Most workplaces are under government regulations to provide the utmost safety. While that is primarily related to how the business is run, equipment maintenance, and issues that directly relate to safety, it indirectly relates to teaching employees the best practices for maintaining safety.
Safety seminars typically aren’t mandated in most places but are a common practice. They can reduce insurance costs and show the company is fulfilling all its responsibilities regarding safety. That can be important if it is ever sued. Most of all, workplace safety speakers can motivate employees to always use best practices so that everyone stays safe.
Hiring a motivational workplace safety speaker is an important decision. You want someone who knows the material and remains entertaining. After all, no one wants to go to another boring seminar.
Several ways exist to help you find and hire a great motivational workplace safety speaker and who you choose depends on your needs and your budget.
Understand What You Can Spend
The amount of money you can afford to spend on a motivational safety speaker is going to point you in specific directions. The average price for speakers that are hired by large corporations ranges from $5,000 to $12,000. You may not have that much so you may need to do some research to find one within your budget. They are out there and some may do safety seminars for around $1000.
Government officials can sometimes offer excellent motivational safety seminars and sometimes will do that for free or at a reduced cost. These are people who deal with general safety topics such as fire safety, dealing with hazardous chemicals, driving safety, and food service safety. They wouldn’t talk about specific industry standards in safety. You will need a specialized speaker for that.
Offices to contact for government-backed safety speakers are the local fire marshal, the Department of Environmental Services, and the state patrol.
You may be able to cut some costs if you hire a speaker who has written a book on safety. Many will curb their speaker’s fees if they are allowed to sell their book after the seminar. Having a published author also offers a good bit of credibility for your company.
Identify Your Needs
One of the first steps in hiring the right motivational safety speaker for your company is to know what you want. There are a couple of elements every great motivational speaker has including:
A solid motivational safety speaker is going to know their stuff. You need to decide whether you want someone specific to your industry or someone who can address a wide range of safety concerns. Either way, the speaker you choose should have some data and be able to back it up.
Data strikes a bit of fear into employees because it provides a reality check for them. Understanding that safety is serious is a good thing. You will need to balance that with the next crucial element, which is an inspiration.
A speaker that understands that balance is the one you should aim to hire, even if they cost a little more money. After all, you don’t want a speaker that has terrific data but sounds like Ben Stein in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
A motivational speaker should leave the audience inspired to do better. There may be different styles within the element on how to do that. They may be a great storyteller or may have personal experiences that others can relate to and understand. Their stories or inspirational elements show the audience why they should care about safety beyond the numbers. It puts a human face and connection to it.
How they inspire also provides a connection to the audience. Being able to relate to the audience and shift gears if necessary is one of the most important skills of a great speaker.
The best speakers can read the room and judge if an audience is with them. They can also make sudden changes to get the audience to track with them if they aren’t on board.
It may be the speaker suddenly ditches the statistical slides and invites someone up to participate in role play or something similar. Creating a sudden change of pace should be a part of a motivational speaker’s skill set.
Every great speaker, no matter what the subject, can connect to the audience on a personal level. They may use humor, body language, eye contact, or interact with the audience. The method of connection is subjective and your personal preference but there should be a connection.
This is the most time-consuming part of your efforts in finding a solid speaker. One of the most convenient ways to find a good speaker that understands your specific industry is to call the state or national industry association.
Most industries are part of a larger association and every one of those groups has a list of qualified speakers on several topics. They will give you access to the list for free if you are an industry member and sometimes even if you aren’t a member.
The only disadvantage of going this route is the association may not be able to tell you how good the speakers are. You will need to do some extra legwork to figure that out before you hire.
Another way to find a good motivational speaker is to contact professional speaker’s bureaus. Typically, these bureaus offer speakers that are more general for information rather than a specific industry but some could offer specific industry speakers.
The National Speakers Association is across the country and offers thousands of choices for a variety of topics. There are also private booking agencies that will work with you, although they are more expensive.
One excellent resource is the speaker discussions on LinkedIn. Most professional safety speakers are going to have a LinkedIn account so you can check them out there. That platform allows you to ask others for advice and recommendations.
A standard way of researching good speakers is simply to call a company in your field that has used them and asked who they used. Ask if they were satisfied with the results of the safety speaker’s efforts.
Look Them Up
Some things you can do before you contact motivational safety speakers directly is to check them out online. Several ways to do that are to look them up to see what others say about them. Look at their reviews and see what comes up about them in search engines.
Then, look up their social media accounts and see what they post. This can be vitally important because even great speakers can cause controversy for a company by what they post personally. Most speakers have a website also that can offer links to some of their past work.
You should listen to a recording of them doing a seminar. Most put at least one or two up on one of the video platforms so you can search there as well as any links from any of their social media or website pages.
Contact Top Choices
Once you get your choices narrowed down, contact each of them for a direct conversation about hiring them. Talk to them about their approach to safety and connecting with employees. Talk to them a little bit about your goals and test their data knowledge to see if it fits your objectives. It’s also good to ask how many speeches they do in a year and when their last speech was and where.
Asking for references is acceptable if you haven’t been able to locate where they have conducted seminars.
Your final choice may depend on whether they can accommodate your schedule and budget. Don’t be afraid to try to negotiate a price to stick to your budget. They may say no and have a firm price but it never hurts to ask.
Creating a Successful Event
One key way to make your event successful is to outline expectations beforehand with your chosen speaker. Your speaker should know if you want to aim the message in a specific direction, such as reducing equipment accidents or preventing falls. Your message may be injury prevention so they will need to include showing equipment like back braces that assist with reducing injuries.
The more direction you give your speaker upfront before they start preparing their talk, the more effective they will be in delivering it.
After the Event
Any good manager will give questionnaires for employees to answer after motivational speaker visits. The questionnaire should have pertinent and detailed questions. Looking at their answers will tell you how successful your speaker was in delivering your desired message.
It may take some effort to create a questionnaire that offers good information. You have a couple of options to streamline the evaluation.
One is to use paper or online surveys. Make sure they are simple enough that employees can fill them out in just a couple of minutes. Using Google Forums to initiate feedback is another method to get information from your employees.
Some managers may prefer to hold a team meeting and talk to employees directly. This may be fine for a small company where you have established relationships with your team. They probably will offer some constructive criticism with this method so be prepared to make changes for the next motivational speech.
Thousands of speakers are in the marketplace to provide data and information on safety. However, picking one that is motivational kicks it up a notch. You don’t want another boring speaker so you should pick someone that employees enjoy listening to. That will make your safety education time worthwhile rather than just another seminar to fulfill compliance. It will also be one your employees will remember and put into practice.