I learned a few years ago that by reading books and acquiring information that are completely unrelated to your work or current project, you open up to new and different opportunities. Your thinking expands.

Well isn’t that profound!

Not really when you consider that training in many ways is about the “presentation” as much as it is about the content. Of course the content must be current, accurate and relevant, but it also must be interesting. If you can’t grab the interest of the learners you lose and so do they.

Okay, almost everyone gets this.

Recently, I’ve been reading books by Seth Godin; “Purple Cow” and “Linchpin” among others. Both books are very well written, short and to the point and even though they don’t mention it, relate directly to effective training.

Seth is a marketing guru, speaks all over the world, and is in high demand as a consultant.


He understands people and the new ways of communicating. Social media methods are high on his list, but moreover he understands how important “wow” and “remarkable” are in achieving sales success.

We’ve been told that good safety managers and trainers need to be good sales people. I don’t disagree, since we are selling ideas and methods to solve problems. However, in reading Seth Godin I’ve learned that we need to be even better marketers. Before we even think about conducting safety training and selling people on new methods, we need to position the need for the training. “Positioning” is a marketing term that helps those we want to influence understand the issue and what we will help them solve. It provides context in which the learning will take place.

Creating and spreading “ideaviruses”

With all the noise or distractions in our world it is very difficult to get people’s attention. All the more reason for creating a marketing plan and establishing importance. Then deliver with a “wow” factor. You don’t have to have the best visuals, but good ones help. Telling stories that really bring the content to life will immerse the minds of the learners. Hands-on learning and demonstrations help individuals translate the content or information back to their own work situation. The key though is getting them to engage, smile or even laugh, and be themselves. How many training sessions have you been to where you felt at ease, smiled a lot and found good information you wanted to put to practice right away? That’s what I’m talking about.

Last, but not least, find ways to make the training “remarkable”. When training is remarkable people talk about it later and share it with others. Godin calls this “Sneezing”. When people share they “sneeze” information and ideas with many others, creating “ideaviruses.”

Think about how good it will be when you get your employees excited about a training experience and they begin to share it with others. (Be sure to write back and share the experience!)

So my point is pretty simple: think like a marketer when preparing your next training program. Find ways to make the experience stand out. Maybe even find ways to make it “REMARKABLE.”

We want to create sneezers throughout our workplace and spread safety everywhere.