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  • Glenn van Zutphen

The Mute(ed) Professor... Can You Hear Me Now?

Updated: Feb 13, 2021

Question: When presenting on Zoom... how long do you speak before checking in with your audience?

Story: Many of us may have wished that we could mute the professor during our university days. But students in Singapore recently got a bit more than they bargained for when their National University of Singapore (NUS) associate professor belatedly realised that he had been frozen and on mute for the majority of his two-hour Zoom lecture.

Math Associate Professor Wang Dong, realized it only when he opened the mic for Q&A at the end and his students told him they missed all of his content. Though the 20-plus students tried to warn him on the chat and via his mobile phone, they couldn’t get through. After realizing it was a problem with his iPad connectivity, he composed himself and offered to repeat the lecture in the future.

For now, he checks his signal and keeps his mobile phone close by when he teaches --- but he STILL hasn't answered the questions as to why he talks so long (two hours) without pausing to let his students ask questions?

Tip: When doing virtual presentations, check in or have some sort of engagement every fifteen minutes or so with your audience, to keep them engaged and to make sure you're not frozen!

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