Communicating To Bridge The Generation Gap

Jul 06, 2020

I’m a baby boomer and find that speaking with my Millennial daughter is…well, challenging. Her mobile is essentially glued to her hand, and our live conversations are peppered with interruptions because I’m thinking about what was said while she comments on whatever flits by. For that reason, texting with each other has become our communication of choice, even when we’re in the same house.

So, this prompts the question: how do we market to this population? With all the content that’s out there to consume, capturing the attention of the Millennial population requires ingenuity and understanding. This group, born between 1980 and 2000, represents about half of today’s American workforce and is forecast to be about 75% of the global workforce by 2025.


We’ve all heard that a strong narrative is critical to maintaining an audience’s attention, but many presenters fall short – four in five business professionals, including millennials, said their focus shifted away from the speaker in the most recent presentation they watched. More than half said that the story either lacked substance or didn’t challenge them mentally. And 95% of all business professionals say they multi-task during meetings.

Compared to other business professionals from other generational groups, millennials struggle the most with distraction. They have had to watch, read or listen to something again due to trying to focus on more than one piece of content. Poor material retention is a by-product of multi-tasking with one in three multi-taskers reporting losing track of information or not retaining information during a meeting. And for everyone, a downside to multi-tasking is on-the-job mistakes.


What is it about social media that makes it a favorite information resource? It’s the fact that it’s interactive – people are involved when they have the ability to comment, like, share and much more.

Now imagine a business presentation. A typical business presentation is linear, meaning there’s a rigid structure and script. It doesn’t encourage flexibility where it’s easy to get to the topics that are most relevant to your prospect. More than 30 million presentations are created each day around the world.


Conversational presenting and visual storytelling are the building blocks for an emerging business concept called conversational storytelling.

Conversational storytelling allows the speaker to create a dialogue with their audience and get to the content that interests them most.

Visual storytelling incorporates visual elements like infographics to bring data to life so people won’t ignore it.

As our future leaders, customers and partners, millennials are uniquely positioned to help their organizations evolve this approach to storytelling because they are easily distracted. They inherently understand how visual storytelling in business needs to evolve because this has been part of the fabric of their lives. They have a unique opportunity to help their organizations towards creating content that reflects that people consume information today.

Ensuring that content is more compelling can also help bridge communication gaps across all the generations.

I have to go now. I just got a text from my Millennial, and now she’s standing in front of me asking if I got the text. So a parting word: at Able&Co., we know how to speak to your target audience by developing a great marketing strategy that drives content with compelling messaging and exceptional design. If you want to get people talking, let’s start a dialog.