Posts Tagged ‘safety motivational speakers’
Never Pre-Qualify to the Negative
What he meant was you should never (and I do mean NEVER) begin a safety talk or presentation with a negative comment about that speech or presentation, no matter how true or accurate.
This is one of those concepts, which may best be taught by example. Several years ago, I attended a winter workshop in Hawaii held by the National Speakers Association. I always carefully select which sessions I attend as I am constantly working to improve my skills as a professional safety speaker.
I arrived at the room, which I had selected and anxiously awaited the beginning of the session. The speaker arrived and was introduced. They stepped up to the platform and said, “I’m sorry. I’ve had the flu all week and am just beginning to feel better this morning. My voice is a little weak and I probably won’t be able to cover all the material I had planned for today.”
Was I ever disappointed. If I had been closer to the door I would have exited to attend another session where I would get all that had been promised. When you spend money you want to get the most value and here I was stuck with what was promised to be less than their best. It is a good thing I didn’t. The speaker went on to do an outstanding job and we all learned some great ideas. Had he not said anything, no one would have known. His professionalism took over and he delivered some very useful tips in an entertaining manner.
You Dishonor the Audience and Your Subject
When you pre-qualify to the negative you lower the value of what you are about to say or demonstrate. In safety, we want what we present to have a high value and we should never do anything to lower that value. As a safety speaker you want to honor your audience and your subject.
Here are some examples of prequalifying to the negative:
· I’m sorry but I forgot to bring my latest PowerPoint presentation…
· I want to apologize for my hoarse voice…
· I forgot…
· I wanted to…. but I didn’t have time.
· We don’t have enough time to cover everything I wanted to…
· It’s been a tough week so I didn’t have time to put everything into the slides that I wanted to.
· We had a great demonstration planned but…. didn’t show up or bring the materials.
· I’m sure you can remember others you have heard over the years.
Remember all negative pre-qualifications are true; they just don’t need to be shared with your audience.
No matter what has gone wrong, give it your best at that moment and if you did less than the necessary preparation learn from that and set aside more time in the future. In fact, every presentation can be improved and striving to constantly improve is a worthy approach. On the other hand, do not get bogged down by trying to make something, “perfect”. My dad had a great saying, “The better is the enemy of the good.”
Next week, I will share Denis Waitley’s other tip that made a huge difference in my life.
Yours in Service,
Update On Last Week’s Article
Last Wednesday morning, I arrived home and pulled into my driveway and while my wife and I were listening to an interview on the radio I began to check my email on my iPad. The first one I saw was a reply to last week’s newsletter. After I read the first two sentences, I put the iPad down, waited for the end of the interview and read the email to my wife. When I finished we both had tears in our eyes. I wanted to share that letter with you this week. As a safety speaker I hear many stories and this one is very moving. The person who wrote it has given me permission to share. I also wanted to share a more detailed article about how people drown.
Newsletter Reader’s Reply To John’s Newsletter
“Thanks for this very timely message, although a little late in my case. Unfortunately, I can endorse your topic from a very recent, very painful experience. Less than 2 weeks ago, on Saturday, June 1st my almost 3 year-old grandson drowned at a family party in his parents’ backyard pool. I was there but in the house at the time. My wife, along with several other adults, was sitting poolside watching the children (approximately 4 in the hot tub and another 4 in the pool). She watched our grandson jump into the hot tub and then climb back out, then turned to watch his older brother swim across the pool. She actually timed him at 1 minute, 15 seconds for the round-trip. When she looked back up to the hot tub and didn’t see our grandson, she asked if anyone had seen him and someone responded they thought he may have gone into the house. Immediately they checked in the house, where I assured them he had not come in. It was then that he was found floating face down in the presence of the 3 other children who were totally unaware of his condition. Reconstructing the chain of events, it is estimated that less than 3-4 minutes elapsed between the time he was seen jumping into and climbing back out of the hot tub and when he was found unconscious. Although a nurse, a Navy rescue swimmer/paramedic and two other trained adults immediately administered CPR, it was to no avail. His heart was revived upon arriving at the hospital and he did some breathing assisted by a ventilator, but never regained consciousness and was finally taken off life support and allowed to pass quietly wrapped in the arms of his parents 3 days later.
As you said, attention was divided between children, and the hot tub was raised above the level of the pool, so the adults sitting at the pool level could not see the water surface of the hot tub. Even the other children in the hot tub with our grandson did not realize he was in trouble. It cannot be emphasized enough; adults must be actively watching from a vantage-point where they can see the surface of the water, and cannot afford to be distracted by casual conversation or other things going on around them. Drowning happens quickly and silently. This message needs to get out to every adult. I have become a spokesman through painful experience. I hope to spare others my family’s grief.”
Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
by Mario Vittone (Used with permission)
The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sport-fisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”
How did this captain know – from fifty feet away – what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.
The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening. Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:
1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.
(Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006 (page 14))
This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.
Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:
▪ Head low in the water, mouth at water level
▪ Head tilted back with mouth open
▪ Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
▪ Eyes closed
▪ Hair over forehead or eyes
▪ Not using legs – Vertical
▪ Hyperventilating or gasping
▪ Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
▪ Trying to roll over on the back
▪ Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.
So if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK – don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents – children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.
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Water Safety Tip – Summer is Here by Safety Speaker John Drebinger
As a safety speaker I love all the great ideas I pick up from my clients. I mentioned a few weeks ago before every meeting including conference calls one of my international consulting clients begins with a safety moment. For today’s call, I offered to give the safety moment before we began. Due to its timely nature, I wanted to share it with you today.
On Saturday, my daughter brought our two grandchildren, Owen who is 3 years old and Lauren who is 5 years old, to swim at our house. Lauren has had lessons and is capable of swimming from one end of the pool to the other without pushing off the side. Owen is learning and currently loves our spa, which is about 50 feet from the pool near our bedroom door. He does great in the spa because he can easily stand up anywhere. The danger is when he is in the spa and Lauren is in the pool your attention is divided.
I have been a trained lifeguard for many years and I can tell you there is only one safe approach. There must be someone watching each of the children. The illusion is you would hear if something is wrong and would be able to quickly run to their aid. At the very first National Safety Council Annual Congress I attended I learned from a retired Coast Guard instructor when people drown, most of the time they do so quietly. I was a new safety speaker and learning everything I could to improve my presentations.
Think about it! What is someone who is drowning desperately trying to do? Get Air! They are breathing in. Noise happens when you expel air and yell. Because they are out of breath they often can’t make noise. One of the original Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson, who was a surfer and a great swimmer, drowned at the side of a boat just a few feet from other people at a party. No one saw him go under and no one heard him.
Early in my career as a safety speaker, I witnessed this several years ago on a Boy Scout camp out with our troop. I was scoutmaster and serving as the lookout at a troop swim at a public lake. We had a buddy board made up and had about 16 scouts in the water. The lake shore swimming area had about 150 people in or near the water. As I was watching our scouts, I noticed a father with a very young daughter by his side. He was busy talking to a friend on the other side of him when the little girl slipped on the muddy bottom and went under water. I stood up and noted her position as the water was not clear because of the stirred up dirt. Of all the people at the beach, only two of us had seen her disappear. I headed to her location as did the other guy who saw her. We arrived about the same moment about 15 to 20 seconds since she went under water. The other guy reached down into the water and pulled the little girl out. It was then the father’s attention was attained. The father was upset at this guy for grabbing his daughter. I stepped in and explained she had been underwater for at least 20 seconds and this guy just saved her life. We were both thanked and after a quick visual count of my scouts, I went back to my post.
This summer, remind your employees the only safe way for children to be in water is to have someone actually watching them. The same goes for adults.
The previous safety tip is an example of how you can let employees know you really care about them. When you talk about safety off the job they know it isn’t just about saving the company money.
Have a safe summer. I look forward to many miles of sunny bike riding and swimming.
ASSE & NSC – Safety Speaker John’s Upcoming Safety Conference Presentations ASSE & NSC
Safety speaker John will be speaking at this year’s American Society of Safety Engineers PDC in Las Vegas, Nevada. His session is on Tuesday, June 25th, 10:30am to 11:45am Session #508 – Would You Watch For My Safety – A Leadership Perspective – I will be sharing some completely new insights on how leaders can actively watch out for the safety of others and help their employees do the same. ASSE has an APP for your smartphone – check it out and look for my APP also. Links to my APP are further down the page.
Arrive Early! Even though ASSE gives me a nice big room we still had people sitting on the floor and standing in the back of the room.
Don’t Get Left Out
While You Are In Las Vegas
I recently attended a lecture at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California by an outstanding street magician named Chris Randall. He can be seen around the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. All street performers earn their living from tips so if you like what you see be generous. He taught me his method for the dollar bill in the lemon trick and I will be performing it during my presentation on Tuesday.
National Safety Council 2013 – Chicago, Illinois
I will be doing three presentations at this year’s National Safety Council Congress. One of the presentations is a full-day class. More information to follow in future editions of this newsletter.
Sunday Sept 29 @ 8AM-4:30PM Mastering Safety Communications #210
Monday Sept 30 @ 4-5:30 pm Helping Employees Take Safety Personally #32
Tuesday Oct 1 @ 4:-5:30 pm Lifesaving Values! #80
Thanks For A Great Week
What a great week! First, as a safety speaker I had the privilege of giving a keynote presentation for the Enform Petroleum Safety Conference in Banff, Canada. What a great event! I was able to share my keynote version Would You Watch Out For My Safety?™ to the entire conference. Thank you to the conference organizers and staff. I will be posting video clips to my website later next week. Second, I traveled to Battle Mountain, Nevada to speak at a Newmont Energy power plant, which was in the process of an outage. It was a kick doing the meeting right next to the turbine. There is something magical about being able to speak right where people work. I especially love speaking at turnarounds and outages as I usually speak before each shift and in the tent set up for briefings. We ended the day with a great lunch, tri-tip, chorizo sausage and salad. Awesome and I still was able to burn off 7 pounds of fat this week because I planned ahead.
The other powerful thing I love about such events is they allow me to share your safety vision with all the contractors who are temporarily on your site to get the job done. In addition to the training and briefings you give them, I am able to drive the message home and give them the “how to” of watching out for the safety of others. That brings us to this week’s topic – “Learning is State Dependent”
Learning is State Dependent
Years ago, I learned a technique that helped people learn more effectively. It is based upon the premise if you learn something in a particular physiological position and state of mind you will be able to remember it much easier in the same physical position and emotional state. In my work with the Boy Scouts, I used this technique to help some of our scouts pass their drivers license test. One scout had taken the test twice and did not want to fail again. To help him, I pointed out in California you take the written test standing at a small counter and fill out the test sheet. Up until then, he had been studying for the test on his bed, the sofa in the living room or some other situation. I told him to read the drivers manual one more time and this time do it while standing at a counter. He did and the next week passed with flying colors.
Tailgate meetings, and job site safety briefings are so powerful because of this phenomenon. When you discuss the specific safety issues at the site of the work to be done, they are learning in the same location they will be using the information. The challenge is often times these briefings are not looked on with the value they deserve. Make sure the people you have conducting them realize the positive impact they are having on the safety of their fellow employees. Help them to do the best job possible.
If you would like to have me come and be an outstanding safety speaker at one of your outages or turnarounds, please give Diane Weiss a call at 209-745-9419 today.
Yours in Service,
How Often Has Someone You Love Driven Under The Influence Unknowingly?
My wife and her friends love to go wine tasting. I am the perfect chauffeur as I don’t drink and never have. This way no one has to give up anything to be the “designated driver.” As I drove them from winery to winery, I could tell they were progressively being affected by a higher blood alcohol level. Most interestingly, when asked, people almost always said they felt fine and fully capable of driving. As a safety speaker and a layman, I did not think that was an accurate assessment of their condition. I developed an experiment in order to find out if their personal assessment was accurate or putting them and others at risk. I found an outstanding source, Breathalyzer.net and purchased a breathalyzer. On our next wine tasting trip, I brought it along. After each winery, I had all the people in the van take a test. As the day went on, I would ask them what blood alcohol level they thought they had achieved. Almost everyone underestimated his or her blood alcohol level. After a few wineries, everyone was over the legal limit of .08 yet most felt they were under that number. I found in my brief study most of my friends thought they were under .08 when, in fact, they were at or above a .13 reading.
None of these participants have ever been arrested for a DUI and they have often waited after drinking to drive home or even had someone take them home. Their intentions were great yet they were unknowingly getting behind the wheel and if they were pulled over for a bad taillight or other issue they would be at risk for failing a blood alcohol test.
The next weekend, my daughter invited my wife to join her and her husband at a wine tasting club event. Each couple brings a bottle of wine wrapped in plain paper. One person pours out the tasting samples so no one knows who brought which bottle. At the end of the evening, after everyone voted for their favorite, the winning bottle earns a prize of a few bottles of wine for the donor of that variety.
In addition to my wife, our new associate pastor and his wife, were at the event.
I stayed home to write and enjoy a movie or two on TV. I did send along the breathalyzer which was a big hit.
At the end of the evening, people would have normally headed home believing they had waited long enough after the wine tasting to be driving safely. Instead, they used the breathalyzer and more than half a dozen people were above a .08 and some of them were over .13! Safety considerations aside, it would be really embarrassing to be driving home from an event with friends from church and end up being arrested for a DUI.
The following Sunday, our pastor shared how cool it was I sent the breathalyzer to the party. He pointed out several people stayed later than they planned because they found out they were above a .08 level.
That breathalyzer went with my son when he returned to Southern California to begin his new job after graduating college. He now uses it with his friends and they won’t let someone drive home unless they are below the legal limit.
I have ordered enough breathalyzers to have one in my wife’s car, my daughter and her husband for their cars; also my editor is getting one for her car. The model I purchased was the BACtrack B70 Breathalyzer.
If you want to try this experiment at home or if you want to purchase a breathalyzer, I would appreciate it if you used one of the links on this page as I have an affiliate relationship with Breathalyzer.net. Also, you would be doing me a favor if you tell people about it so just send them to my main website, www.drebinger.com and tell them to click on the breathalyzer link.
How Can You Access Your Condition With A Brain Already Under the Influence?
I can tell you, I sleep better knowing the people I love now have a tool to check their blood alcohol level before they drive. This is also critical because alcohol alters your brain, so the very instrument you are relying for an assessment of your condition is impaired. If you are under the influence that tool is already altered.
Are You Safe To Drive?
I need to point out having a test level of .08 or below does not mean you are safe to drive. “Breathalyzers are for informational purposes only and there is no acceptable level of alcohol consumption that makes it safe to drive. Any alcohol that enters a person’s body can impair reflexes, motor skills, and cognitive abilities.”
Another interesting fact I discovered while looking for a supplier, was a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is not the only factor in determining whether or not a DUI is given. The %BAC is not the only factor considered. Many people do not realize they can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) even if their %BAC is under the legal limit. A person can be charged if they are at or over the “legal limit,” which is .08 %BAC in all 50 US States, or if they are “impaired to any degree,” regardless of the %BAC level.
You can also share this information with your employees so they can take action to protect themselves. Perhaps we can keep more impaired drivers off the road and get more people home safely every day and night.
Yours in Service,
John Drebinger Jr.