Many of you reading this blog may have never heard about a "pageant platform" so let me start at the beginning. Don't worried, I won't be long-winded.
What: a platform is a subject matter you can spend years talking about and not get frustrated about it. You could make appearances on the subject matter every day and not get tired. It is something you are passionate about or as my friend Keith Scott put it, it is sometimes what makes you angry or upset.
For example: Are you passionate about dance? Does homelessness make you upset?
How to develop it: in the Miss America program, you are required to write a platform statement and submit it with your resume to the judges. However, a platform is something every pageant girl should develop, regardless of what pageant system she is involved in. A platform can be the legacy we leave behind as 'pageant girls'; it is the impact we can have on our world.
Do not just do one event and say it is your platform. Really dig in and develop it. Could you organize your own events? Could you find an organization that involves the same thing (i.e. disaster relief and the Red Cross) and get involved with them? You can develop your platform by making it a 'more than one time' occasion. A platform is something you live, love, and enjoy frequently. Make a list of every way possible you could expand on your platform and go for it. It need not happen tomorrow, but a platform should have an action plan - this is where I am, this is what I have done, and this is where I am going.
Talk about it in interview: Nicholas Boothman says that "it's much easier to be convincing if you care about your topic. Figure out what's important to you about your message and speak from the heart."
Figure out why you love your message or cause and speak on it often. The words will come to you in interview much easier if you have a short story from an experience or event. The words will come easier if you are actively involved and are actively engaged in its development and growth.
Do not: do not throw out vague ideas. For example: yes, you can 'spread awareness', but how will you do it? How will you have an impact? Can you throw out some stats? Have you done research?
Pageant platforms are not silly things and they do not develop in a single day. You must invest some time, do some research, and really want to see something come out of your work. As mentioned above, a platform can be your legacy - it can be the impact you have on the world around you...and it takes more than just two days to have an impact. Let me know if you need any help with your platform, I'm here to help!