Subscription Options

July 2, 2008

100 tips for consulting success #19

Learn how to use MSWord®!

It absolutely amazes me how many consultants cannot format a simple word document. Or if they do it is absolutely ghastly. (Been looking for a way to use that word)

As a writer I am probably a little bit anal about this, but such is life. It works for me and it can work for you too. Some quick pointers on things to focus on: (from my library of pet peeves)

  • Understand images, how to insert them, copy them and format them. Don’t send documents where the image is sliding off the page, or doesn’t stay where it should be, or is not sitting where it should sit.
  • Learn how to use the headings and formats within a document. Make sure you can generate a table of contents, and make sure that it looks appealing. Formats make the work of writing a document at least 50% easier I reckon.
  • Put spaces between the paragraphs. (Check the point on formatting) Documents needs white space dammit!
  • Captions for tables, images, calculations and other inserted items gives it a professional sheen, learn these too.
  • Headers and footers are great for relaying information, discretely, and for making sure that the copyright and whatever else is stated.
  • Try to get the hang of tables. These can be a great addition to any document or a bleeding eyesore depending on how you use them.
  • Number the pages!!
  • Work out how to format sections of the document differently. E.g. columns only in the center of the page, a landscape page followed by a portrait page, followed again by a landscape page and so on.
  • Learn what “Paste Special” can do for you in a hurry! Makes life a lot easier. (And documents a lot smaller)
  • And if you are still part of the hunt and peck crowd then learn to type!

This isn’t just idle advice. Good skills with MSWORD® and good typing skills can add a lot to your bandwidth. I can type three pages before most of my colleagues can type half a page. This gives me a decided advantage in being able to manage many tasks simultaneously.

This post is bought to you by

Buy Skype hardware now

Apply Now for a U.S. Trademark

Email List Management Tool - 60 Day Free Trial