Mr Excel (Bill Jelen) Power Excel Seminars

Last week I attended one of Bill Jelen’s Power Excel Seminars.  The event was hosted by Excel4Apps at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto.

It was free to attend and all attendees received a free copy of the recently published ‘Mr Excel – The 40 Greatest Excel Tips of All Time‘ book by Bill Jelen and Szilvia Juhasz. 

Mr Excel 40 Greatest Excel Tips Of All Time


Why Attend?

If you spend even a moderate amount of time using Microsoft Excel then trust me, you will benefit from one of these seminars. As Bill mentioned, there are approximately 750 million people who use Excel regularly. Imagine the time that could be saved by learning how to use Excel more efficiently!

But it wasn’t just the Excel tips that made it worthwhile. Bill has presented in front of live audiences so many times that he’s got the mix and delivery of knowledge and humor down to a science. It’s like watching a well rehearsed comedy routine. Who else could get so many laughs from a crowd when the only topic is Microsoft Excel! I would probably put the audience to sleep.


GASPS From the Crowd!

Previously, I have heard Bill mention that the crowd gasps when watching the seminar. Why gasp? 

Here’s an example: imagine that you spend many hours per year preparing reports and you didn’t realize that there’s a quick way to reduce this large amount of time. This is why the crowd gasps! 

I was watching for these gasps and I caught these (all videos created by Bill Jelen)

  • Show Report Filter Pages‘  (Video) pivot option gem saves tons of time when creating reports!
  • Sort Data by Subtotals‘  (Video) keeps data in place while sorting the subtotals!
  • Alt ;   (Shortcut) highlight an area of data, hold down the Alt key and press the semicolon key (as found in ‘Go To special’) 
  • Recover Unsaved Workbooks’ (Video) this received the biggest gasp of the seminar!


Kevin’s Highlights

I wasn’t just taking notes of when the crowd was gasping. I was also taking notes for myself. Here are some of my favorite highlights:

  • ‘Power Query’ When Mr Excel calls this the ‘Nobel Prize Feature’ then it’s got to be amazing! Bill gave us a demonstration and he’s right, it is amazing! When you use it to cleanup and reshape your data, the M language records your steps. Ken Puls was written a book called ‘M Is for (Data) Monkey: A Guide to the M Language in Excel Power Query‘. In Excel 2016 Power Query is no longer an add-in but a native feature found in the ‘Get & Transform’ section.
  • Power BI‘ Bill showed us how to type a question into the search area and see Power BI magically show us the answer. Read here to learn more.
  • Filter By Selection‘ (Video) Why haven’t I been using this? It’s great! Add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.



The seminar was hosted by Excel4Apps which specializes in Excel based reporting tools that connect to Oracle and SAP. The gave us an impressive demo. A special thanks to them for the food, drinks and prizes.


Future Power Seminars

Click here to see a list of Bill’s future seminars. Thanks Bill for coming back to Toronto!


5 Comments Mr Excel (Bill Jelen) Power Excel Seminars

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    1. Kevin Lehrbass

      Thanks Rick! It was fun attending and taking notes. I felt like an Excel reporter! …I’m 6 feet 4 inches tall. I have already shrunk 1/2 inch over the years from ducking so much.

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