5 – OK 6 – Essential Skills for Trainers

Over the course of my 25+ years as a corporate trainer, I’ve taught thousands of classes.  Each class requires a slightly different combination of skills from my trainer’s grab bag of abilities. When I teach new trainers, I always start with an exercise where I ask them, “What skills do you think a good trainer possesses?” My goal is to help them begin to fill their bags.  The list is always VERY long and surprising for some. We look at the list and as a group decide which skills are essential to all trainers and which are unique only to some trainers. For instance, being funny is always on the list, but not ALL good trainers are funny. In fact, humor can go horribly wrong in a classroom, too.  After this exercise, the students have a better idea of their own unique assets – humor, compassion, flexibility, curiosity – and those that all good trainers must possess.  The core assets usually boil down to these critical five:

  1. Knowledge – This is a gimme, really.  At a baseline, every trainer should be steeped in their subject matter. Of course, sometimes we’re rushed into the classroom before we may feel ready, but making sure you know more than your audience is fundamental. You also will need to be comfortable with the training materials.  Know the flow of the outline, know what page number each section is on in the manual, and be sure to keep students apace with you in the materials.
  2. Ability to Say Things in Multiple Ways – Not every student is going to comprehend the material you are presenting in the same way. Count on needing more than one example for a concept or lesson. Additionally, count on needing to relay your information in more than one manner. Some students will require a more elementary approach to a topic, and it’ll be up to you to switch up on the fly how you are presenting a topic and what examples you are using to illustrate it. The ability to adapt in the classroom is crucial.
  3. Strong Organizational Skills – The ability to organize the information you are presenting is crucial.  Not only does it mean as a trainer you won’t miss anything vital, organizing information in a logical, natural way will increase your students’ ability to understand the material. Being organized also allows you to expand or contract a lesson in the middle of the class, if needed.  Disorganization is the iceberg that will sink your class!             
  4. Time Management – As a new trainer, managing the clock might be the trickiest skill to master.  It’s part science and part art. As a trainer, when students ask questions we want to answer all of them as fully as we can, even if they are off topic.  A good trainer knows what questions to answer, what questions to table until later, and what questions to take fully offline. As a rule of thumb, if it’s not directly related to the topic at hand and you don’t have time to answer it, tell the inquiring student you’ll take it offline with them after the session ends.
  5. Establishing Credibility, Rapport, and Trust – You are not only the trainer of the material, but you are also the host of the event. One way to begin establishing rapport is by greeting each student as they arrive. Let them know they are welcome and you’re pleased they could take time out of their busy days to be there. Stating your credentials is important, but credibility builds with students when you effectively manage the class. Trust is built by encouraging students to explore and ask questions and then honoring those questions when they come.

There’s one skill that I would add to this list of essentials and it’s one that, despite how many times I’ve run this exercise, never is mentioned by my new trainers as something a good trainer possess.

  1. Humility – A good trainer is humble. What do I mean by that?  It’s easy for a trainer to feel like they are the smartest person in the room.  They possess the knowledge and are in charge of revealing it.  That’s heady stuff! While most trainers I’ve met don’t have ego trips about their roles, a trainer can be knocked off his or her game in a class if it’s discovered a student knows as much or more about the subject, or if a student has had a different experience with the material that allows them deeper or different insight, or if a student asks questions to which he or she doesn’t know the answer. When you enter each class with humility, and with the understanding that you are not only teacher but also student, these situations become positive experiences and not stress-inducing nightmares. You’re willingness to admit “I don’t know” and to be gracious and thankful for the opportunity to learn at the hands of your students will become one of the most essential skills you can possess as a trainer.

Undo Keyboard Shortcut

Undo is one of the most useful features out there, and being able to quickly undo your last action with a keyboard shortcut is even better. 

Simply press Ctrl + Z in any Microsoft Office program to undo your last action. For example, if you deleted text and would like the text to reappear, simply press Ctrl + Z. It’s that easy! And you can use Ctrl + Y, or redo, to redo the action. 

Ctrl + Z works in some other places you might not be aware of. For instance, if you delete a file off your desktop, you can press Ctrl + Z to make the file reappear. We told you it was one of the best keyboard shortcuts in existence!  

To learn even more about undo and see it in action, click here: 

You can find thousands more short-segment videos like this one at www.intellezy.com. Start your free trial today. 


Staying Organized with OneNote

OneNote is one of the most versatile Office programs out there. It allows you to create notebooks with sections and pages, so you can organize your notes, facts, lists, and more. There are many features within OneNote that make it more than just a notebook, from the ability to add pictures or screenshots to being able to quickly search for information. OneNote works in conjunction with other Microsoft products too. You can add meeting details from Outlook, link text from Word, or take notes in your notebook during a Skype for Business meeting and even email them other participants afterwards. And, if you store your OneNote notebook in the cloud, you can collaborate with others to make it an even more powerful tool. 

To learn even more about OneNote and see it in action, click here:   

You can find thousands more short-segment videos like this one at www.intellezy.com. Start your free trial today.   





28 Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Know 

Today, more than ever, efficiency is the name of the game in every role and workplace. We are all trying to do more work in less time. Keyboard shortcuts can be an integral part of attaining that goal. Once you become familiar with keyboard shortcuts, they can become second-nature and save you time on an ongoing basis. 

The following shortcuts are available for use across all/most Microsoft Office applications. Below is a list of the most common and useful shortcuts. Remember, practice makes perfect! 

Ctrl + a  Select all document contents 
Ctrl + b  Turn “bold” on or off 
Ctrl + c  Copy the selected information 
Ctrl + d  Duplicate a selected graphic image 
Ctrl + i  Turn “italics” on or off 
Ctrl + n  Create a new document 
Ctrl + o  Open an existing file 
Ctrl + p  Print a document 
Ctrl + s  Save a document 
Ctrl + u  Turn “underline” on or off 
Ctrl + v  Paste selection at insertion point 
Ctrl + w  Close current document/window 
Ctrl + x  Cut selected information 
Ctrl + y  Redo what was undone 
Ctrl + z  Undo last change 
Ctrl + F1  Expand/Collapse ribbon 
Ctrl + Enter  Insert page break 
Ctrl + Home  Go to the very start of the document 
Ctrl + End  Go to the very end of the document 
Ctrl + Page Up  Go to the top of the page 
Ctrl + Page Down  Go to the end of the page 
Home  Go to the start of a line 
End  Go to the end of the line 
F1  Help 
F4  Repeat last command (make absolute in Excel) 
F5  Open the find and replace dialog box 
F12  Save as 
Shift + Any Arrow Key  Select text in that direction 

As of this writing: If you are planning to take the certification test please note that you cannot use keyboard shortcuts on the exam(s). 

 By John Dukarski-French 

Meet the Instructor: Pam Conway


Favorite application and why: I love Outlook.  First, I think it’s a great program that is very intuitive and feature-rich, but I think my love of it goes back to my earliest experiences.  I had to teach the first version of it to a client who was going to be an early adopter.  They were so early, however, there were no training manuals, no websites with much information, basically nothing.  I had the online help and 24 hours before I had to give my first seminar on it.   

Favorite Excel Function:  I was an English major, I don’t have a favorite function, lol.  Although, I do find creating nested IF statements very satisfying.   

Favorite keyboard shortcut: I have two actually.  I love CTRL + A to select all and it works in so many places across Office, but in terms of being a huge lifesaver when you need it, I love ALT + drag in Word and Outlook to select text vertically! 

Favorite movie:  Picking a favorite movie is tough.  It really depends on my mood, but I’d have to go with The Sound of Music.  It consistently seems to make my top 10 list.  Although, there’s also Raising Arizona, The Philadelphia Story, Star Wars… I better stop!   

Favorite book:  I am an avid reader and there are so many books I’ve enjoyed, but none can seem to unseat an early childhood favorite:  Jane Eyre. 

Favorite restaurant:  Right now my favorite is Wink and Nod in Boston.  They have an interesting concept going.  Modeled after a modern speakeasy, the bar focuses on craft cocktails, but the kitchen is a popup restaurant with different chefs and different cuisines rotating through every six months. 

Which historical figure would you most want to meet and why:  I would like to meet my great, great, great, grandfather, George Conway.  He was a spy in the Union army.  He was captured and interned at the notorious Confederate prison, Andersonville.  Somehow he survived and went on to testify at the military tribunal of Henry Wirz, commandant of the prison camp.   

Tell us something interesting about yourself: I love really, really cold weather!  Winter is my happy time. 

 Click here to see courses taught by Pam 



Co-Authoring: The Coolest Feature You’ve Never Heard Of 

Co-Authoring: The Coolest Feature You’ve Never Heard Of  

When you hear co-authoring, you might think of two people writing a novel together. Maybe a ghost writer with actual skills propping up a sub-par celebrity.  

When we talk about co-authoring in Office 365, what we mean is two or more people working on a Word document, Excel Spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation at the same time using the online version of the office app in Office 365. While they might be working on the next Great American Novel, more likely it’s going to be a budget, a report, or a marketing presentation.  

But why should you care about co-authoring? What’s the big deal about two people working on something at the same time? Is it really the best feature you’ve never heard of?  

To clarify, it’s not as if two people are working in their own little bubble on the document with no idea of what the other is doing. You don’t just independently do all of your work and then eventually see the other person’s changes and think, “well shoot if I knew Ellen was going to add that, I wouldn’t have wasted my time writing something so similar.”  

Instead,  you see changes happening in real time. In this screenshot below, you get a good idea of how changes appear as they happen. Once the document owner shares the document, you can all begin working on it together.   


You’ll see different colored flags for each person who is in the document and see those changes appear as that person types. That’s pretty amazing, if you think about it. You can have multiple people in different locations all collaborating at the same time and riffing off what the other is doing. See? The coolest feature you’ve never heard of.  

Now in order to co-author, the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote file must be stored on SharePoint or OneDrive. This makes sense if you think about it. It would be too hard to sync changes if it were a file stored on your hard drive, but when a file is on SharePoint or OneDrive, it’s stored in the cloud. (See last week’s blog post for more on OneDrive.) That means everyone has to be connected to the Internet to use real-time coauthoring. And only docx., pptx., xlsx., or .one formats are supported, so don’t try to co-author your crusty old 2003 .doc file. It won’t work. For older Office files, just do a quick File: Save As and convert them to a newer format, and you’re good to go.  

Oh snap. Did your collaborator just mess something up big time in your document? No worries—you can use the fabulous feature called version history to revert back to a previous version. Just right-click on the file in OneDrive or SharePoint and choose Version history. Don’t you wish you had that in all aspects of your life? (I’ve always said I wish you could use my favorite shortcut Ctrl + Z, aka Undo, in real life.)  

So the next time you need to work with others on a file, and you have an Office 365 subscription, fire up your browser and give co-authoring a go. And maybe after you all finish those final pesky edits on the Quarterly Update slide deck, you can try your collective hand at the next Great Gatsby. Happy editing!  

To learn even more about co-authoring and see it in action, click here:   

You can find thousands more  short-segment videos like this one at  www.intellezy.com. Start your free trial today.   

By Heather Walsh 


Setting Out of Office in Office 365’s Outlook Web App

Going on vacation but forgot to set your Out of Office message before you left?

No worries. You can do it from any device with an Internet connection using the Outlook Web App in Office 365. Simply log in to Office 365 and click the gear icon in the upper-right corner. Type in Automatic and you’ll see Automatic Replies appear at the top of the list. Click on it.

Choose the “Send automatic replies” option and type your message. You have some other cool options there that you can select, like choosing the exact time to begin and end your automatic reply or declining meetings automatically during this period. Click OK at the top when finished.

That’s it! Enjoy your vacation.