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Melissa Esquibel

Microsoft Certified Trainer Alumni | Microsoft Office Specialist Expert | Productivity Coach

Microsoft Certified Trainer Alumni | Microsoft Office Specialist Expert | Productivity Coach

Melissa Esquibel was in the thick of early business technology innovation when hardware and systems were kept in a virtual black box, and IT gatekeepers doled out functionality within a rigid systems architecture. Now, in the present, where end-users know how to access the power of technology independently and according to the agile timelines they need, this push and pull has created quite a mess in many organizations.

With her unique experience as the conduit between the gatekeepers and the gatestormers, Melissa offers you her unique perspective as a “bridge builder.” Her sense of humor and commonsense approach will engage your team and produce results you can take to the bank in real world time savings and effective use of your organization’s resources. She brings out the best in people, coaxing out meaningful collaboration and impactful solutions.

  • Google Workspace: As Good As Microsoft Office? (Or Better?!)

    In this session, office productivity specialist and tech evangelist, Melissa Esquibel will take you through some surprising features of Google Workspace apps. If you’re making the transition from Microsoft Office (Microsoft 365) to Google Workspace, you may be dreading the transition, but Melissa will show you how Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Sheets can do some of the same heavy lifting and a few places where it’s even stronger!

    Even if a transition isn’t imminent, being prepared to hit the ground running in a new position or being able to support the upstart executive in a BYOD/BYOA (bring your own device/bring your own applications) environment, this session will enable you to stay professionally and technically nimble.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Learn Gmail features to help you get and stay organized
    • Become familiar with how to share Calendars in a mixed environment
    • Understand docs features that help you create complex documents
    • Understand the main differences in Sheets and how to tackle the obstacles
    • Know your best slide presentation choices in a Google Workspace world


    This session is available on demand, in our Learning Library

  • 30 Tips in 30 Minutes

    Sometimes the coolest tools are hiding in plain sight!

    In this fast-moving, eyebrow-raising presentation, Melissa Esquibel will show you 30 tools in The Microsoft Office Suite that can save you valuable time and eliminate frustration.

    No matter how much you know about the tools you use every day, Microsoft is adding new things all the time. Most of us don’t take the time to learn or even stay aware of new things in our applications. This is your opportunity to catch up with some new things and even learn how to stay up on things in a way that doesn’t eat up valuable space on your calendar.

    We’ll even throw in some for Google Workspace!

    Learning Outcomes

    • Learn the newest features of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.
    • Understand how to apply the newest features to the work you do every day.
    • Locate new features and tools in reliable information sources.


    This session is available on demand in our learning library

  • Getting Ahead by Getting in Front of the Room

    When you return to the office after a conference, you will be filled to the brim with new ideas on how to make things better for your team, your career, and possibly even the entire organization.

    But how will you convey this?

    Nothing is more impactful to your career progression than stepping in front of the room and presenting powerful strategies for improving business processes. If the thought of that sounds roughly as comfortable as walking through fire while juggling priceless antique pottery, you’re not alone.

    In this session, Melissa will give you a hand up out of your comfort zone and show you successful strategies for collecting information at the conference, the best way to organize your presentation, how to reach different audience members and, ultimately, be understood as the absolute “go to” person for your chosen topics.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Show your organization’s return on investment (ROI) for this conference with concrete solutions and ideas
    • Know what to present to whom for maximum engagement
    • Gain confidence with your live presentation skills
  • Transitioning from Microsoft 365 to Google Workspace

    Whether you’re new to Google Workspace or your office is transitioning from Microsoft to Google, this session will help make that move more manageable and less stressful.

    While changes, even ones you are in favour of, can be filled with challenges and obstacles, by uncovering a few tips and understanding how things are supposed to work, you can adapt and thrive.

    Tech evangelist Melissa Esquibel helps you navigate your new office productivity platform by sharing her experience and best tips.  She will cover general tips – like how to use versioning in Drive – and application-specific tips – like how to work optimally with Sheets if you are an experienced Excel user. Melissa will share the good news, bad news and workarounds, in her typically straightforward fashion as you make this leap from Microsoft 365 to Google Workspace.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Be comfortable with general differences in Google Workspace and navigate your new desktop more easily
    • Understand what must be done BEFORE migrating files from Microsoft to Google
    • How to access keyboard shortcuts, and which shortcuts are available to you
    • 8 cool Sheets functions that are NOT in Excel!
    • How to salvage Microsoft Office Themes for Slides
    • Tips and tricks for Gmail and Calendar to get and stay productive.
  • How to Work with an Executive who is a Technophobe

    Has the technical revolution passed your executive by? Do you know that you could make life easier for them if they’d just listen to you explain how to use a feature of an app they already use or, perish the thought, introduce them to a NEW app? Or are you supporting someone who firmly believes that paper is better for a process that has been automated for decades?

    There are strategies to help your technophobic executive help themselves by adopting new technologies.

    In this session, tech evangelist  Melissa Esquibel helps you recognize where the fear is coming from and how to help move them forward. Melissa has worked with many executives who affirmed that they would never move away from their paper calendars and notes who are now OneNote users and Teams geeks. These same executives have developed sophisticated methods of using their applications to save time and improve the quality of information they rely on to make good business decisions and optimize their very valuable time. Bonus: your life gets easier, too!

    Learning Outcomes

    In this session, you will discover:

    • Why people become afraid of technology and how to address that specific fear
    • How to introduce solutions to problems using their language and terms
    • Strategies to get started and, over time, make your executive as successful as they can be
  • How to Work with an Executive who is a Technophile

    Are you supporting a computer geek? So many Assistants would love to be in your shoes. I know, you’re saying, “If you only knew!” In the world of remote work where new problems gave rise to new solutions in a fast-changing environment, many executives rose to the occasion becoming “experts” on everything from mobile computing to smartphones and security software, to process control apps.

    It’s not that we want to take away their enthusiasm, but there are things you know about how your organization works that can help guide how innovation and new tech can be successfully integrated into the team.

    In this session, you’ll learn the right questions to ask when the newest gadget or app threatens to undo an otherwise well-running process. You’ll discover how to research facts and figures that could slow the rollout long enough to ensure that new tech doesn’t create more problems than it solves. Plus, you’ll discover how to recognize if you have a bias toward keeping things the same that could be seen as antagonistic. (Hint: this might be one of your better qualities if channelled properly.)

    Learning Outcomes

    In this session, you will discover:

    • The mind of the technophile and how it shows up in the workplace.
    • How to foster solutions to problems by leveraging their enthusiasm, your caution and the facts.
    • Strategies to start the conversation and be seen as a valuable technology partner instead of a wet blanket or naysayer.
  • Excel Tips for Faster, Frustration-Free Spreadsheets

    It’s the little things. The invisible traps hiding in your spreadsheets can cost you hours of your valuable time. In this session you will not only learn to find these problems but set up new workbooks that have built in problem-repellent.

    This session is applicable to all versions of Excel and partially applicable to Google Sheets.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Setting up trouble-free data lists
    • Finding faulty cells fast
    • Setting up for future success, worry-free
  • How to reach the right people, right now with the right message

    How to ensure people notice your message at the right time and respond at the right time.

    Based on her latest book 101 Tips to Supercharge Your Productivity, topics to help you achieve this goal will include:

    • Mail Merge using Outlook and Gmail to personalise each message.
    • Best Practices for email content.
    • When to not use email.
    • Things to stop doing (bcc, read receipts, using attachments rather than links).


    Learning Outcomes

    From this session you will learn how to:

    • Save time when needing to send the same email to multiple people and make each one personalized.
    • Send emails which people notice and do not see as pushy.
    • Improve your professional image through adopting email best practice.
  • PowerPoint versus Google Slides

    This is a joint session with Simon McCaskill

    In this session we aim to address the age-old debate which is better: PowerPoint or Google Slides?

    Melissa Esquibel, a Microsoft user and enthusiast, will showcase her favourite PowerPoint features before Simon McCaskill, a Google facilitator and Google slides evangelist, will try and replicate the function in Google Slides. Then the tables will be turned and roles reversed as Simon shares his favourite Google slides features for Melissa to match them in PowerPoint.

    With two passionate product champions sitting on two very different sides of the fence it looks set to be an interesting debate to say the least.

    Learning Outcomes

    • An understanding of the fundamental differences in PowerPoint and Google slides
    • Uncovering some of the hidden features of both PowerPoint and Google slides to take your presentations to the next level.
    • A balanced view of the pros and cons of each platform so you can make a better educated decision on your presentation platform of choice.
  • Tech and the Strategic Admin: Interview with Lucy Brazier

    With Lucy Brazier OBE

    Technology and the administrative profession are now inextricably linked. Declaring that “I’m not technical” is a career-limiting statement. But what should administrative professionals have in their toolbox to truly be seen as strategic? Lucy Brazier OBE and Melissa Esquibel have had this discussion many times over the years. This time they’re letting you in on the conversation!

    Join this lively discussion to learn what’s new, what’s necessary, and what you should know to stay at the top of your game, technologically speaking. You are certain to walk away with ways to help your executives and organizations be successful by offering support and insight in the tech arena.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Unjumble the various types of tech to understand how things tie together (or don’t)
    • See yourself as a tech influencer in your own workplace.
    • Determine the areas to focus on to truly be seen as strategic.
  • Dirty Data Clean Up

    In her book Dirty Data: Excel techniques to turn what you get into what you need, Melissa applies her particular brand of tech magic to fixing ugly data. In this session, she will show you some if her best tips in detail, how they work, when they don’t, and what to do about it. There will be tips for every level of Excel user, so don’t miss it because you think you’re not geeky enough. Actionable reports, visuals and dashboards are increasingly part of your role’s list of deliverables. Don’t let GIGO (Garbage In-Garbage Out) be your nemesis!

    Learning Outcomes

    • Learn how to unbundle stuck-together data to reveal insights into your information.
    • See how “cereal” dates can become “serial” dates so you can actually do powerful date math.
    • Understand how Power Query works to help you do the hard work only once, instead of over and over.
    • Gain confidence in your ability to work in Excel like an expert!


  • Excel: Next Level Skills – Power Query, the Data Model and More!

    Whether your Excel proficiency has been a proud banner you wave or something for which you always try to change the subject in an interview, you can’t deny the ability to sling data in a spreadsheet is often non-negotiable for a top notch administrative professional.

    For years, Excel stayed pretty much the same. If you wanted to do anything extraordinary, you needed to know how to program macros or create SQL (structured query language) scripts. If you are using the most recent versions of Excel, come and see how Microsoft has put advanced tools directly in your hands, code free.

    In this session, Melissa will introduce you to Power Query, the Data Model and pro secrets for churning out high quality reports and dashboards without needing to  know how to write code or learn a new application.

  • Outlook Inbox Management for Email Hoarders

    Do you face each new day with an inbox of hundreds or thousands of emails. Makes you tired just thinking about it, doesn’t it? If you’re tired of stepping over mountains of messages just to find out what you’re supposed to do today, then this course is for you! In this course you’ll:

    • Learn 3 ways to reduce your inbox by hundreds of emails in just seconds without losing anything you absolutely must keep.
    • Learn what the Archive tool does and be confident about what’s happening to your archived messages.
    • Learn how to use Filtering Rules, Quick Steps and Ignore to keep everything in its place, automatically!
    • Finally, stop creating copies of emails, just so you can find them where you want them.
  • SharePoint Collaboration How it was Meant to Be

    Are you wondering “What is this SharePoint thing and how am I supposed to use it?” If you answered “Yes!” help is here with SharePoint Collaboration How it was Meant to Be.

    SharePoint offers a better alternative to managing your work team processes and communication. No more endless copies and attachments! No more being locked out of files while someone else is editing. You’ll finally be able to make sense of:

    • The basic elements of SharePoint: lists, libraries and pages
    • The right way to set up libraries to make files easy to find
    • Managing permissions
    • Team calendars and tasks
    • Integrating SharePoint and Outlook
  • OneNote for the Savvy Admin

    Microsoft’s note taking application, coupled with the power of the cloud, is becoming an integral part of the admin pro landscape. After a brief introduction to the OneNote application, Melissa will show you these communication enhancing, sanity saving strategies from admins just like you.

    • Creating travel itineraries that are portable to any device!
    • Staying in touch with the boss without endless texts and e-mail messages
    • Managing projects and sharing tasks without losing control
    • Scramble-free meeting management in one tool.
  • Demystifying Excel Pivot Tables

    One of the most powerful tools in Excel is surprisingly easy to use. Data is not getting any smaller. And, the information we’re being asked to provide isn’t getting any less complicated. So, why are Pivot Tables so important to our work? Well, Pivot Tables can help you aggregate, calculate and format large volumes of data in easy to understand tables and charts, and do it quickly!

    Traditional tools like sort, filter, grouping and subtotaling can only get you so far. And the nature of these tools means that you’re either making multiple copies of the same data or designing reporting processes that are so manually intensive that errors are almost a guarantee! The flexibility and feature richness of Pivot Tables make them a must have tool in your toolbox for information analysis and reporting. We’ll cover:

    • Optimal data structures for Pivot Tables
    • Easy fixes to ugly data to get you on your way
    • Creating and Modifying Pivot Tables
    • Creating interactivity in Pivot Tables with Report Filters, Slicers, filtering and sorting
    • The impact of refreshing your pivot tables
    • How to create charts
    • Calculating with pivoted data
  • Excel Deep Dives by Application (HR/Payroll, Finance/Acctg, Sales/Marketing)

    These courses are specifically designed for specific job roles, with a mix of formula and function solutions, as well as data analysis tools like tables, pivot tables, and dashboards.

  • Managing Projects with Everyday Office

    Do you manage projects? Are you lucky enough to have robust project management applications that can manage task plans, track progress and help you plan? If you use the standard Microsoft Office Suite, you do! Microsoft Excel, Outlook and OneNote all feature powerful project-management tools. You just need to know where to look!

    In Excel, you’ll discover:

    • How to use Filter to create instant status reports.
    • How to create charts that let you track resource usage and progress.
    • How to use Conditional Formatting to alert you of past due tasks or overcommitted resources


    In Outlook you’ll learn:

    • How using categories can enable management of multiple projects at a glance.
    • How to create task plan “templates” for repeatable success
    • How to delegate tasks to others and keep tabs on their progress.


    In OneNote, you’ll see:

    • How task lists can synch with other programs
    • How project status reports practically write themselves
    • Change control features that let you know who changed what when
    • Clever uses for tags that keep everyone on task
  • Tackling the Big Document: Advanced Word Skills

    Everyone thinks they know enough Microsoft Word until… THE BIG DOCUMENT! From creating sections, headers, footers, tables of contents, tables of figures and precise page numbering, working on the big document can be daunting and time consuming, unless you know the right tools to use! Right from the beginning you’ll be amazed at the time savings you’ll realize in keyboard shortcuts and styles. You’ll understand how to create a multi-sectioned document that displays different headers based on the section title, different footers based on the document portion (cover and table of contents, body, appendix, etc). You’ll even master those custom numbering schemes often found in technical documents, procedure manuals and RFPs (requests for proposals). Stop struggling and start taming that big document before it takes over your life!

  • PowerPoint on the Fast Track

    Create PowerPoint presentations in minutes instead of hours. Yes, I said it! Do you spend an entire day creating a presentation? Are you nudging objects and tweaking text formatting on each individual slide to get it to look just right! Let Melissa give you back your time (and your sanity) with this eye-opening course on the RIGHT way to create a PowerPoint presentation. You’ll discover:

    • Why PowerPoint may not be the best place to start!
    • Why manual formatting changes to individual slides is costing you hours of time and frustration.
    • How to create slick graphics and even animate them in just a few clicks.
    • The RIGHT way to get Excel data, charts and graphs in a presentation to protect sensitive information and allow it to be responsive to changes.
    • Tips along to the way to be a superstar presenter and meaningfully engage your audiences.
  • PowerPoint Razzle Dazzle: Animation and more

    Have you ever seen an over-animated presentation and just rolled your eyes? Getting things to flash and fly across the screen may be fun, but it is not useful if it does not communicate your message. But, PowerPoint does enable you to create some pretty slick animations that keep your audience engaged and really help drive you message home. This course goes beyond bullet points that fly and fade in to video-quality animation. You’ll learn how to:

    • Work with the animation timeline to be more precise about when an animation starts and stops.
    • How to approximate movement using object transform effects.
    • Take a simply SmartArt diagram and make it come alive on the screen.
    • Animate charts and graphs so you can break down a complicated diagram into simple bite-sized explanations.
    • You’ll even learn how to use the new Morph transition and 3-D objects
  • Organizing Chaos: The Email Inbox

    Dr. Monica Seeley and Melissa Esquibel, MCT, MOSM, will examine the why and wherefore of organization, then take you into the nitty gritty of folders, categories, labels and stars in both Outlook and Gmail.

    There are many ways to organize and process email. Is your method working well or do you find it falling apart midstream leading you into another massive clean-up operation? Perhaps you are hoarding email, squirrelling away messages in folders so you don’t have to see the chaos (organized chaos is still chaos).

    After this lively session with the authors of 100 Tips to Supercharge Your Productivity (due for release Autumn 2020), you’ll walk away with new insight into why you keep messages, how to find them, where you keep them, and for how long.

  • Wrapping your head around Office 365

    There are so many myths and guesses about what Office 365 is and isn’t. When you hear the announcement that your organization is going to Office 365, it can start a panic. What does it mean? This program will dispel the myths and give you a game plan as you consider transitioning to Office 365. Already gone? Then this program will help you grasp how all the elements fit together, how they are meant to interact, why online apps and desktop apps are both included and how they are related. This program is highly customizable and can be extended to manage rollout training, generate job aids, and custom solutions.

  • Keynote Presentations

    Producing a conference? Begin with the end in mind by launching it with a keynote that sets up your attendees for success by giving them a strategy for taking notes, organizing takeaways and constructing a trip report or making a presentation that will enable them to attend more events like yours!

    • Bringing it Back with Impact: Showing ROI for conference attendance
    • Getting ahead by getting out front: Presenting for the reluctant


    The role of technology in career success is virtually in extricable. When you see a toddler operating an iPad and grade schoolers writing programming code, it’s time to start realizing that being comfortable with technology on the job is really not optional. That said, technical prowess alone isn’t enough to be a standout professional. You must know how to use it to support the most important elements of business, people and communication.

    • Worshipping Idols: The mistake of tech for tech’s sake:
    • Overwhelmed by Technology: Staying relevant in a fast-moving world
    • Talking Tech across the Generation Gap (and other Bias Blocks)
  • Gerald S. – Project Manager

    She knew the material and connected with the attendees for each of the sessions. She was entertaining in a way that kept the attendees attention and made the training sessions fly by.

  • Carolyn F. – Newsletter Editor/Webinar Producer

    … top-notch Microsoft® Certified Trainer who is able to relate her knowledge of Microsoft software in a manner that is easy for any audience to grasp.

  • Sharon T. – Real Estate Broker

    Whether you are a novice user or a veteran user, undoubtedly she will give you hands-on confidence and offer something new and interesting for your home office usage or corporate office.

  • Lyle S. – Student

    Through her humorous yet no nonsense delivery she combines a steady flow of useful working examples, theory and an arsenal of effective and time saving techniques and shortcuts to make your time far more efficient.

  • Jennifer N. – Technical Recruiter

    … witty, clever, authentic and delivers powerful training.

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