Giving safety talks, commonly known as toolbox talks, is vital for helping teams work safely. Toolbox talks help prepare teams for the work ahead, bring awareness of potential risks and increase knowledge of what to do in an emergency. Toolbox talks are essential on the job site, and getting your crew to listen is paramount. However, there are struggles with giving safety talks, public speaking is one of them, and you need to keep your audience focused. If workers become distracted or ignore your advice, they could be unaware of the potential risks or solutions to dangerous problems. That is why making your toolbox talk short, engaging, and imperative is essential.
Here are our tips to help you improve your toolbox talks.
Prepare and Rehearse
Trying to plan relevant and short safety topics for toolbox meetings regularly might be intimidating. That's why it's best to plan. Prepare what you want to cover by writing bullet points or your entire speech and rehearse. Make a time goal for your toolbox talk to avoid wasting anyone's time.
Make eye contact
Eye contact can help you engage with your audience and hold their interest. Try to meet your audience's gaze while you deliver your talk casually. Keep eye contact brief and move on to the next individual. You don't want people to feel like you're staring at them.
Public speaking to any size crowd can be nerve-wracking. That doesn't mean you have to look like you're nervous. No one has to know you're nervous. Do these things so you look and sound confident:
- Stand up straight.
- Keep your chin up.
- Use your hands to make gestures, highlight important points, or count off items on a list.
- Keep your hands out of your pockets.
Practice these four things in the mirror. If you can master these four physical tips, you're headed in the right direction.
Speak slowly and clearly
Please don't rush through the talks to get them over with. If you rush through your safety talks, you could make it harder for people to listen. Speaking quickly is natural, especially if you're nervous or excited. But slow down and take time to think about what you're saying. Your audience will also find it easier to keep track of your talk and take in your points.
Tell a story to engage your listeners.
Add context to your toolbox talk by telling a story from your professional or personal experience. Keep any stories you use concise and on topic. Avoid telling stories for the sake of shock value. Instead, they need to be on point with the safety talk.
We hope these tips help you give regular safety talks. Remember to prepare, rehearse, make eye contact, hold yourself confidently, speak slowly and clearly and tell a relevant story. Do these, and you'll do great.