Engage, Inform and Educate with a Presentation

by A Guest Author

Who remembers their first health and safety talk?  Most likely it was in a small back room with poor lighting, delivered by a man with  green trousers and a flip chart.  It probably also lasted about three times as long as it needed to.  While training has come on a long way since those dark days, it can still leave a hell of a lot to be desired.  With health and safety officers, in particular, derided for their boring presentation skills, it’s time to freshen up your in-house training and give your employees something that they’ll truly remember.

Start With a Bang

Attention.  It’s the one thing that will drift away with a boring presentation, leaving your audience dreaming of somewhere else.  If there’s a fire, are they going to remember what to do?  If the talk they were given lasted three hours, it’s likely they won’t remember a thing.  The first thing to remember when presenting some outwardly boring material is that, yes, it is boring.  No-one wants to hear the fire safety arrangements spelled out letter by letter, that’s not going to work.  So bring them into the presentation with a bang, something that grabs there attention.

So, make it fun.  Add in some jokes and make fun of yourself.  If you make the presentation enjoyable, then people will remember what you have to say.

Only Useful Information is Good Information

So many old presentations were filled up with stats and graphics presenting information that had absolutely no relevance to the current work-force.  Giving your health and safety presentation including figures from an old office is just going to make your employees yawn.  They don’t want to have to listen to something that has no effect on them and had nothing to do with them in the first place.  The second rule of all training is relevance.  Show your audience things that will be interesting and useful to them, not interesting and useful to you.  While you may want to know how much the company lost through workplace accidents, your employees don’t.  Instead, tell them how it has reduced their bonus or how it caused disruption to their work – something that directly affected them.

Keep it Short

The attention span of the average adult has shrunk in recent years.  Thanks to the internet, people can get ready access to all kinds of useful information, making their lives easier and the amount of time they have to spend looking for something shorter.  So if you can say something in half an hour that previously took you two hours, say it in half an hour.  It’s better to leave out some information that isn’t going to be useful than to include everything and have your audience forget it all.

This brings us to your delivery.  Those 80’s style flipcharts have to be out.  A flipchart makes your audience believe you’re lecturing them.  Now, while this is useful if you are lecturing them and are presenting detailed information they want to know, if you’re presenting the fire drill they’re not really going to pay it that much attention.  If you’ve seen the YouTube video of the steward on an airplane rapping the safety announcement, then you’ll know that people remember what he said.  Who pays attention to that safety information usually?  Well, his passengers will remember the exits.  They may even rap lines of the announcement to each other: it was fun and engaging

In order to get your message across in the best possible way, why not get some presentation skills training from drama professionals?  You can be remembered like David the flight attendant.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Harvey October 15, 2012 at 10:31 am

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Daren Giovanetti November 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

You hit the nail within the head my friend! Some people just do not get it!


Buy Apples March 28, 2013 at 6:16 am

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