6 easy tips for making a safety video production

6 easy tips for making a safety video production

As a safety adviser you'll probably find it fairly easy to decide which content you need to show in your next safety video.

The real trick is knowing how to show your content so it has impact and gets remembered, bearing in the mind recent revelations on how much training gets forgotten

- up to 90% is forgotten inside a week is mooted as realistic in some cases.

Here are 6 tips that can collectively double the effectiveness of your video:

1 - Motivate or die
2 - Keep Them Awake
3 - Leadership by Good Example
4 - Bringing It to Life with Actors, Presenters and a Cast
5 - Soundbites that create Peer Group Influence
6 - Graphics Tell It Better


1 - Motivate or die

To motivate your audience you need to discover where their self interest lies, or your video may die.

For example: Will the training enable them to do their job better? Solve more problems? Reduce accidents? Increase their self esteem by increasing their knowledge? Empower them?

You need to work out their angle, and pitch your message so it reflects their point of view.

This is where motivating people begins.

By contrast, simply showing a video about "safety rules & challenges" and hoping for the best is taking a risk that your video will be less effective, and fail to deliver the performance improvements you're tasked with achieving.

It pays to discover your audience's self-interest if you want to motivate them.


2 - Keep Them Awake

It takes just two things to keep your workforce safety video audience awake:

1 - Showing only things that are relevant to them.

2 - Having a visually interesting-to-watch video. Dazzling them a bit. Being surprising.

Non-relevant things might be details of your SSOW (safe system of work), or talking in "safety language", or explaining the background to your project, or showing other people's jobs and not theirs. There's quite a list.

Being visually interesting speaks for itself.

Sometimes this costs money to achieve, eg, using actors, special camera techniques and graphics.

But often it's free, eg, including small soundbite interviews, or staging an "event" that everyone will relate to.

Ways to make the video more interesting can be found on even the smallest safety video budget, so long as your video producer is proactively encouraged to do this.

2016 Video Training Handbook


3 - Leadership by Good Example

In video, it's common to show "things that go wrong", just as you might show in a safety powerpoint presentation.

Don't do it. Or at least not in a training video.

Show only the right way, and lead by good example, rather than show a series of common errors that everyone knows about.

Or if you do have to show an error, then show how to fix it.

For example, if you show a fire extinguisher being used as a doorstop, then show someone recognising the risk, and then picking up the extinguisher to put back on its stand.


4 - Bringing It to Life with Actors, Presenters and a Cast

A presenter can help your video enormously by:

- linking scenes together, sustaining the flow of learning

- summarising the key learning points

- explaining emotional, difficult or customer issues in a human way

- creating excitement with their enthusiasm

- putting a human face on your safety message.

Actors help in numerous ways too.

They can dramatise important scenes making them more real life and meaningful to your audience.

They'll look interested, registering intelligence in their expressions, where own staff often look bored, woodentop or giggly.

Actors are also quicker to work with so more video gets filmed in the same time.

Using professionals takes a small budget jump.

But you'll get a lot more added value in the final result because of it.

2016 Training Video Price List


5 - Soundbites create Peer Group Influence

Workforces mightn't listen to you.

They mightn't listen to senior management.

But they do listen to each other, and are influenced by each other.

This peer group influence is worth harnessing for your video

- by using short interview soundbites to both endorse & explain the safety message you're trying to get across.

This works for any safety video, but especially where you're seeking to implant new safety culture values, and motivation is at a premium.

It's like using some of your workforce to train the rest. So use it. It's free.


6 - Graphics Tell It Better

Graphics explain.

Or bring to life a verbal explanation

- or show safety performance

- or emphasise learning points

- and definitely add style.

As a minimum you'll need graphics for titling, captions and a summary, but the sky's the limit.

In any event, graphics are the language our digital age, and completely in tune with 2016's expectations.

Which is why some safety managers produce 100% animated safety videos.



Talking from personal experience, I've been brought in to replace videos that don't work on many occasions.

Typically it's to replace a voiceover-based video with predictably dull filming that no one ever really liked.

The 6 tips above are where I begin when trying to make a fresh start to a safety video production.

You can see safety video samples here


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