Let’s face it, finance professionals love Excel. I had one client proudly tell me recently that he was a “power pivot geek”. So even though this is a blog dedicated to accounting software, I want to talk about Excel - specifically about Excel training.
I recently had the opportunity to get some free, personalized Microsoft Excel training from Letitia Widmann from Savvy Training. I had met Letitia previously in person and knew she was an excellent trainer, but she is located half way around the world from me, so I figured she was out of reach. Then I found out that she now offers her training online via Skype. (To fund her exciting, wanderlust lifestyle).
I Was Skeptical That I Would Like Getting Training Via Skype
I admit that I was skeptical that I would like the whole training experience over Skype. I imagined lots of delayed speech, fuzzy video, and frustration. To be honest, it sounded a bit boring. I am easily distracted during webinars, and sometimes realize half way through that I’ve missed the important parts because I was checking my email.
I Was Wrong; the Skype Training Experience Was Delightful
I could see and hear Letitia clearly with no delays. She showed me how to share my screen so she could watch me do the work. I was able to see her screen when needed as well. She can send documents over Skype, if I had not already received them via email, and type text messages in case there are key commands or formulas I want to see in writing.
And the most Surprising Part – It Was Fun!
Seeing her face on the video kept me engaged, and I know she is looking at my face on the video too, so there is no chance to take a call or check my email. She is animated and excited about the topic and that makes it easy to pay attention. And her Australian accent is fun for us Americans to listen to.
Three Brand New Excel Tips
Our time was up before I knew it and I had learned three new time saving Excel tips that were brand new to me (despite having worked with Excel for the past 20+ years).
1) How to View Hidden Formulas in Excel (and why I might need this someday)
2) How to Create an Excel Chart With Two Clicks (to impress people in meetings)
3) How to See One Excel Worksheet Twice On One Screen (for easy comparison)
I am going to write separate blog posts to share each of these tips with you too. (Although I think you’d be better off just signing up for some
Savvy Training provides a range of Microsoft Office training courses and personalized sessions for Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Outlook, but Microsoft Excel is her specialty. I think my next session will be on Outlook since that is where I spend most of my day.
First a Skype Demo and Covert Skills Assessment
If you are interested in her services, Letitia will provide a Skype demo so that you can confirm that the Skype setup works. She will covertly evaluate your skill level at that point too. I didn’t realize she was doing this, but after so many years of professional software training, she told me later that she can size people up pretty quickly.
When Would You Need Online Training?
You might want Microsoft Office training when you start a new job, to get up to speed. Or as a way to bulk up your resume with new skills. But how about when your company upgrades to a new version? I know that for me the switch to Office 2007 was brutal. I wasted so much time just trying to figure out where they moved the Print button. When you do a Microsoft Office upgrade, you can get training for the whole office staff, or just for yourself so you can seem like a whiz.
Not Just Training - Get Bailed Out of an Excel Jam
Savvy Training is not limited just to skills training. You can use it for troubleshooting and support too. Have you ever had a big project due and you just couldn’t figure out how to format the charts, or something got screwed up with the formulas in an important spreadsheet and you didn’t know where? You could waste time trying to figure it out or just start an online session with Savvy Training to get it sorted out. Then you can focus on more important things.
So You Think You Already Know Everything About Excel?
Many accountants are Excel power users. Letitia was able to amaze me with the 3 tips she pulled out of her bag, but maybe you think there is nothing left she can teach you. I bet you are wrong. She told me she trains people who are basic beginners (like your grandmother) all the way up to VBA coders, and she can always show them some well kept secrets that will save them time.
Cost of Online Excel Training
Training is usually expensive and that is why companies skimp on it. But online training is different. Savvy Training offers specific courses which might be perfect for new hires or people trying to beef up their resumes. But Letitia said that most of her clients want personalized training. For example, they will ask for 1 hour of training on Pivot tables or Formulas. Generally she likes to stick to 1 subject in 1 hour. Her average hourly rate is $50 (paid via Paypal or bank transfer).
This is affordable by any standard, but especially when you realize you don’t have to pay for travel time, set up, or coffee breaks. Just click “Accept” on your Skype call and you are ready to go. No time is wasted.
1 Hour of Free Excel Training
When I told her I liked her training so much that I would write a blog post about it, she told me that I can offer you 1 Hour of Free Online Excel Training when you sign up for 2 or more hours. Just mention this blog post. I think she realizes that once you try it, you will definitely see the value. And remember you always get a free demo first.
And did I mention that she offers free email support for 30 days after you complete a training course? So if I forget those 2 clicks needed to create a chart, I can just ask again.
As you can tell, I was impressed. And when I am impressed, I like to share. That’s what bloggers do.
By Anya Ciecierski, CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, www.calszone.com