I meet many people who go through life thinking they don’t have any talents. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Our environments don’t always support the development of those talents, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have them. I believe we’re all born with a set of attributes (different allocations for sure), and that our nurturing and work environments make those blossom. Let me show you how #Microsoft365 #Office365 #MicrosoftOffice can help you develop those into meaningful skills.

Difference between Talent and Skill:

Talent = natural aptitude, (someone who has) a natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught.
Skill = the ability to do something well; expertise. The ability to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance.

For me, talent is a seed we inherit at birth. Without watering and sun, it stays that – a seed.

“Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact… it turns out that choices lead to habits. Habits become talents. Talents are labelled as gifts.

You’re not born this way, you get this way.”  Seth Godin

I always ask my students if they think they’re “Creative”. Most of them always answer no. And then I show them Design Ideas in PowerPoint. Have you ever seen a classroom light up with smiles, students suddenly excited about the possibilities they never thought were possible?

Well, that’s exactly the ‘nurturing’ I was talking about in the first paragraph. My greatest talent is to see talent in people and then put them in touch with the technology / tools to make them shine. It’s by far the most rewarding thing I can ever do.

Digital Literacy and Talents:

Below you’ll see an example list of talents, on the right the 8 Pillars of Digital Literacy that I use in my training and presentations. See how many correspond? Well actually… they all do. 🙂

The purpose of this blog is not to show you how, but to make you aware of features. I’ll give you some examples of features you can use to grow your talent into skills. It doesn’t’ include all the apps and features, but I’m hoping it makes you curious to explore and discover more.

Eloquence, writing and communication skills:

Microsoft Word has incredible features to help you develop these. To name some of them:

  • Smart Lookup
  • Researcher
  • Dictation
  • Read Aloud
  • Check Accessibility
  • Translate
  • Language
  • Spelling & Grammar
  • Thesaurus
  • Synonyms & Antonyms

Here’s some blogs that cover these.

Microsoft Teams of course help you collaborate and communicate better, here’s 6 x 5 minute videos to get you started.

And let’s not forget the awesome Microsoft OneNote.

Creativity, Design Thinking & Visual Design:

Microsoft PowerPoint is a winner when it comes to creativity. Here are some cool features to help your creativity move on to the next level:

  • Align & Rotate Shapes
  • Artistic effects in PowerPoint
  • Change the Color of Images / Photos
  • Compressing Images
  • Create Buttons (Icons) for SharePoint
  • Crop, resize and rotate Images
  • Design Ideas in PowerPoint
  • Eyedropper in PowerPoint
  • Ink to Shape
  • Ink to Text
  • Insert Icons
  • Insert Online Pictures
  • Morph Transitions
  • Remove backgrounds from Images
  • SmartArt in PowerPoint
  • Zoom Presentation

Here’s a blog that covers all of that with 5 minute videos.

Critical Thinking & Evaluation:

Thinking critically

Critical thinking is a process used to think about and evaluate information and reach a conclusion. In this context the word critical is not negative.

It means that you shouldn’t automatically accept that what you are reading is valid, true, applicable or correct. Instead, you should gather the evidence, analyse all aspects rationally and objectively, and with an open mind, so as to reach your own conclusion.

Analysing information

When you think analytically you examine, or think about, the different parts or details of something so that you can understand or explain it. It requires you to think about some (or all) of the following:

  • cause and effect, the sequence of events and/or steps within a process
  • similarities, differences and/or trends
  • associations and relationships between things
  • complex systems and how they work
  • ways to solve complex problems
  • examples of what is happening.

Resource:  Thinking critically and evaluating information

Power BI comes to mind first, as I haven’t written about that much, I’ll point you straight to the Power BI site.

Next up is Microsoft Excel. To mention some:

  • Pivot Tables
  • Conditional Formatting
  • Charts
  • Sparklines
  • Filters

Some resources on Excel.

I’ve only covered some and believe me there is so much more to get excited about. Hopefully you’ll think different about how technology helps you develop your skills. 🙂

Stay up to date, keep on learning:

Remember to keep an eye on the “What’s new in Office 365” as well as “Office 365 Roadmap” for latest feature updates and release on your favorite apps.

“You can also find me contributing to REgarding 365. I’m a member of a group of enthusiasts, sharing their stories, thoughts and opinions about Microsoft 365. Catch us at https://regarding365.com | @regarding365 on Twitter and regarding365 on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/regarding365

Disclaimer:  I create content about Office / Microsoft 365. Content is accurate at time of publication, however updates and new additions happen daily which could change the accuracy or relevance. Please keep this in mind when using my blogs as guidelines.

New Initiative:

Every couple of months I’m going to travel to a new country, rent a motorcycle, and travel to as many communities as possible, for 15.2 days. Purpose would be to create awareness around Digital Literacy and give users an overview of Office 365 Apps and Services and how it can transform their lives. I’ll do video and written blogs to capture and share my journey and experiences.

Feedback would be crucial, and I’ll be using Microsoft Forms & Flow to gather valuable feedback for myself and Microsoft. I will be inviting other community members to join me on my journey when I’m in their respective areas.

Of course it wouldn’t be possible without sponsorship to help support this cause. Reach out if you’re interested on getting involved in any way, here’s a link to a Microsoft Form that can be completed:  https://bit.ly/2LaQBRQ