Ramon Ray presenting at Smart Hustle Small Business Conference
When you are giving a presentation, striking the right balance and appealing to all different demographics at the same time, can be a challenge. Overall, think of your presentation as an ad for what you are saying. Use a combination of a bold statement with a strong image that grab everyone’s attention.
More specifically, here are a few tips on how to incorporate text, visuals, video, interactivity, and how different generations will react to them.
I’ve asked By AlexAnndra Ontra, Co-Founder of Shufflrr to share her insight.
No one wants to read a diatribe on a slide. No one really can, even when they try. Regardless of age, your audience will either focus on what’s on the screen or what you are saying as a presenter. You want them to focus on you. So, keep bullet points to a minimum. No more than 3, maximum 5, per slide. Use phrases, not compound sentences. By keeping the text simple, the audience will focus on you the presenter. And the text will reinforce your “big” ideas. Remember you are there to give the presentation. You are the hero, not your text slides.
A picture paints thousand words! And that works across all generations. People remember images more than they do text. Furthermore, consider the popularity of Instagram and Snapchat. People are relying on pictures more than words to tell their story. The same goes for presentation slides. Bold images have more impact than text. The images don’t have to be literal. Sometimes using a symbolic image can have the same, if not bigger impact. For example, I was at a presentation for a technology presentation describing their different products – complicated products. Rather than get mired down in the details of this interface, with a chart of that workflow and description of that language, the presenter simply compared each product to transportation, with a big picture of – a car, a train, a boat and an airplane. By doing so, the presenter simplified a complex concept and made what could have been a very boring pitch, exciting.
A video that introduces or concludes your message will reinforce the overall premise of your presentation. Video is a great tool that resonates across generations. It’s exciting and engaging. If you lost those Millennials during your boring text slides, you can still reach them through the video. And for GenXers and Boomers, who have more tolerance for a formal presentation, the video serves as a nice break and reinforcement for your message.
The world is going interactive. For millennials going from one topic, to another file, then to a video, then to yet another video, with several browsers open, is pretty common. And with all that activity, they’re still Snapchatting with their buddies from their phone, while their boss is telling them what to do. Millennials are multi-taskers. Boomers? Not so much. One thing at a time, but they tend to be more focused on that one task. Boomers and GenXers have a tendency to prefer a natural beginning, build-up, resolution and conclusion in their presentations.
So how do you connect with all groups and keep them engaged during your presentation? Remember that people who want to succeed in business will evolve. Boomers who want to stay relevant will adapt to new technology and media. And Millennials who want to excel in a corporate atmosphere will accommodate their colleagues – including those from other generations. You can make it easier for all groups by striking the Happy Medium – no pun intended. Definitively use interactivity and video, mixed in with some simple text slides. Minimize the static charts, since no one likes them. By doing so, you’re striking a middle ground that all three generations can appreciate – without losing anyone in your audience.
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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com
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