When I think about winning personal introductions I’ve written, witnessed or performed, five things come to mind. These five elements are essential for a comprehensive approach to a personal introduction that can win. Miss one of these keys, to a successful speech, and you may just miss some extra points from the judges.
A contestant’s physical appearance which, includes her hair, makeup, and wardrobe, goes beyond superficial judgement. The way that you present your outward appearance to judges says a lot about your understanding of the job. Being a titleholder means representing young women your age, sponsors, as well as an entire organization. Those are things which, are greater than yourself. Just as with any other job, it is essential that a contestant understands how she should dress in a professional setting. Outstanding hair, makeup, and wardrobe demonstrates your level of self awareness and presents an opportunity to express personal style.
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A contestant’s body language can speak louder than words. If she awkwardly enters the stage, avoids eye contact, and slouches, she’s not ready for the weight of a title. First she must learn to carry herself, with confidence. Body language is something that you can control, but it usually requires practice. This is why it’s not only important to memorize your speech, but also to practice how you will walk on stage, stand, or even hold a microphone, if one is handed to you.
Follow these tips to win your first pageant.
Technically, facial expression falls under the category of body language. I believe it deserves its own category, because it’s a dynamic subsection of body language that is highly underrated and usually forgotten. A few stumbling blocks of facial expression are a deer-in-the-headlights look, a terrifying plastered on smile, or eyes that never seem to blink. These type of facial expressions can be off putting, so it’s important to practice pleasant expressions that are natural and compliment the context of your speech.
Presenting any speech is not just about what you say, but how you say it. There are so many tools at your disposal that can add color to your presentation. Think about things like volume, pace, or specific words you want to emphasize. When you practice, don’t get into the habit or merely reading words off of a piece of paper until they’re memorized. Take the time to practice different ways of delivering your speech until you find one that is the most authentic and natural.
In business, people say “content is King!” But in pageants, I’ll say, “content makes a Queen.” If you have the opportunity to say more than your name, age, or title, then say more!!!! (Those exclamations may have been a little aggressive, but it’s because I’m trying to get through to you.) Make the most of your time when you have a judge’s attention. Don’t fill your introduction with fluff. Always fill it with words that inspire and information about yourself that has purpose.