Safety talks are basically short presentations (speeches) on health and safety on the job. It emphasizes the commitment of both the employer and employee to reduce hazards in the workplace. Minimizing accidents on the job is the primary concern of any company with of course, less cost.
Safety talks is probably one of the most interesting and challenging topics to deliver as a motivational speaker. How so? Well, for one thing, your target audience are professionals – professionals with their set biases. These include rank and file employees plus top management. These are the people with knowledge of how things go about the company. They have already gained ample experience from years of service.Moreover, much of their habits, attitudes and perspectives are brought about by the people they worked with – their bosses and colleagues. Now, the tricky part here is communicating safety to them, changing their mindset on safety and how to get these people involved in just a matter of minutes (or the duration of the session).
Secondly, your message is clearly identified: safety. You can not deviate away from this topic but by all means, find ways on how to present it in different angles suitable for the culture of the company. One must keep in mind that the ultimate goal of his presentation is to encourage the top management to pursue this as a priority in the company and for employees to embrace the value of safety in their line of work.
It may look as if safety talks are hard to pull. Well, it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE! Here are some tips to help you achieve a successful safety talk:
1. Be engaging.
Just like any other speeches or presentations that you have delivered, talks should be engaging as well. Ordinary workers, most especially those who have worked for several years in the company, might find the topic “not useful”. They might think that it’s “just another boring talk about work.” They believe that they already know everything there is to know on being safe. They don’t want changes. Constant is safe.
Your audience has already a bag full of preconceptions with them. You must be able to work your way through these barriers in order to get your desired result. Break those preconceptions and create a new one. You want them to come into realization and pursue a plan of action. You have to keep them motivated. And you can’t do that if they will be sneering and snoring for the duration of your talk. Try to be creative in delivering your message. A good sense of humor can be way helpful to make this heavy topic lighter.
2. Be professional.
Remember, you are dealing with professionals. So, you must also be professional. Professional in the way you dress, you carry yourself, your manners, and your speech. You want them not just to hear what you have to say but also to follow through. And it’s hard to follow someone whom you think is not credible. Cracking jokes can be good ice breakers but be aware of boundaries. You want them to be engaged but not overly so that they don’t take the issue on safety seriously. In the end, you want them to remember your key points NOT your jokes!
3. Be informative.
Safety talks should be backed with careful and thorough research. You don’t give information based on a hunch. They come to your presentation to learn, to be informed. You need to be updated with the latest survey, statistics, research and other information that can be used to drive home your message. Learn about the company as well – their policies (old and new) and if there are incident reports to review, etc.You want to open their minds on the importance of safety. Presenting facts will help.
4. Be sympathetic.
You must be able to show them their value as an individual worker and collectively as an organization. You have to make them understand that their safety is of utmost concern. If people can see their value, they would learn to appreciate the essence of being responsible for their own safety and accountable for the safety of others they come in contact with.
5. Be real.
Effective motivational speakers speak from the heart. It adds to your credibility to speak directly based on your experience, if you do have one. Honestly, it’s quite hard to talk about something you don’t clearly know or haven’t experienced. Yes, you could always count on research to know more about your topic but, it takes experience to fully understand which theories are true and effective, and which ones are impossible and nominal. Talking with your head is informative but talking with your heart – well, that’s appealing.Again, keep in mind that your objective is not only to inform but to “motivate” them into a plan of action.
Though several companies have paid enormous amounts of money for safety equipment, training workers, hiring professionals and changing systems, still a great number of industries are just shrugging their shoulders and turning their heads the other way when safety issues arise. They fail to realize that safety goes hand in hand with productivity. That when people feel safe, they would work harder because they don’t need to fear being hurt. Clearly, injured or worse, dead employees aren’t as productive as those who are healthy and secured.
Safety First – this is probably the most widely used signage in companies. But reminders are just words. Reducing the risk of incidents in the workplace takes hard work. Motivational speakers can take part of that action through providing safety talks. Hopefully, the above mentioned tips can help you deliver a powerful talk to help save more lives!
27 May 2016