Having delivered as a trainer for more than 20 years, I’ve got to know a few things about how people learn. Let me share some with you now. When people want training on something, it’s usually a specific topic within a field. They want to learn not just for improvement but also as a solution to a challenge or problem they want to overcome.

People learn in different ways.

That can be through their preferred learning style – visual, audio and kinaesthetic. It can also be revealed in the medium they use, such as books, videos, courses, presentations, webinars and workshops.

The 20 Minute Challenge

With online learning, it can be about how people approach a course.

Some people like to go through all the content in a methodical order, from start to finish. Some people prefer to dive in and start with the video or section that is most urgent or interesting for them. To find a solution to a task challenge or to get an easy win under their belt. They look at the rest when they need to. Some people take lots of notes on every video they watch. Some people simply watch each video and take it in. Some people cover both angles. They watch the course videos through once, then go back to each video and make notes the second time around.

There’s no right or wrong way to do it.

It’s more important to discover and do what works best for you. Some people like to study at home. Some prefer to study in the office. Some are happy to learn on the move, for example on the train or on a plane. What’s your usual approach to learning? When the learning is about MS Office or Microsoft 365, people have their preferences with that, too. Some are content to search all over the internet to find a video or post that tells them how to carry out a task or function. They stick to this approach, even if it ends up taking 20, 30 or 60 minutes – and even longer – to do so every time they have something to work out. They usually forget what source taught them so the next time they need to do the same thing – they have to repeat the tiresome online search challenge all over again, perhaps never finding that original resource again.

That hardly seems a very productive way to go.

That’s why I developed my range of online courses. To save people hours of hassle and frustration. Some people just want to work things out for themselves. They can spend hours exploring the functions and features of an application. They get confident in small bits of it and leave other bits behind. That’s OK if they’re only doing simpler tasks or only require limited functionality in the likes of Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. But, for a VA for example, this restricts the kind of work they can do and the services they can offer.

That’s why I design my online courses in a particular way.

There’s no padding, no waffle.

The 20 Minute CHallenge

The focus is on providing clear, step-by-step training on how to do all the essential tasks in each application. Some people like to learn how to master the essentials of one application. Then they move onto the next application. And so on, and so on, until they have completed the set. That’s why I have created courses for each specific tool in the MS Office suite – and for Microsoft Teams. Other learners want to own a bundle of training, so they have access to all that they need when they need it. They invest in the ‘box set’, knowing it saves them money compared to buying single courses one by one.

That’s why I created a smart solution for them.

It’s called Tomorrow’s VA Hub. It’s the complete box set of my online courses, otherwise known as ‘The Full Monty’. Every course for one price. You never pay a penny again – even when new courses are added to the collection. Learning should never have to feel overwhelming or a huge challenge. It might seem that way if you have lots to learn, or there’s a lack of know-how in most or all of Microsoft’s Office applications or Teams.

But it doesn’t have to feel like that.

If a trainer is smart, they will break up their training courses into small segments. That chunking down means people can tap into what they need – and their preferred way of learning – more easily. When you can work bit by bit, it’s all manageable. Most of the videos in my online courses are short – for good reason. The training is task-based because that is how VA’s work: they’re given tasks to do and Microsoft has an application which allows them to do it efficiently and productively. If you have some training you haven’t gone through yet or you’re wondering how to fit it in around your work and home life, here’s a simple suggestion.

Take the 20-minute challenge.

Shelley Fishel

Can you find up to 20-minutes each day to set aside for watching training videos in Microsoft? (Or for any other training you need right now, for that matter). If that’s possible, that gives you up to a couple of hours a week free for learning. Keep it up for a month and you’ll have invested up to 10 hours into developing your knowledge and skills, to help grow your income and your business as a VA. Even if you can only manage half that, you’ll be in a better position to market and sell your services. You will have the know-how. You will have fresh skills. You will have extra confidence. You will understand how the improved productivity from that learning will claw back those hours of input over time. Your clients will see you as even more of a superhero. Why not start the challenge today… and let me know how you get on.

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes