Employee safety and well-being have never been under more scrutiny than in the modern age. Compared to the Industrial Age when workers were viewed as little more than cogs in the system, companies in the Information Age are actually compelled to provide their employees with a good work-life balance. And part of making any office a humane place to work in involves giving regular safety talks.
Unlike keynote speeches or year-end reports, safety talks are relatively more straightforward. They were designed to remind employees to adhere to certain company policies so that their well-being remains safe while on the job. However, giving a good safety talk takes a bit more than simply reading passages off the company manual.
So, what does it take to pull off an engaging talk on safety? For starters, the speakers behind effective safety talks often have the following characteristics:
Each workplace and occupation comes with its own unique set of potential hazards. A good safety talk speaker should be able to recognize that, along with what those hazards are exactly and stick to those. You can probably give a briefing on basic security during the start of the safety talks, but otherwise, you should focus only on addressing the prevention of the potential dangers in your work place or profession.
As a guide, whenever you hesitate about including a particular topic in your presentation, ask yourself if it is a common concern for the people you will be addressing. If the answer is “no” or if it takes you too long to decide, then perhaps it is better omitted.
One way to radiate integrity where safety talks are concerned is to prepare well before the presentation. You should be well-acquainted with the basics of safe workplace practices and with the company policies that are relevant to the topic at hand. In addition to this, you also need to cultivate a respectable demeanor. Good body posture (upright but relaxed), a well-modulated voice, and proper pacing all indicate the sort of quiet confidence that an audience is more likely to take note of and pay attention to.
3.) A genuine concern for people’s well-being.
Most safety officers take on the job not just because it yields a regular paycheck, but also because they are catering to a higher calling. After all, how many people can say that their main occupation is looking after their fellow colleague’s safety and security?
There is a saying that goes, “People don’t care what you know unless they know how much you care.” This just means that people are more likely to listen to what you have to say if they can sense that you are giving the presentation for their benefit. You don’t have to present a dramatic façade to accomplish this, of course. Simply refrain from reading off the slides and address the audience in your own words, not so much as a boss, but as a fellow colleague facing the same dangers in the same workplace.
It is usually very helpful to have an open forum of sorts at the end of every safety talk. This way, you can address any questions or concerns that may have arisen in the minds of your audience during your presentation. A good safety officer not only makes time for this, but is also able to anticipate the sort of concerns that may come up.
And in case a question leaves you stumped, just say that you will look into it and get back to the person who posed it (and make sure that you do). A bit of humility and sincerity goes a longer way than pretending to be all-knowing.
– Most safety officers take on the job not just because it yields a regular paycheck, but also because they are catering to a higher calling.