Especially for those more familiar with in-person meetings, remote conference calls can be a challenge: There are often participants who struggle with the technology or their at-home bandwidth. Once "in" the meeting, people also often talk over each other, which is even more critical not to do, given issues of buffering, delays, and speaker clarity.
EHL Values Ambassador, Christophe Laurent has put together 10 tips for ensuring that we maintain professional video calls and successful remote learning.
1. Test your IT equipment in advance
In regards to IT, it is always advised to test your equipment before the start of the online session: set up your microphone and camera, test your access to the chat conversation, keep your laptop and headset chargers nearby and choose the soft and hardware that will allow you a maximum of features. Please note that using a laptop or a desktop computer is preferable, as not all mobile devices will give you access to all required features (example: access to chat conversation or slides viewing).
Should you encounter any IT issues, please try first to exit and re-join the video call. The minimum recommended internet speed is 4.5 Mbps. You can verify your connection here: https://www.speedtest.net/.
2. Prepare your material
If you are the call organizer, decide in advance how you would like to share slides or projects, and remember to close all personal windows/applications if you share your desktop.
3. Dress appropriately
The adage that says that “you never have a second chance to make a good first impression” is of course also valid when meeting via video calls. Even if only your face and shoulders are in the frame, you should dress professionally. Until the campus reopens, you should respect a business casual dress code during remote courses and respect the usual EHL attire during video calls with external representatives.
4. Set up an adequate environment
Choose the place you will be having the video call carefully as you should not be disturbed by external elements during the session. In addition, let us remind you that the people you’re interacting with will see whatever is behind you, so make sure your background is uncluttered and professional.
5. Be on time (!)
As with any traditional meeting, being on time is an absolute standard.
Online courses will be recorded to facilitate viewing in all time zones. With this in mind, attendance rules are relaxed during connect sessions, however active participation is recommended whenever possible.
6. Introduce yourself before talking
Some programs do not always notify who is talking so in order to avoid any chaotic situation, we highly recommend to speak in turn and introduce yourself before talking. Consider something simple and polite like "Hi it’s Chandler Bing, I have a question for Phoebe Buffay.”
7. Pay attention and maintain eye contact
It’s easy for other participants to tell if you aren't fully focused and present during the video call. That is why we recommend to maintain eye contact and to look straight into the camera.
We also kindly invite you to close all unnecessary applications and tabs and to turn off notifications that could distract you or your peers.
8. Mute your microphone while not talking
Make sure to mute your microphone when you are not speaking or during breaks, as your microphone may generate interferences that could disturb your peers.
9. Interact by following the rules of the organizer
Each organizer has his/her own preferences regarding the conference call’s structure: some want participants to use the chat to ask their questions while others may prefer to have a dedicated Q&A session at the end. Thus, we recommend to clearly stipulate these at the beginning of the session, and ensure everyone follows the guidelines.
10. Respect your peers and show understanding
Remote learning and meetings via video calls can be challenging. We invite the EHL Family to demonstrate resilience and adaptability while always respecting others. Listening to your peers and professors is the key to successful remote learning!
11. Inform your audience if you are recording the video call
It is completely fine to record the video call session in order to review it later on but please make sure you notify your audience beforehand.