>What you can do: Don’t augment the length of
your presentation. If you are supposed to be talking
for two hours and your presentation is only 90 minutes, don’t draw it out. Instead, add something interactive like a “hot seat” where you grill a member
of the audience or open it to some down-and-dirty
Q&A. The same holds true with marketing. Can you
summarize in one sentence what attendees will get
out of your presentation?
4Get us talking.
Gen Y loves other Gen Y members. We really
love our friends and rely on them to tell us what is
hot. If we like you, you can capture an entire niche
of Gen Yers because we will tell our friends and we
won’t shut up about it. On the other hand, if you
aren’t so dazzling, the news will spread even faster.
>What you can do: Community-based word of
mouth marketing is huge. Give something away at
the end of a speech or program that we can share
with our friends. If you have a book or DVD, give a
few away and tell the audience to pass it on to their
friends. Don’t you think it is worth giving some
extra product away in exchange for thousands of
dollars in free advertising?
5Use “shiny red ball
syndrome” to your
Shiny red ball syndrome is what I use to describe
most of the audience that views my television show,
The Rise to the Top. You have shiny red ball syndrome if you lose focus easily, have tons of unfinished projects, and chase the latest exciting thing that
captures your wondering attention. Gen Y has this
syndrome and, oh, do we have it bad.
>What you can do: Give us information when,
where and how we want it. The more
mediums you cover the better,
especially if they are in bite-sized, easily digestible bits.
On The Rise to the Top,
I make sure each of my
segments is less than
three minutes so I don’t
lose millennials chasing
the next shiny red ball. This means video, blogging,
articles, audio, etc. If we have options, we are more
likely to love you and buy everything you have.
6Make it about us.
We often get lost in talking a bit too much
about ourselves—especially in the speaking world.
“We are the expert. Here is why we are the expert.
Hear us roar!” This can be a major put off to Gen Y
as we want to know, without sugarcoating it, what’s
in it for us?
>What you can do: This is a remarkable concept
that has been developed by Internet marketing guru
Adam Kreitman. Every Web site has an “About Me”
page. But how about having an “About You” page?
Who is your ideal customer? Can you let us know
that you are millennial friendly? Create a page that
outlines who would enjoy your speeches and products. Everyone likes to feel special, especially Gen Y.
The word “authenticity” is often overused,
but it really does apply to the utmost degree. If you
make a mistake, go with it. Move on. Don’t be the
extremely polished speaker of yesteryear. We want
you to have some fun up there and share your wisdom. We get a bad rap for not respecting older generations, but there really is much to be learned from
all generations, especially wisdom and experience.
Go with it.
And when all else fails, remember good speaking
skills are essential. If you can captivate the hard-to-connect-with Gen Y, you can capture the attention of
pretty much anyone and there is nothing better for
business than becoming a magnet. We will gravitate
towards you if you make it fun, easy and worth our
time … but save the cookies for yourself.
Entrepreneur, speaker, writer and television
host David Siteman Garland spreads his
passion for entrepreneurship through his
television show The Rise to the Top on
ABC to an audience of over 300,000
viewers. David specializes in connecting with and
marketing to Gen Y as well as energizing compa-
nies with a dose of creativity. For more informa-
tion, click away at www.therisetothetop.com.