Attending a Microsoft Office training course involves you investing both time and money. What can you do to make sure that you make the most from this investment? There are several areas before, during and after the course where, with a little planning and consideration you can make sure that you get the full benefit from your course.
Pick the right level of course
The first thing to do is to make sure that the level of the course is right for you. If you attend one that is too simple you will be going over old ground, which may be alright if you are looking for a refresher, but not if you want to learn new skills. If you sign up to a course that is too advanced you may quickly become out of your depth and, rather than learning new skills, will just end up feeling frustrated and confused. Its therefore sensible to check the course syllabus before you book to see what is covered and whether there are any prerequisites for your attendance.
Plan your travel
Make sure you know where you are going and plan your journey so that you are sure you have enough travel time. Being present at the beginning of the course is very important; introductions and information that will make you more comfortable together with details about what you can expect from the day are all given at the start of the course. If you dont plan your journey properly and end up having to rush to the venue you will be flustered which makes it very difficult to relax and focus so that you can take everything in. Useful information is often given on the training company's website or course joining instructions including details of directions to the venue, recommended public transport routes and parking availability.
To get the most from your training you need to be comfortable in your surroundings so that you are able to concentrate fully. A reputable training company will make sure that there are regular breaks throughout the day and provide you with refreshments to eat and drink. Make sure you take advantage of these breaks to get up and walk around. Staying in a seat for hours at a time can become very uncomfortable, again making it difficult to concentrate. Allow yourself time at the beginning of the course to get yourself comfortable, for example, taking time to adjust your chair so that you can sit with good posture.
Rather than being passive and just taking in what's being said you will get far more from the course if you interact with both the trainer and the other students. A lot of additional information can be gained by discussing issues with people who have different experience and skills to yourself.
To help you stay focused during the course take notes and ask questions. Don't be afraid of looking like a fool by asking for help. If there is something you don't understand the chances are someone else in the room is unclear about it too. You should take full advantage of having an expert there to help you by making sure anything you're unclear about is clarified. At a good training course the class size will be small, just 6 to 8 people, ensuring that there is time for such one to one attention.
Practice makes perfect
Once back at your office it is all too easy to just put the course notes or handouts on the shelf and carry on as you were. To get full benefit from the course you need to put into practice the skills you have learned straight away. It is only by attempting to implement what you have learned that you will become aware of areas where your understanding is not as good as is should have been, or where you have not completely understood a piece of key information. You may be able to look this up in your course notes or, even better, some training companies offer post course support. This may take the form of a list of commonly asked questions and their answers posted on their website, or even a forum which enables you to ask your questions and receive a response from a qualified trainer.
By taking time to plan your day, interacting with those around you and using all the facilities which a professional training company will provide you with, you should be able to ensure that you get the most out of your Microsoft Office training course.