An on-site Excel course provides a great opportunity for participants to jump ahead in their knowledge and understanding of the most popular electronic spreadsheet program in the world. When training on-site, consider the following areas; the list that follows can make the difference between a standard software course and one which will really boost a participant’s ability to use Excel effectively.

  • Hands-on is important  Ideally, each participant should have access to their own laptop or PC during a training course. Occasionally, because of a shortage of computers, it may be the case that 2 participants will wind up sharing 1 computer. If it’s unavoidable, so be it – but if each participant has their own computer, they’ll absorb a lot more because they’re preforming the steps, rather than just watching for 50% of the course duration.
  • Take time to customise the topics  Within any training course you should have the choice between a course comprising topics from an “off-the-shelf” training manual, or a customised course where topics are selected from several “off-the-shelf” manuals and incorporated into a customised manual.  By assembling a customised manual, you’ll build a course that really resonates with participants. Check to see if your Excel provider is able to provide this service at no extra cost. Take the time to do this – it’ll take a little longer but the payoff can be huge.
  • Find out from participants which topics are important to them  Involve the participants in the course customisation process by circulating the course outlines amongst participants and let them help in choosing topics for a customised course. This is powerful in creating buy-in within the participants.
  • Limit the number of participants  The optimum number of participants for an Excel training course, on average, is between 6 to 8. Technically, the number of participants is limited by the number of places in the training room, but remember that as the number of participants grows, the effectiveness of the training often declines. The bigger the group, the less time there’ll be for participants to ask questions, and less topics will be able to be covered.
  • Make sure the facilitator’s screen can be seen clearly  Nothing frustrates participants as much as not being able to see the facilitator’s data projector or large TV image clearly. Should you have an older data projector with a fading image, ask your training provider to provide one for you.
About Paul Silverman