Doh! Lessons Learned

learn-2004900_1920I put myself into a situation that I thought I had a good handle on. But then on the day of, I realized that I was demonstrating some Excel features using 2013, instead of 2010, which was the version I had been practicing with and the version I used for the screen shots that made up the webinar handouts.

Doh!

Not to self: Pay attention to the laptop you are using on the day of the webinar.

In my day job, I work in Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook . . . 2010. So I am comfortable moving around the 2010 version.

I’m not as up to date as I would like to be on the changes made in the menu items from Excel 2010 to Excel 2013.

So there I am, presenting a webinar—a live presentation—and I don’t know where to find some of the features I’m talking about. Because the menu has changed a bit from 2010 to 2013.

Doh!

What did I do? I had to admit to the attendees that I just realized the laptop I would be using for the webinar presentation was not the same version I practiced with. (Otherwise, I think I would have looked like an idiot, spending time trying to find where the Excel feature was that I was looking for.) So I ‘fessed up.

Shame on me for not paying attention to the equipment I would be using for my webinar.

Note to self: Pay more attention to all of the details next time!  You don’t have an admin assistant to help you, so it’s up to you to make sure you have the right equipment, especially if you are presenting a webinar to others.

Lesson learned. You can bet I won’t let that happen again.

On another note—to admins in particular: You are a wealth of knowledge and you should be sharing the knowledge you have with others (whether it’s your admin colleagues or anyone else in your firm). Help them grow their skills and knowledge. Encourage them to share their knowledge, in whatever format is comfortable for them (written, in-person 1:1 or in a group session, webinar; whatever). When the webinar host asked me if I had any last words, I talked about how I was a bit nervous knowing that I had to do a webinar presentation (it was my second time webinar-ing for the organization, but the first time doing one where they’d see my live keystrokes while in Excel), but I forged ahead and agreed to do it. (You could say I crossed that off on my bucket list—presenting another webinar—if I could become as great a webinar presenter as Melissa Esquibel, how sweet would that be?!) So . . . step out of your comfort zone and make an effort to grow your presentation skills, and share your knowledge at the same time. Once it’s over, you’ll be glad you did it.

Education. Education. Education.

Don’t you just love it when someone else does all the legwork and compiles a respectable list of the information you were looking for?

Those of you working in the A/E/C industry know that the Society for Design Administration (SDA) holds its Annual Meeting (typically) in May each year (and if you don’t know, you should; SDA is your go-to source of best practice management for design firm administration). In addition to that business meeting, SDA offers its EDSymposium—a wealth of knowledge-sharing in the form of educational sessions geared to what you need to know and learn about your role in the industry.

But what you may not know is just how many conferences for assistants (no matter what industry you work in) are being held throughout the world this year. There’s a ton! (Okay; not an actual ton, but at least 20.)

Let me introduce you to the person who compiled that impressive list. It’s Christina Holzhauser, founder of the blog Tips for Assistants. I’m not sure how long it took her to compile the list, but kudos to her for taking the initiative to share, and for adding the website links for each one!

The following is reprinted with permission by Christina Holzhauser. Originally published 12/30/16 on Tips for Assistants.

Conferences for Assistants: Get Energized in 2017!

Conferences are a great way to not only learn mind-blowing tips but to reenergize your passion for being a top-notch assistant. Here’s a list of links to great conferences to keep on your radar now that 2017 is on the horizon. (Note: Be sure to check their websites in case dates or locations have been adjusted).

Admin Pro Forum

May 31-June 2 | Orlando, FL

Admin to Admin

May 5 | Sacramento, CA

Administrative Professionals Conference

September 17-20 | Las Vegas, NV

*APC also has an Executive Assistants’ Summit that EA’s can apply to participate in; see EA Summit for more details

Administrative Professionals Conference Canada

May 28-31 | Toronto, Canada

The Assist Conference

February 24 | London, England

Be the Ultimate Assistant

March 4-5 | Chicago, IL

May 19-20 | San Diego, CA

June 10-11 | Minneapolis, MN

September 23-24 | New York, NY

November 16-17 | Paris, France

Behind Every Leader

February 24 | Washington, D.C.

April 28 | San Francisco, CA

June 9 | Atlanta, GA

August 11 | New York, NY

September 22 | Miami, FL

Conference For Administrative Excellence

October 17-20 | Las Vegas, NV

*You also have the option to attend virtually

DEMA Convention

September 15-17 | Orlando, FL

EAN Conference Series

February 15-16 | Perth, Australia

March 15-16 | Sydney, Australia

July 25-26 | Canberra, Australia

September 12-13 | Brisbane, Australia

November 29-30 | Melbourne, Australia

EAO Annual Global Summit

November 10-11 | Las Vegas, NV

EUMA Annual Conference

September 29 | Hague, The Netherlands

Executive Leadership Support Forum

January 25-26 | Chicago, IL

February 8-9 | Indianapolis, IN

March 8-9 | Toronto, Canada

March 29-30 | Atlanta, GA

April 5-6 | Raleigh, NC

May 3-4 | Boston, MA

May 17-18 | Bay Area, CA

June 14-15 | San Diego, CA

June 28-29 | New York City, NY

July 19-20 | Philadelphia, PA

September 13-14 | Phoenix, AZ

September 19-20 | Seattle, WA

October 4-5 | Minneapolis, MN

October 11-12 | Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

October 25-26 | London, England

Executive Secretary Live

February 17-18 | Johannesburg, South Africa

March 31-April 1 | London, England

July 14-15 | Auckland, New Zealand

November 10-11 | Washington, D.C.

IAAP CEC

May 26-28 | Ontario, Canada

IAAP Executive Admin Symposium

October 27-29 | Chicago, IL

IAAP Summit

July 22-25 | New Orleans, LA

IAAP TEC17

March 5-7 | Tucson, AZ

NWVA Conference

June 22-23 | Manchester, England

Office*

March 1-2 | London, England

PA Life Summit

April 24-25 | Berkshire, England

Secretary Conference 2017

April 26-27 | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Special Event

January 10-12 | Long Beach, CA

Don’t hesitate to ask your principal or organization to cover the cost of joining a conference, especially since they will also be reaping the benefits from your increased knowledge. An article in Brazen titled “How to Get Your Company to Fund Professional Training and Development” does a great job of outlining best practices on how to do so.


For more tips to keep you performing at the highest level or to add to this list of events, you can connect with Christina on the following platforms:

Knowledge-sharing New Year

Happy New Year! I’m starting 2017 off by a little knowledge-sharing. Specifically, a how-to on creating PowerPoint handouts. And what’s so special about that, you say?

Well, maybe you don’t realize that there’s actually a feature in PowerPoint called Create Handouts. And maybe you typically created a handout of your PowerPoint slides by going to the Print screen and printing directly from your slide deck.

If that’s how you usually create a handout of your slide deck, you might want to take a look at what I’m including in this post, just for you.

Why?

Because the cool thing about the Create Handouts feature is that you can easily update your handouts if your slide deck is edited, without having to edit both of the files.*

And, since the Create Handouts feature means you’ll end up with an MS Word file, you can jazz up those handouts all you want, however you want.

Here is the handout I created. It contains the PowerPoint slides I made (the steps to do so), and you can see that I added a footer, etc.

It’s my New Year’s gift to you, dear readers. Enjoy!

*There are some bugaboos that the Create Handouts feature won’t do (darn those Microsoft developers!). Like if you insert a new slide in your PowerPoint file, then update the Handouts you had already created, that new slide won’t show up in the update. But still, being able to link the Handouts to your slide deck is a really nice time-saving feature to have on hand.