Ryan J. Warriner is the Director and Executive Coach of Professional Presentation Services. With over a decade of professional speaking experience and expertise, Ryan has mastered the science and art of presentations. He has developed a compassionate, strategic, highly effective approach to speaking and presenting. He believes in building confidence in each speaker to improve the delivery of their message. He works with business professionals and helps them deliver high-quality presentations. Moreover, he is a professional educator who helps students in higher education achieve academic and professional success.

In this episode, we discuss Millennials and Gen Z in the presentation and corporate world, their common mistakes, presentations, knowing the audience, and how to approach the younger generations if they are your audience.

Talking about the audience

Ryan assures us that you need to know what your objective is. Make it as clear as possible.

For example, if you are onboarding a group of new employees, you need to know your typical audience member – they may be right out of school or transitioning from another role, or maybe they have been promoted from coordinator to manager. 

To maximize the impact, you can identify some of the shared experiences they might have and design your presentation while keeping one person in mind. Prepare your presentation as if you are presenting to one individual. Ryan tells us that some research shows that it is most effective for reaching everyone. 

“To maximize your effectiveness, focus on one person, and you will find you will have a higher yield of success than if you try to be all things to all people and if you try to consider too many variables,” Ryan tells us. 

Many people present a handful of times a year and do not want to invest the time to improve their communication skills. They think it is a small percentage of their job. “At the end of the day, if you want to improve your effectiveness, you have to be open to changing your approach,” says Ryan. 

Millennials and Gen Z in the corporate world

Whether Millennials and Gen Z present or are presented to, they have and require a slightly different approach.

Ryan, who works with MBA students, says that many who are just now entering their careers have had technology their entire lives. They process information extremely fast and are very adept at multitasking.

Moreover, when they are taught something, and you explain what they need to do and what outcome will that produce they are very effective at executing it right away. 

Ryan says that he has noticed in the younger generations speaking anxiety and stage fright or nervousness when speaking in front of others. 

Some other trend is that some of them understand right away what they are supposed to do. They tend to overspend time on their slide design, making it very attractive, but they often view their slides as a representation of the quality of their presentation. And in doing so, they become dependent on their slides.  

Sometimes when you teach new skills or a new approach that will save time or be more effective, you get questioned a lot. Millennials are usually saying “Okay, done, what is next” as they absorb information more easily. 

The mistakes the younger generations make

They tend to think that the investors are investing in their slide deck, but it is not the case. “They are investing in you, in your company, in what you build and how you are showing them the evidence that you will continue to grow,” Ryan says.

Another mistake is the tendency to procrastinate. “Presentations are not a burden, not a chore, they are an opportunity to shine, to showcase how proficient you are,” he adds. Someone is giving you the opportunity to shine and grow. 


Check out Ryan Warriner’s website, his company on LinkedIn, or his personal LinkedIn.

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