From Boomers to Millennials: How to Communicate with Multiple Generations
An effective public speaker and communicator should be able to customize the way they communicate with all ages. If you’ve been asked to deliver a business presentation to a multigenerational audience, you need to utilize generational differences and ensure you create a collaborative, innovative and exciting business presentation that engages the hearts and minds across multiple generations.
Each generation has its own unique set of values and communication preferences so it’s important to familiarize yourself with what they are and what they value so you know the best way of communicating.
Gen Z (1997-2012)
Gen Z value direct and fun communication and have very short attention spans. They are the first generation to have grown up with access to the internet and digital technology, which has highly influenced how they interact with their environment. They expect you to talk to them in a personal and relatable way that speaks to them directly.
Millennials have become the largest generation in the workforce, so it’s likely you’ll be presenting to this generation at some point in your career. Many of them have been brought up with the advent of social media and texting, where messages tend to be delivered in short bursts. Using as few words as possible, with punch and humorous anecdotes will appeal to Millennials.
Gen Xers (1965-1979)
Coming between the Baby Boomers and Millennials, Gen Xers are sometimes referred to as “in-betweeners”. They grew up in a period of changing technology, and MTV that helped shape their own cultural style.
This generation can be blunt and direct, talking in short sound bites. Their attention spans are very short and they value clear and straight forward communication.
Boomers are concerned about maintaining the customs and traditions they value. Many of this generation miss having in-person contact in an age of digital communication so bear this in mind if you are presenting virtually.
Baby Boomers value formality and directness in communication, which is why they’re such great advocates of face-to-face interaction. They like being given background information and specifics when communicating with them.
Now you have an understanding of each generation’s communication styles and preferences, I’ve summarized below some universal tips that you should consider in your business presentation when communicating with any age group:
- Use as few words as possible ; think about your ONE BIG MESSAGE® and distilling it into small bite sized sentence:
- Keep It Simple Specific (KISS), cutting out any jargon you don’t need.
- Connect to your audience in a personal way and make it about them as much as possible.
- Be authentic: Don’t try to sound like or appear older or younger than you are, remain true to yourself – and your audience will thank you for it!
Finally, being flexible and willing to adapt your communication style to a multigenerational audience remains the most critical aspect to successfully communicating your message and keeping your audience engaged and hanging on your every word.
If you would like help with turning your speech into one that appeals to a particular generation, book a consultation with me here: https://natsuyolipschutz.us/book-a-call-with-natsuyo/