When it comes to preparing an upcoming presentation, it is common to come across people who seek at all costs to distinguish themselves from others, to completely break away from what is normally done and creating a buzz, with one goal in mind: making an impact. We won’t be the ones to criticize this. It is even strategically essential if you want your ideas to be heard and your leadership qualities in full view. Some examples of effective attitudes to have are to give meaning to your actions and to those of others, to be inspiring, and to be a guide. But when it comes to making an impact, the first thing that comes to mind is very often: audacity!
Audacity can be an extremely effective way to connect with your audience and start a presentation. But the more a tool is powerful, the more dangerous it is. And even if it‘s about being bold, it is worthwhile to take some precautions before getting started!
Audacity is always a source of separation: it opposes those who dare vis-à-vis those who don’t dare, but also those who find it amusing vis-à-vis those who reject it. And you must be well prepared if you want your audacity to really serve the message you want to convey. Because the essence of audacity is playing with the limits, and in particular the limit of what is acceptable and what is not. Those who succeed in their audacity benefit from the bonus that rewards the person who dares over others who would never dare. Conversely, those who fail will clearly struggle to gain ground again. Either the audacity is in fact perfectly acceptable to the audience and well within the limits; in which case the speakers will discredit themselves by giving the impression that they’re stating the obvious. Or, it is clearly unacceptable and they will portray the image of being awkward, inappropriate or aggressive speakers.
Hence, you are daring when:
- You downright say what you think,
- You attempt to be funny,
- You interpret what people tell you
- You accept to put yourself in danger (sing, dance…)
- You say something irreverent or provocative
- You play with your image (clothing, makeup…)
On the other hand, try not to be excessively cautious either. Being bold often means examining our own limits. The practice of speaking has a strong inhibiting effect that amplifies our feeling of taking a risk. Each daring act then becomes an opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and to beef up our public persona.
Two precautions to take before getting started:
- Maintain a good-hearted climate. Generally, the purpose of your audacity is to provoke a reaction from your audience to trigger a thought process, to bring awareness or to get over a blockage. If your audacity is perceived as aggressive, there’s a risk that your audience gets stuck on its initial reaction and feeds into its own resentment.
- Remember to give meaning to your audacity and to connect it to your comments. Otherwise, you will give the feeling of performing a gratuitous act, in which the sole goal is to put on a show or put yourself forward.