How to Present to Millennials
January 2, 2014
If you find yourself giving a presentation anytime soon, there is a large probability that a significant part of your audience will be comprised of millennials. These are individuals who were born between 1980-2000, and this group recently surpassed Boomers as the largest and likely most-influential generation in America.
If your audience is going to be made up of these young professionals, you need to be mindful of how to appeal to this demographic. Here are a few suggestions to make sure your message resonates with them.
A majority of millennials are married to their mobile devices. It’s with them at all times of the day, being utilized not only as their primary vehicle for email and text, but also as their alarm clock, productivity manager, entertainment and news source and more. If you can find a way to get their attention on this device, you’ll win some brownie points. But be sure to utilize apps that will keep them plugged into your presentation and subject matter. Check out mobile apps like SlideKlowd, which allows audience members to view your slides and respond to what you're saying in real time.
Objective: K eep your presentations interactive.
Anyone can spot a poser or faker and you don’t want to become that guy or gal. Millennials in particular are looking for a sense of depth, transparency and vulnerability from those who are in their lives -- which means they want to see it from you as well on stage.
Objective: Be yourself and find your own authentic voice.
We live in a world where apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook are integrated fully into the millennial lifestyle. You need to acknowledge and embrace this reality. Request conversation and interaction online, after your talk.
Objective: Continue the conversation on social media channels after your presentation.
The millennial generation has often been branded as the “entitled” generation. However, most millennials are willing to work hard -- very hard -- as long as they believe in the organization and its purpose. Make sure you define a higher message in your speech that will resonate with your audience.
Objective: Share how your brand, product or service impacts the greater good.
Millennials perceive international experience as a critical attribute. If a presenter can demonstrate her understanding of a globalized economy, she can tear down some walls and build credibility.
Objective: Speak from a global lens by utilizing international case studies or stories.
This generation is only going to continue to grow and expand into the workforce. You need to discover the best techniques that are going to appeal to them today so you can continue to grow your own career and brand tomorrow.
About the Author
Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki. If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University.