I recently gave a safety presentation to a large group of pile bucks (for those who don’t know, these are highly trained workers who drive pilings into the ground, among other things). All of my preplanning for the presentation was for nothing.

The projector didn’t work (I did have a backup, but not enough time to get it ready). And, as I was being introduced, they requested I also cover an entirely new topic that I hadn’t prepared for… I was scared.

The presentation actually went well. I wasn’t tied to my notes or slides…I had a lot of interaction with the crowd and they asked questions and commented on specific issues they deal with on projects. I didn’t look at my computer, prompter, or behind me. I took less time to cover the same points. I looked at everyone in the crowd and was able to engage them and change my presentation(slightly) based upon their reactions, comments, and interests.

Afterwards, I realized they learned. Maybe not as many “facts”, or points on the subject, but they sure remembered the main objectives:  Be safe. Use caution. Think ahead.

I am going to attempt more presentation just like this.

I have seen presentations given like this, but I never have the guts, or confidence, to do it that way. In fact, thinking back, I had read a blog (Seth Godin) of these exact things to do. I hit almost all of them….by accident.