harper, Executive Administration + Communication Support at Heartland Co-op, said, “Heartland Co-op has collaborated with Spindustry to offer a number of customized Microsoft Office classes to our employees. Not only does Pamela Smith manage to keep the topics interesting, but she tailors all her classes to our needs using specific information and examples that relate to our employees’ job functions. I always receive high praise of these classes and have seen a noticeable boost in employees’ confidence using Microsoft Office programs.”
If you’re interested in learning more about a private Office seminar or registering for our public Office classes, please contact our team.
In the meantime, read these four helpful tips from Smith about Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.