Engage Your Audience - Age Adjustment

There are a whole host of techniques that you can use to engage any audience more effectively, but knowing your specific audience is what separates the men from the boys (or the women from girls as the case may be). Finding your personal style is key to being a good presenter or sales person, being able to adjust your personal style to most effectively engage your audience is what makes a good presenter great. Here are some tips for how to approach different groups by one of the most easily identifiable as well as highly influencing factors, audience age. 

 Young Adults 18 - 35: 

When one-on-one pay some extra attention to non-verbal cues when dealing with this demographic. Younger people often don't ask enough questions, but they don't have the attention span or appreciation for detail for you to try to explain from go. When one-on-one pay some extra attention to non-verbal cues when dealing with this demographic. The best tactic for 18 to 35 year old clients/audiences is to give them a good quick 10,000 foot overview of any topic, while making sure to confirm their understanding of any highly important information they may not already know. 

Here's an example: while talking about a topic like life insurance, an 18 to 35 year old client is less likely to know the difference between a term-life and a whole-life policy, but they are also less likely to let you know that they don't know. For this age segment an important tactic is to be able to introduce information and convey/confirm understanding in ways that do not condescend to your audience. This isn't about intelligence, it's about the gap in the amount of acquired information (perhaps mixed with a little youthful ego or a desire not to appear naive). 

Adults 36 to 60: 

As a base approach, engage this segment on a relatively balanced and even footing and adjust as the conversation dictates. Relating personal experiences has the greatest impact with this demographic. In general be brief and leave time for questions or dialogue, this audience will have the least patience for a one-sided conversation. Another important tip, especially important to this age group is to listen with the intent of gaining understanding and information. Don't fall into the most common trap that spoils willing dialogue is listening for the sake of responding. 

Adults 60+:

Studies of memory and neurolinguistics have demonstrated that older adults think and express thoughts linearly. They also deal less well with interruptions than younger audiences. Using mnemonic devices like alliteration, repitition and grouping ideas in summaries. Groupings of threes seem to work especially well, two is better than four, and five or more is too many.