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  • Writer's pictureDeane Lam

Tips - Pre-Call Checklist: 10 Essential Video Call Questions


I started collaborating with clients and consultants online more than 10 years ago. I have meetings with clients, design programs together, conduct coaching sessions, deliver training, and present proposals all through audio or video calls.

Even today, many organizations still prefer using the dial-in (landline telephone) approach to deliver corporate training programs to their employees nationwide. They believe the call/video approach is easy, cost-effective, and flexible to arrange for offices in different time zones around the world.

I enjoy this working environment very much. As long as I have a device with a camera connected to the internet, I can feel that people are here working with me, which is quite fun, and distance is no longer an issue.

In fact, I just finished a video call training session with a team of my clients, and I would like to share with you a quick checklist of what and how I usually prepare for a video call.

  1. Is your "view" pleasant? - Prepare yourself a pleasant "view" when you sit at your desk. Have a window to see outside, an inspirational canvas artwork, a potted plant, a lighted candle, sunlight, or even a family photo. Give yourself a pleasant view to aid your thinking process and keep you in the right vibe.

  2. Is your background clean? - Check the camera to ensure there is enough sunlight or brightness, and that your background is clean and tidy.

  3. Do you "look" professional? - Check the camera to ensure you look professional. This is not just about your makeup, hair, and business suit; also check how you appear on camera. Position yourself in the center of the screen, allowing people to see your upper body, posture, and gestures. Make sure you don't have a double chin!

  4. Does stand-up help you today? - Depending on the nature of the call and how it could help you perform your best, consider preparing a setup, such as a standing desk with an open space background, especially for presentations.

  5. Is the call ready? - Test the app/software online, ensure you have enough call credits, check the internet connection, and verify the correct contact information for the call on FaceTime, Skype, WeChat, WhatsApp, or other video chat platforms.

  6. Does your device have enough battery? - If you are using a mobile device, ensure you have a backup battery or plug in your device to avoid disruptions.

  7. Do you have the material ready? - Organise all necessary materials on your desk so you don't need to move around during the call.

  8. Do you have stationery? - Prepare a pen and paper to jot down important notes. Avoid typing during the call, as it can be distracting.

  9. Do you need a cuppa? - Prepare a cup of tea or coffee, and an extra glass or bottle of water. Avoid sensitive quotes on your cup.

  10. Are you ready? - Take a deep breath and assess how you feel. Consider using calming scents like aromatherapy room spray, roll-ons, essential oil diffusers, or candles to create a calm and focused atmosphere. My favourite essential oil is bergamot, mandarin and mint, to help myself calm and focus. Here is our room spray DIY information sheet for your reference.

Be inventive and experiment with anything that might enhance your performance. For instance, consider the mobile phone stand my son built for me last year—it continues to serve its purpose flawlessly. Enjoy your call!


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