When we have been presenting for many years, we often outgrow those younger than ourselves and as a result we tend to lose them and fail to get buy-in.
Here are a few points to keep in mind when engaging a younger Audience:
1. Never Preach:
It is easy to throw quotations and testimonials around, because we think that these will prove our point. For young people – this will chase them away. Never try to become their ‘friend’ to get them to accept your message or to engage with you. They have open minds, so just stick to your message.
2. Act your Age:
As someone who is older than them, they will look up to you for advice. Take the Adult role and not the Child. Don’t try and dress down or try to use slang and their phrases. The youth are not stupid and will see through you and very quickly your first impression will be dashed. Be yourself and be genuine and sincere to get them to accept your message. By doing this, you get the audience to buy in faster.
3. Use Stories with Morals:
Share stories that adults have experienced in their lives and the lessons or morals that came from them. They want to hear how they can aspire or make changes in their lives as a result of these experiences.
Humor always draws the audience in, however, ensure that the humor is not too age related as younger audiences may not get the punch line. What you may find as funny, they have a different view and this could backfire.
5. Create Activities:
When preparing your presentation, make sure that you build in activities and exercises that allow them to talk to each other and to move around. Younger audiences relate well to interaction and activities. Your presentation should create impact. Always keep it relevant to the topic and allow them to leave the activity with a lesson.
6. Inspire them:
It is all very well to share with younger audiences the good and all positive things. Allow our audience to be aware that it takes work and hardship to achieve these positive outcomes, so never be afraid to share the effort and the negatives that may be associated with them. They must understand that life is not always easy and obstacles and barriers will be a part of life.