1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Life Safety Educator teaching tips

    Hey folks,

    I'm doing the "Life Safety Educator" portion of my recruit school, I was wondering what tips other folks had for teaching classes on life safety/fire stuff. For my scenario, my specific topic is fire extinguishers, my audience is general adults. I'm drawing up an outline, it's just a 10 minute presentation, but what "teaching methods" have y'all used that work well?

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Default Presentation

    Remember, nothing can replace the power of your words.

    Your test might include making a 10-15 minute presentation to a panel. The topic can be one of your own or a selection from a list. You might have 30 minutes or two days to prepare the presentation.

    Speaking to a group is one of the top fears. Most candidates panic. “Everyone has butterflies; the trick is to get them to all fly in the same formation.”

    This simple formula from the book “Inspire Any Audience,” by Tony Jeary can help you through the process:

    1. Introduction
    2. Three major points (and examples to support major points)
    3. Questions & Answers
    4. Summary
    5. Closing

    The “Nugget” here is to use K.I.S.S. (keep it simple sweetie). Most candidates complicate the presentation. They try to intellectualize the process. They waste time and put the audience in the sleepy zone by trying to give a blue print, when all that is needed is a sketch. The I.Q. of an audience drops when a presentation is given. Stick to the formula . . . Nothing more . . . Nothing less.

    “The toughest thing to do in making a speaking presentation, or an interview, is to be yourself on purpose.” Patricia Fripp, National Speakers Association.

    If you can’t give a talk or go to an oral board and be conversational and yourself on purpose, you are sending someone else to do the job. According to a study done by Stanford University, 85% of getting the job is your enthusiasm. If you will light yourself on fire with enthusiasm in an interview or speaking presentation, the panel will stand up, applaud, and watch you butt burn.

    You can use flip charts, handouts, overheads, slides, videos, and Power Point in your presentations to add dimension and make your points. I personally wouldn’t use more than a flip chart for a presentation of 15 minutes or less. You just don’t have enough time. Remember, nothing can replace the power of your words.

    The higher position, the more sophisticated the presentation. If you’re going to use Power Point, ease it into your presentation a little at a time. Whatever you use, keep the lights in the room up, or you will put your audience to sleep. Timing is critical here. And what do you do when your state of the art presentation crashes? You don’t want to be left having to do shadow figures on the screen honking like a duck.

    Don’t have your presentation set in cement. If something unexpected happens during your presentation . . . use improv and go for it. It’s not what happens in the front of the room. The real action takes place in the audience.


    Unless you’re a humorous person, don’t plan on laying something funny on the panel. I’ve seen people that weren’t funny to begin with try to include humor in a presentation. It bombed. How would you feel in that situation if the room went dead silent and everyone just stared at you? What if this humor was your opening statement? This happened to Ted. He said it threw off his timing and confidence and he really never recovered. If something funny happens naturally during your interview or presentation, that’s a gift. Don’t plan on it happening.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"


  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    Thanks for the tips!

    I have issues with humor, so I especially appreciate the tip about not counting on it. At the end of the week, I'll be doing a presentation in front of a board from the state, today's presentation on extinguishers is just in front of the class.

    Some of the criteria they recommend we use in our presentations are anecdotes, small jokes, and personal experiences. Of course, being recruits, for the sake of having them in the presentation, we're expected to make them up. But, like I said, me and funny don't really get along, people really only find my jokes funny after getting to know me, which won't work well on a presentation.

    What experiences and good stories do y'all have that you use/share in training/teaching?

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    PROPS show and tell helps alot,

    have maybe different types of fire extinguishers

    have a display board with PASS on it

    the fire triangle and how different types of extinguishers affect the sides of the triangle.

    maybe have some of the powder in a nonopenable container to pass around

    if you cannot burn someting maybe a short video showing a fire extinguisher in use

    the story of extinguishers stacked up after a fire, and people saying they do not work, and finding the pin still in the handle

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