Tim Page-Bottorff, CSP wants you to know that safety doesn’t have to be boring. When conducting safety training, the best way to engage your audience is with humor, he said. Stories are the best way to get started, Page-Bottorff said on Monday during a flash session on the expo floor. He suggests injecting funny stories, videos and images into safety presentations to increase employee engagement and retention.

Most people only retain 5 percent of knowledge from lectures, Page-Bottorff said. Discussions and interactive activities offer much higher rates of retention. He said if employees are having a good time while learning about safety, they will be more likely to remember what was discussed. Lectures rarely offer the opportunity for a good time, he said, so focus on demonstrations rather than simply reading directly from a book.

Another way to increase engagement is to set up tables in the classroom so they are angled toward the speaker, Page-Bottorff said. This also facilitates group activity and discussion. He also suggests showing videos and images that elicit laughter because he said anything that causes a reaction from the audience while they are learning something important is sure to be remembered.