A good safety speaker pays attention to their audience. Listen to their questions and be sure to find out from them what they want to learn. I am sure you have experienced, as I have, the situation in which someone asks a question during a training session about a subject you are planning on covering later. It is tempting to tell them you will be discussing it. I prefer to have flexibility in my lesson plan for the session.

When someone asks a question it tells me the subject is already on their mind and they are looking for an answer. What a great opportunity to teach the safety concept at that moment. It is the ultimate in relevancy.

Listen to discussions during breaks and at meals. You may pick up on other circumstances that will allow you to teach people when they are most receptive.

On occasion it is not possible to answer the question or cover the subject out of order. In those cases, make it a point when you get to the answer to refer back to the person’s question from earlier in the day. It will get their attention and remind the audience you are listening. It also tells them you kept your commitment to cover the subject later.

In the world

A few weeks ago, I discussed Opportunity Teaching as it applies to the world around us. Today, I want to discuss the same concept in the training room. Many safety professionals are looking for safety topics.  As a safety speaker, over the past 24 years, I have learned a technique that can help you keep current and increase your effectiveness. This technique is what I call, “Opportunity Teaching.”

Opportunity teaching can be used in the training room or on the job site.

The secret is to ask yourself, “What safety illustrations can I make while discussing events in the news, on the job, in the community or even in the training room itself?”

The ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” is a perfect example. All over social media the challenge was showing up. In the news, there were stories of injuries incurred by people who didn’t keep safety in mind. YouTube had several, “Ice Bucket Challenge Fail” videos. Since you know your employees may be discussing this you can use it to teach a safety concept.

Until next week,
I'll be, "Watching Out For Everyone's Safety™"