Google “How to Present to Multi-Generations” and you’ll see a results list containing loads of information on managing, engaging and motivating. In financial services and other industries, mastering the challenge of successfully presenting ideas, concepts and data in a relatable way to online slots generations different from our own is paramount to professional and financial growth.

Navigating the Intergenerational Workforce” by Robert Dilenschneider got us thinking about conversations we’ve had with financial advisors and wholesalers during our speaker development programs.

While he makes many strong points, we have a little different take when it comes to how to present successfully to multi-generations. Our entry-point:

 Learn about their humor.

Ask people in other generations to tell you jokes and funny stories they would only tell each other. The ones only they understand. You may not understand. Ask them to explain it to you. That explanation will likely give you insights into their lives, attitudes, and points of view.


Younger presenting to older:

”You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder if there’s anything else you can do while you’re down there.”

You don’t have to think it was funny when George Burns said this, but you have to know why it‘s funny. This quip humorously describes the beginning of the aging process … a valuable entry point into that generation’s basis of thought.

 Older presenting to younger:

  • “I’m Morrisette depressed not Van Gogh depressed.”
  • “You give me one leather jacket, I invest it, then give you back TWO leather jackets!” – Fonzi Scheme

You don’t have to think these lines from 22-year-old comedienne Shelby Fero are funny but you ought to know why.

If you don’t know what makes someone laugh, you don’t fully understand their thinking, feelings, or cultural context.

From baby boomer through Generations X and Y to Millenials, understanding generational humor will go a long way to helping you present successfully to multi-generations. Humor is your way in.

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