By Dr. Stephanie Raye (www.PageantToPhD.com)
As you’d guess, pageant contestants are usually aware of their VISUAL image as physical beauty is an obvious aspect of competing in beauty pageants and pageant-related scholarship competitions. What a lot of contestants don’t think about, however, is how what they say (or DON’T say) or write on their application materials impact their overall image.
Most pageants are not JUST about beauty. Not by a long shot. Many of them are considering you to hold a title and REPRESENT the area, the cause/charity, or pageant sponsors well as in something like a spokesperson role. You might be dealing with the public or various professionals in any number of settings. What you say about yourself in your written materials contributes to the overall image the judges (and later the public, media/press) see.
Think about it…all the contestants are beautiful, so what really separates a winner from the runners-up, or those who don’t place at all, is not so much the visual image but the PERSONALITY and PROFESSIONALISM you convey. The judges may not have one particular image they are looking for—as great titleholders things come in all sorts of packages—but they’ll know when someone or something does NOT fit. You can help show them that you do fit, and better than the others.
So if you are all beautiful and dressed appropriately, how do you stand out? How do you manage your overall image to help the judges realize you’re the best fit for their title?
By managing what comes out of your mouth…by INTERVIEWING well. Interviewing better than the next contestant includes understanding your audience (who your judges are, what the pageant values, etc.) and understanding yourself (knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and unique assets). Blending that knowledge together honestly and artfully to inform what you share on your application (which can impact the interview questions) and how you frame responses to questions in the actual interview can make ALL the difference. Speaking from experience, it was surely my interview skills that made me the “queen” in my state and national pageant, allowing me to shine brighter than the equally beautiful “princesses”.
Just imagine how much more you stand to shine brighter YOURSELF if you thought things through a bit? (That’s the most important, right? As we are really trying to grow into our best selves.) Then imagine how much brighter you might shine when COMPARED to the other contestants who maybe didn’t think things through as well or practice interviewing skills as much as you did. (After all, it is a competition, if you are “in” to that part of the pageant experience.)
Keep on reading articles and dig into more in-depth materials along these lines and before you know it you’ll feel even more prepared and confident than you do now. You’ll be more relaxed and have more fun and success. No matter what level of contestant you are, there is more to learn and polish.
And remember—and this is the best part—the self-awareness and skills you build in your pageant will only serve to help you all the more when dealing with other personal or professional settings. After all, a pageant is just a beginning…
Copyright 2012 Dr. Stephanie Raye (www.PageantToPhD.com) You are welcome to use this article, in whole or in logical part and appropriate context, in your newsletters, emails, or websites as long as you properly quote any segments and, in all cases of use, whole or part, acknowledge Dr. Stephanie Raye as author and provide the link to www.PageantToPhD.com . (And if you agree to stop doing so upon request if Dr. Raye sees usage she deems as unprofessional or inappropriate.) Wishing you success! Please stay in touch with your stories and events.