Posts Tagged ‘safety’

5 Tips To Stop Creating Boring Employee Training Videos

Friday, December 15th, 2017


As a former corporate employee, I remember receiving all-staff emails from the human resources director, explaining that we were required to watch a training video on our computers. I dreaded watching these videos. They included actors who attempted to use humor to remind us of important safety issues. The jokes and scripts were so hokey, employees focused more on the silliness than the substance. To avoid wasting time, some co-workers outmaneuvered the system and fast-forwarded to where we acknowledged watching the videos. The company had our digital signature of acknowledgement, but had we actually learned anything to ensure a safer workplace?

Workplace rules and safety are serious, but there is still space for some fun and creativity. Here are five ways we build better employee training videos to ensure businesses genuinely accomplish their objectives:

Create a kick-ass opening montage. Don’t open training videos with simply your organization’s logo fading up from black. Spark attention by editing a fast-paced opening montage. For branding and consistency, start each video with the same rock ‘n roll approach. Include quick, tight shots of actual employees at work. (Do not substitute stock video.) Raise audio levels to bring the scenes to life. Create bold, short graphics that zoom or slide onto the screen to display and reinforce your company’s core values. Add quick transitions that infuse your company’s colors. Using those same branded colors, don’t fear filling some shots with eye-grabbing filters.

Develop a dramatic topic title. After the eye-popping montage, clearly identify the video’s topic. We use Maxon’s Cinema 4D software to build large titles with dimension. The title instills the company’s primary branding color, reflecting simulated light and casting subtle shadows. Aligned with a subtle sound effect, the organization’s logo then slides swiftly across the bottom of the screen. The logo’s size does not dominate the scene, but it’s big enough to emphasize this is a branded video and that the business built it specifically for its employees.

Interview real, frontline employees. Employees have told us they appreciate learning from and seeing their peers in training videos instead of watching executives who spend most of their time behind desks while choosing each word with robotic precision. Actors often look too polished and not believable. Employees may not speak with perfect eloquence, but that’s OK. That’s genuine. And good audio editing can clean up issues that might prove too distracting. For on-camera work, the key is choosing employees wisely. Too often, due to a lack of time and planning, organizations select whichever employees happen to be available at a given time. Businesses should send their most passionate and knowledgeable employees to the plate instead of simply someone off the bench who volunteers because no one else steps forward.


Conduct active interviews. If employees work in a shop with tools and many moving parts, don’t conduct interviews with people sitting in a seat in a boring conference room. Include a related background and environment. And get interviewees to show and tell instead of always standing up straight without much movement. Those on camera should demonstrate safety procedures while speaking. They should show us where to find safety equipment. They should show us how safety devices work. This type of interview creates a true learning experience. Employees will understand key concepts much more by seeing them instead of only hearing about them.

Buy some rockin’ music. While working around employees in a shop, we frequently heard employees listening to 1980s classic rock on radios at their workbenches. We buy royalty-free music from websites such as and avoid tracks with the word “corporate” included in the title. Instead, our keyword search might include “80s rock.” Corporate videos are not required to include corporate music. That is old-school thinking. Employees have provided us unsolicited feedback praising the background music. That might sound superficial to an executive who argues a safety video should not stray from the highest level of seriousness. But key training messages will bounce off brick walls unheard if a business does not take even the smallest steps to grab employees’ attention. The music should not be distracting. But it should help draw in viewers.

One of the first times we attempted to implement some of the above ideas for employee training videos, we heard someone say there’s no “fun” in safety. But what’s the point in teaching important lessons if everyone in the audience is staring at their smartphones or at the clocks on the walls? If your creative ideas meet resistance, try earning buy-in one concept at a time. One of the most important aspects of video is understanding what works for your audience instead of focusing primarily on how the person in the corner office wants it to work.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Interviews Client On Safety

Friday, September 4th, 2015

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviews client Steven Adelman, a sports and entertainment attorney, about keeping fans safe at ballparks after a man falls from the upper deck at Atlanta’s Turner Field. Click here to read the story.

Public Relations

Atlanta’s WSBTV Interviews Client Steven Adelman

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Atlanta’s WSBTV interviews client Steven Adelman, a sports and entertainment attorney, about safety after a man falls from the upper deck at Atlanta’s Turner Field. Click here to watch the story.

Public Relations

Client Steven Adelman on NBC’s TODAY

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Client Steven Adelman, a sports and entertainment attorney, appears on TODAY to discuss safety at ballparks after a man falls from the upper deck at Atlanta’s Turner Field.

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NBC Nightly News Interviews Client Steven Adelman

Monday, August 31st, 2015

NBC Nightly News interviews client Steven Adelman, a sports and entertainment attorney, about stadium safety and a Braves fan who fell from the upper deck at Atlanta’s Turner Field.

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We Shoot Video For Major League Baseball Team

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

For venue safety expert Steven Adelman, we recorded an OSHA safety presentation for a major league baseball organization.

We Interview Venue Safety Expert About Daytona Crash

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Venue Safety Expert Steven Adelman of Adelman Law Group is a client.

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Media Relations: Going Live On TV In 22 Minutes

Monday, February 4th, 2013
  • 11:41am: A TV producer calls me and tells me about an office shooting. She wants our client, venue safety expert Steven Adelman, live on the phone as soon as possible.
  • 11:45am: I leave voicemails for Steve and his wife. I also text both of them.
  • 11:48am: Steve calls me. I explain to him the sitiuation. We both Google the shooting to update ourselves on the breaking news. I read him a news story. I turn the TV to the news station requesting him and describe to Steve the live video of the scene. Steve is busy, but we both know you don’t turn down a TV interview especially for breaking news. You build yourself a reputation as being available anytime, anywhere.
  • 12:03pm: Steve goes live on the phone with the TV station, discussing the situation and potential security issues.

If you position yourself as an expert in your industry, the media over time will call you for interviews instead of vice versa. Those 22 minutes did not tick off as smoothly as they did by accident. Steve and I have discussed several times the importance of my ability to reach him in a hurry. And we’ve discussed no matter how much work is stacking up on his desk, he’s ready to go when asked.

A congresswoman once asked me if I knew why the media often ask her, instead of others in her political party, to appear on TV. She said the reason is because she responds “yes.” She is willing to wake up in the early morning hours and make herself available. Many other people do not. For the media, accessibility is half the battle. No excuses.

We Interview Venue Safety Expert About Nightclub Fire

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Venue Safety Expert Steven Adelman of Adelman Law Group is a client.

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Are you being safe when shooting video?

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Are you being safe when shooting video?


A company asked us to shoot a video in its lobby. In the area, people were walking in the building, going up and down stairs, going in and out of a nearby bathroom and in general, heading to and from places connected to the lobby. Employees often are talking to each other, looking down at their smart phones or lost in their own personal worlds. Our first task wasn’t setting up the shot. Our first task was setting up the shot safely.

We needed an electrical outlet for our lights. But the nearest outlet was around a corner where people were walking in and out of the bathrooms. We needed to stretch not one but two extension cords to the outlet without tripping people. We ran one extension cord pressed against a wall and taped it down in several places to ensure it was as flat as can be wedged into the corner of the floor. We stretched the second cord from the wall across the walkway accessing the bathroom to the outlet. We taped down this cord as much as possible to avoid it from buckling upward. We grabbed two bright orange sandbags and placed them on top of the extension cord on each side of the walkway. The orange sandbags were an extra layer of safety, grabbing people’s attention before they even stepped close to the extension cord.

We set up our lights and used a sandbag to weigh down the light stands to help prevent them from toppling over. We never place our camera on top of the tripod unless someone is standing next to it to hold it. It also helps when you have extra help who can direct people around the area. When estimating your time to set up a shoot, you can’t just assume you walk in and set up. You must allow for time, sometimes a lot of time, to devise a strategy on how to shoot video safely. Some people aren’t paying attention. They aren’t expecting a tripod or lights around the corner. You don’t want them to get hurt. You don’t want them to damage your equipment. You might shoot a beautiful video, but not taking safety precautions will quickly turn the day ugly.