It is understandable that some people do not always look forward to attending safety presentations. They find them boring, not realizing that they can potentially save lives. For some reasons, they just do not like safety and health. Safety trainers do not have to be discouraged, instead they have to break through any barrier and get the audience to realize that the message of the presentation is relevant to them. Here are some ways on how to work with a difficult audience and actually inspire them.
Keep It Real
Safety and health could sometimes be a bit abstract. The best way to oppose this idea is for the safety trainer to base his presentation on actual life experiences. Statistics about work accidents are a good way to provide context, but he has to balance it with the bigger picture of actual events. For example, the trainer can discuss the alarming construction statistics, but then, he could use an example of a real life event about someone whose life was destroyed after a construction site accident. This can make the employees stop and think and get out of their boredom.
Do Not Rant
It can be tempting to have an outburst, especially when considering the effects of accidents such as a financial burden, devastated lives, and overall suffering. However, sometimes, a rational and calm discussion could have a bigger impact. This does not mean that the safety trainer cannot be passionate, but he could just let the truth speak for itself that it is not necessary to yell and risk turning people off.
Make Some Jokes
Safety presentations mean serious business, but this does not mean that the trainer cannot ease the tension by making an unusual joke. Humor can be a good way to set the ball rolling with an uninterested audience. This can also help the employees become more responsive to the ideas introduced to them.
One of the keys to a successful safety presentation is to be honest. Remember that the employees may not always know the current safety issues, so the trainer has to fit his message to the crowd. The trainer always has to check the understanding of the employees as they go along if they have any doubt.
Criticize With Hindsight
This technique is effective in almost every kind of presentation. It is the one where the safety trainer can second-guess the comment he might encounter like safety is time-consuming or expensive, then dispute it in advance. For instance, the trainer might want to assure the employees that even though there is an expense needed for safety presentations, it is just a little thing if compared to the expense and time an accident in the workplace can cause. Always remind the employees that workplace accidents cost the US economy $192 billion annually.
Bring It Home
This is a crucial part wherein the safety trainer notices that the employees actually sit straight up and listen to him. During safety presentations, it can sometimes be challenging to make everyone realize the consequences of what they do. It affects not just themselves, but all the people who care for them, especially their family. Perhaps death is a natural occurrence, but it is a difficult thing for many people.
However, when employees are asked to think through how their spouse would feel when they receive a phone call about that sad news, or how their kids would be like to grow up without a parent, it all suddenly begins to be real. This is not to frighten the employees, but sometimes, it is important to emphasize the risks in order for them to make the right choices.
Safety presentations were engaging, entertaining, motivational and balanced with good substance for take-away utilization.