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Friday, December 14, 2012

Top Ten Lessons learned from watching Miss Universe prelims tonight!

Hi everyone!

It has been awhile since the last blog, but I could not miss the opportunity to comment on the Miss Universe prelims tonight! I have made a video of the top ten lessons from tonight's show.

Disclaimer: the video is not meant to offend anyone or tick anyone off. I wanted to be honest and clear with my lessons so that others can learn from the mistakes tonight and hopefully do better at their next pageant. Some points are flat out honest, but again, please do not take offense to anything! Let me help you avoid the same mistakes!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"They tarnished my image and I didn't even know it"

Disclaimer: brutal honesty below.

While watching an episode of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, it dawned upon me that the dance world is much like the pageant world. There are people your age that you are competing with, who want the same things, who are spending just as much (if not more) money on things to make them shine etc. But something really stood out were the parents...

While we all love our parents to pieces, I think we need to consider if they are hurting us. More specifically, is mom or dad always looking panicked? Starting drama? Talking behind people's backs? You certainly do not need that drama during pageant week or weekend, so why should you be surrounded by it? Not to mention, is your friend or boyfriend tagging along? Does that friend have green (or whatever unnatural color) hair? Ripped jeans and a tee shirt, escorting you to rehearsal? What image does that present of you?

Let's remember ladies, even if the pageant director does not want to admit it, an image or an idea is being cast of you by how you dress, how you present yourself etc and if you're presenting yourself with a mom who hasn't cared to get dressed for the morning or a friend who is still in their PJs, how does that make you look?

It's all about image - your personal brand. What brand or image are you telling the world? Will this brand or image develop much while being the titleholder? Will it develop for the positive? Pageants want representatives. They want girls who look, act, behave etc in a certain way. That's a fact. You have to fit an image - whether that's the "all-american girl" or the "glam girl", that's just the truth. Consider what image the people around you are giving off.

Advice: show that you are independent and strong. You don't need mom breathing down your neck or brushing your hair in the dressing room. Be a big girl and do it yourself. Leave the boyfriend or best friend at home or in the room. Stop the tag-alongs! Never fail to look and be the titleholder!

Yes, the judges do not see the crazy mom or friends in PJs but everyone else does. The pageant system is not just crowning you - they crown your family for a year too! They have to spend the year with you ALL - I don't know about you,  but I rather them like my family and make my year fun rather than them talk about me to other directors in other systems or spread the word that I'm a baby or can't handle myself.

You read the disclaimer...and if you are here, you read the blog above. Don't freak out - I'm not speaking directly at your situation, but I am telling you - people will not want to work with you, even if life, if you give off the wrong image or idea. It is a reality, now how can you fix your reality? 

Don't let that single person be the reason why you have difficulties winning! Don't be the girl who says, "they tarnished my image and I didn't even know it"! 

My story: long story short, you all know I love and live pageants. While at a recent event on-site, one person bothered me so much and caused so much drama that I honestly wanted to quit my work. I wanted to pack up and leave. Heaven forbid if that person causes that drama outside of the BV room and in the ballrooms because her child will never win - her image/brand will be one of chaos and chaos will not win. Don't let someone tarnish your image!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Just Jump Out of the Car?

When offering my pageant coaching services to contestants, I often hear, "Oh I only need to work on interview...nothing else". Really? Seriously? Contestants need to be the complete package - there is no harm in brushing up all of your skills.

And even worse, please don't tell me, "I already have a coach for the other stuff". Really? Seriously? Everyone you chat with will have something new to offer! What if I told you a tip that your coach had never thought of? Wouldn't you be better off knowing even more? Just a thought...

My main point is that no matter if you have a coach or you do not, you need to practice everything when preparing for a pageant. Daily. Twice a day, if possible. This includes all speaking portions of competition, walking, fitness, etc. Everything. Practice like a pro.

Two quick points about pageant/life preparation:

1. You need to look like you don't need practice: look like a pro.
Some people say that you need to look like you didn't even prepare, like you were born ready. Well, if you did not prepare, you would stumble over words, trip in your new shoes, have the wrong wardrobe etc. So let's rephrase what some people have you told you - you need to look like a pro and that will come from constant practice and preparation.

2. Practice hard enough that things come easier to you
Prior to Miss Maryland, I would practice my talent, yes. But part of my trick for looking like I could do it in my sleep was constantly listening to the track and going through the motions. After my talent performance on finale night this year, I walked off stage saying..."did I just do my talent"? It came with such ease and brought such happiness that I was in a state of bliss versus remorse for not practicing. And everyone told me I looked like I was having the time of my life - yes, I was! Because I had run through the music (via Ipod attached to my body) every waking moment for the previous few weeks, the motions came to my mind and body easier and I did not have the look of "what's coming next?" when dancing. Think of that before your next interview or gown walk or fitness routine...practice to look like a pro.

The more often you work at that speech or remembering the routine or nailing that full turn in your swimsuit walk, the easier it will come to you. However, I must add that PROPER  preparation prevents poor performance - this means, do things "full out" or don't do them at all. Practice your interview in your suit, shoes, and nylons...practice your gown walk in your heels and gown on a stage-like floor etc. Do not do things half have heard the phrase "practice makes perfect", right? Well, that's wrong..."proper practice makes perfect" it right or do not bother.

Let's make this simple: You are driving to the beach one day and you have packed all of your beach attire, necessities etc. into the car. However, while driving to the beach with your friends, you heard on the radio that there is a full marathon (26.5 miles) at the next you decide to take the exit, jump out the car, and enter the race with plans to win the whole thing!

Um, no.

It doesn't happen that way my friends. You cannot jump out of the car and expect to win. You have to prepare properly for all phases of the competition that will come at you. PROPER preparation will prevent poor performance...and will help you look and feel like a pro on-stage! So do what you have to do to prepare properly... and let me know if you need any help along the way... <3


Let me help you figure out what's your next step or what you should be doing to prepare properly; email me at today or visit the BV website now:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Move on girl!

I was recently asked by a BV girl: "when is it the right time to leave behind a pageant system and try others". Well, my opinion on this has not changed and I want to remind you of my thoughts on this issue:

Try every pageant. Never stick to just one.

If you stay in one spot your whole life, you'll never see the world. You'll never have new experiences. Can you imagine never trying something new? Can you imagine eating the same sandwich every single day? I hope not. If so, stop reading.

Yes, you may love one system - their staff, their mission etc, but it will not be learning anything new about yourself or what you are capable of! Sad!

Reminder of my personal story: I spent four years in the same pageant system trying every single year and getting better, but never winning. It was not until I left that pageant system that I had my first pageant WIN and thus my first opportunity to go out into the community and meet people, to attend and compete in a national pageant, etc etc etc!

Try every pageant. Never stick to just one. You will learn something new about yourself with every life experience...and with every pageant experience. Different judges look for different things. Different pageants look for different things. Maybe you are just not what that pageant is looking for - do you want to waste years of your life never winning or doing better just because you love being at that same pageant every year? I think not.

Try new pageants - there are tons out there that have commonalities, so never fear that you're going in as a complete "newbie". Here are some ideas of pageants that have many phases of competition in common (in alphabetical order), which means you can most likely use the same gown, intro, interview style etc:

International Junior Miss
Miss American Coed
National American Miss
USA Ambassador

Two Popular Programs (on TV)
Miss America (has a teen division too: Miss America's Outstanding Teen)
Miss USA (has a teen division too: Miss Teen USA)

I also direct my own pageant called Miss Miracles Happen - we raise funds for Johns Hopkins Children's Center/Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) and thus, we make "miracles happen"! Your registration fee is a donation to CMNH....our event is May 11, 2013. Check out the website for more info, I would love to see you register!

Hope this helped! <3

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pageant "Drama"

When I tell people that I 'do pageants', I often hear questions about the drama that goes on: "do girls cut your dresses in the dressing room?" or "is everyone snooty?" Fortunately, I have participated in pageants that have very little to no drama! However, this is not to say that there is never any pageant drama...I just choose to stay away from it.

Sometimes being in a competitive nature can make us say or do things that we would not usually do, but please understand that anything like rolling your eyes, mumbling things under your breath, etc is a form of bullying - today we live in a world where bullying is taboo subject, as people don't like to talk about it, but we have to understand that it does indeed exist. So for me, bullying and pageant drama are equal.

Choose to avoid the drama - think before you speak - think before you act. Don't let a piece of plastic with rhinestones attached or a piece of satin and thread ruin your friendships or scar your reputation.

If you find that you have participated in pageant drama or bullying, realize that it is wrong...and that the world moves can you! Say your apologies and move on, move forward.

I recently worked on-site at a pageant for about six days and honestly, the competition just got to some people. It's ok...take your personal feelings back to your room and sort them out there, don't bring them to the attention of others or try to make others feel bad.

You are beautiful, you are intelligent, you are do not need to lower yourself by making others feel bad or question themselves. Never doubt how awesome you are and work hard to achieve your goals. Even if you do not win, you will have learned more about yourself and your capabilities with every pageant you try and every "drama-filled moment" that you avoid! =)

A note from Anne McConnell, America's Mrs. 2012: "As unfortunate as the drama is, it is also a training ground for life because we all will eventually face these kinds of stresses in the real world-crown or no crown, but queens can be out there showing the world why we are queens ;)"

Monday, July 30, 2012

Choosing Your Swimsuit

Ladies, we are coming towards the end of summer very soon, but that does not mean that the pageant world will stop wearing them! How do you choose the best swimsuit for your body shape, size, skin color etc?

I just found this article online discussing this very topic, take a look below:


Swimwear Styles For Any Body Type

Whether you’re shopping for dresses, pants or some sexy new swimwear, it’s important to keep your body type in mind. Since different silhouettes look better on different body shapes, it’s important to know what swimwear styles will work best for you. Once you figure that out, you’ll be well on your way to looking like the beauty of the beach!
Fringe Tiffany by L*SPACE Swimwear
Great top for triangle shapes (Photo Credit: L*SPACE)
The Inverted Triangle:
If your top half is bigger than your bottom half, you’re said to have an inverted triangle shape. Your perfect swimwear styles are those with solid, dark-colored tops that offer the bust support you crave, paired with printed bottoms with more fabric. Think black halter tops or underwire bra tops paired with stylish hipsters or skirted bottoms in fun prints. When pairing these swimwear styles together, you’ll help emphasize your smaller bottom half and balance out your look.
Black Monokini by Anika Brazil Swimwear
A monokini is a great silhouette for rectangle shapes (Photo Credit: Anika Brazil)
The Triangle:
If your top half is smaller than your bottom half, your body type can be described as a triangle-shaped figure. Go for swimwear styles that will emphasize your bustline and make your bottom half appear smaller. Try bandeau or triangle tops embellished with fringe or ruffles or those featuring busy prints paired with solid dark-colored scoop bottoms. This swimwear combination will help accentuate and draw attention upward while making your bottom half look smaller.
The Rectangle/Boyish:
If you have a smaller bust, narrow shoulders and hips and are generally non-curvy in the torso and hips area, you have a rectangle or boyish figure. Look for swimwear styles that will help create the illusion of curves. Try twist bandeau tops paired with printed hipster bottoms, or one-piece swimsuits with side cutout sections. Let the swimwear work its magic!
Bia Turquoise by ViX Swimwear
Perfect bikini for an hourglass shape (Photo Credit: ViX)
The Hourglass:
For those who have hourglass figures, not only are your top and bottom halves proportionate, but you have a tiny waist and probably the most coveted female figure around! You want to go for swimwear styles that won’t throw off your balanced proportions. Try halter tops or triangle tops paired with scoop bottoms or tie-side bottoms with thicker ties. Avoid swimwear bottoms that are too thick or too thin on the sides so you don’t mess with your natural hourglass shape.
The Curvy:
Finally, if you have a curvy or full-figured physique, then you generally have fuller hips, a bigger bust and sexy curves. You want to look for swimwear styles that offer great overall fit and support and hide any problem areas. For two-pieces, try bikinis or tankinis with supportive halter top designs paired with scoop bottoms. If you’re into one-pieces, look for swimwear styles with flattering ruched detail and sexy features like deep plunging necklines.

This season, get ready to turn heads in swimwear styles that show off that bod of yours!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pageants = Money = The Need For Sponsors??

Yes, competing in pageants is NOT cheap. Now that we've stated the obvious, how do we get around the endless costs that surround a pageant?

For those of you asking: "what costs?" let me give you a brief rundown of the possibilities:
*attire for the weekend (rehearsals, dinners etc)
*travel (gas, airplane, hotel)
*ad fees
*registration/entry fees
*fitness trainer
*hair and makeup supplies

...the list goes on and on! Not to mention, add the pageant coaching to that list - you have a panel of judges to impress...might as well get help from someone who has been on a panel before to give you the advice you need!

But, how can you minimize these costs? Find sponsors!

Well, answer me this...why would YOU sponsor someone for anything? 
For the fun of it? Probably not. That takes money you don't have...
For the pretty picture in the program book with you? Eh, no.

Then what?

You would sponsor someone if you got something in return...

So, the question becomes: what can I give these sponsors in return for sponsoring this ad for me? You have to convince them that this is a great investment for them...not just an expensive picture for a program book.

How do you appear as an investment/great value to them? Try these:

1. Make a physical proposal
Get to your computer and make a professional, yet fun, list of all of the possibilities that the potential sponsor has. You want to appear professional, so prepare a proposal sheet or brochure listing out the options for the potential sponsor. When you visit them, show them your "outline". In this outline, be very clear about what you can give them.

List all of the benefits...will you work as a model for them to increase their exposure and lessen the cost of them having to pay for a model? Will their "donation" be tax-deductible? Will you facebook or blog about them? List everything!

It would benefit you to list your expenses too...some people don't understand that pageants are expensive, so be honest. Tell them what you need and why you need it. They will appreciate the honesty...and in a way, you're getting ready to be a titleholder by doing this - you're already acting as an ambassador for the pageant, before the competition even begins! What a great thing to mention in interview... ;)

2. Dress to impress
When visiting the potential sponsor, dress in a business suit or business dress. Look serious if you want to be taken seriously. For those of you who already have some sort of title, wear your crown and sash/banner to draw their attention (and prove that you are the contestant you say you are). Note: you can also add to your "potential sponsor advantages" that they get a photo with you at their venue on the spot (when you receive the check) for the program book; what about mentioning that you will send the picture to the local newspaper for them, highlighting that their business is supporting local youth/a local titleholder? Sounds like a nice reward to me.

3. Conduct yourself professionally
Walk in with the greatest posture you've ever seen, the best grammar you've ever heard, and the eye contact to win (great practice for the judges later on at your pageant)! You have to act the part...that's half the battle!

And don't forget to "know your stuff"...know what title you're up for, know what system you are competing in etc.

4. Close the "deal"
Only you can close the deal. If you don't make the effort to follow up or to get that check in your hands, guess won't get there. You must follow up and close the deal...or say goodbye to that sponsorship! Again, these potential sponsors won't just hand you the have to prove you need and want it.

It takes work to make it happen...but you can indeed minimize or almost eliminate your pageant costs simply by asking for sponsors. It'll be more beneficial than you think!

With your success in mind,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stop Waiting Around!

A mistake that most pageant girls make is that they get stuck on one pageant system. For example, you try pageant system and love the staff, production, competitions etc. and so, you subconsciously vow to never compete in another pageant system. I think is one of the greatest mistakes you can ever make during your competition years. More specifically, what if that pageant system just "was not for you" or you were "just not for them"? Take that into consideration first.

Most of you know my personal story:
 I competed in one particular pageant system for many years and I never really wanted to compete elsewhere. I was intrigued by the level of production, how cool the staff was, etc. However, as many years as I competed there, I could never actually win. I would always make it into the top 10 or top 5, but I could just never take that title.

In all honesty, the one year that I decided to compete elsewhere (at the advice of a mentor of mine), I finally won a pageant title: Miss Maryland American Coed Teen 2006. I was elated and of course, was on my way to the 2006 national pageant.

Looking back, had I never left my original pageant system, I often think "could I have ever won there"? Was I just "not what they were looking for at the moment"...every year? Whatever the case, I WANT YOU to consider looking into and trying other pageant systems because you never know what they are looking for and if you could possibly be the best fit for them.

There are so many other pageant systems out there and they all want to do the same thing: empower young women to think independently, act fearlessly, and grow in their self-confidence and ability to be strong and unique. Pageantry, as a whole, teaches young women to be bold and make a statement; consider this when waiting a whole year for your same pageant to roll around again.

Please also consider that the winner rarely only prepares a few weeks prior to the state pageant; if you want the experience necessary to capture your next title, it may be necessary for you to get the experience from other pageant systems to finally take the win and your coveted title =)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ask Yourself, "Do I Appear Confident?"

I'm officially back from judging a pageant in New Jersey this weekend and it inspired me to write this post:

Many girls wonder if they appear confident on how do you know if you do? Inner confidence comes from a combination of self-belief and real enthusiasm for your message - what message are you giving? Always consider what your message is before competing; you want to make sure that everything you do matches with your goals - when you know what you're focused on and what is important to you, you will instantly appear more confident!

Consider these points when preparing...and you should be ready to nail it!

1. Is my eye contact strong?
You should be looking at the judges, always. They are the ones scoring you! Don't lose valuable points just because you wanted to look at mom or above their heads instead - eye contact is eye contact and it really does demonstrate confidence! It makes a bold statement - "yes, I'm looking at look at ME!"

2. Am I projecting my voice and personality?
Even if you're on a microphone, you need to project (not eat the microphone) your voice. Most importantly, project your personality! If you say a personal introduction or give an answer to a question, we want the natural, fun you...not the monotone, boring, "deer in headlights" one.

3. Am I maintaining good posture?
Pull those shoulders back, tighten your tummy/abs, and tuck your pelvis in/bottom under. Whether you're sitting in a chair or standing on stage, the judges want to see that you care about your entire appearance...and posture helps! Poor posture indicates poor body language, you look disinterested and not all. When you stand tall, you think, be tall! You can win the attention and respect of an audience and panel of judges even before you begin simply through your posture - the way you occupy the space around.

4. Are my hand gestures natural?
Are you tugging at your clothes? Are you picking at your hair? Are your fingers twitching or are your hands in fists? You can most certainly use small hand gestures to reinforce points, just as you would in casual conversation (interviews should be casual conversations anyway). I always say that your gestures should be above the belly button and should never be intimidating (pointing, fists, grabbing a podium etc).

5. Do I appear calm and in control?
Slow and deep breathes before going on stage really can enhance your performance, as it boosts the supply of oxygen your brain gets and makes you more alert. It also helps you to stay calm, increases the air over your vocal chords, and enhances the clarity of your voice. Speak slowly and move with purpose, meaning if you doubt you need the movement, you don't need it.

Use these five tips to help you be prepared and confident for on-stage presentations/competitions. And if you have any questions or want to work on your confidence, presentation/competition ability etc, just send me email and let's get on that!

With your success in mind,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Titleholder Public Relations 101 - Your Personal Campaign

  • Ok, so you've won the title of your dreams and are headed to the national pageant, now what? How do you capitalize on your year as the titleholder? How do you get known? 
  • Or you're interested in becoming a much more well-known person in your community to pursue a public office or head a major organization. How do you create good publicity for yourself? 
  • Or what if you're not a titleholder yet, but want to develop better speaking skills and greater self-confidence so you have something to add to your interview (and resume)? 
Then, read on!
Being involved with the Miss America Organization for the past three years has taught so much when it comes to self-promotion, as I made it my job to live my personal platform everyday. Not to mention, having been a titleholder in other pageant systems, but not having a public relations person to book my appearances, forced me to find ways to promote myself. In this past year, no more than three or four days have gone by for me where I have not been at an event, planning a partnership with an organization, making an appearance, or developing my platform of youth empowerment. But, how did I get so busy? How did I create this constant cycle of self-promotion?

Consider this "Titleholder PR 101".
Imagine you are crowned on stage, in front of a live audience...and you now have 15 required appearances before nationals! Or consider you're crowned and have no business manager or PR person to help you grow and develop your platform or book appearances for you during your reign - what do you do?

1. Choose your platform
a. If you had a platform and were making appearances and doing ample self-promotion prior to your win, kudos to you! Keep making those appearances and keep reading below for more info!

b. If you did not have a platform before you competed, after having won is a great time to buckle down on a cause or idea that means something to you. A platform should be something you are comfortable dedicating yourself to for a year and that you are willing to make appearances for and speeches or communication about. For example, do not choose the platform of anti-bullying if you are a bully - how will you realistically present this to the public when asked or attending events...which bring me to my next point....

2. Be authentic
People want you to be authentic - I want you to be authentic. I am so tired of awesome titleholders going out and being stereotyped as airheads or being committed solely to "world peace" (although personally, it's not a bad thing to be committed to). 

People want to know what you're saying is coming from the heart - again, if you are a bully, don't spend your year talking about anti-bullying unless you're making the change yourself.

Book appearances on radio shows, make a blog (and post on it regularly), visit schools and make speeches, communicate with government leaders who agree with your points - make a name for yourself by choosing to spend your time as an authentic supporter of something (your platform, organization, etc).

3. Sing your own praises
Without a PR person at your side, your personal publicity campaign will start with YOU. This means it is YOUR job to promote yourself. 

Self-promotion is essential for a titleholder, someone in business, etc. You can't be shy, embarrassed, or rely on others to start a conversation. Even when you have a PR person, you are the person being promoted, so take on the challenge and do it for yourself. Please note: self-promotion is extremely beneficial, but there is a fine line between promotion and obnoxious behavior. I don't want you to be in people's faces and annoying them, but don't be afraid to toot your own horn. Go to events with the best posture (crown/tiara or not), bright eyes, and standout outfit...and be ready to chat it up and make a name for yourself!

Know who you are. 
  • know your title (and how you are different from other systems)
  • know your qualifications (maybe the person you are talking to needs a speaker on that subject)
  • be involved in organizations, clubs, groups (show them that you are well-rounded and involved; use this as an opportunity to attend meetings, take part in events, and become a part of their social network too)
4. Capitalize on every opportunity
Train yourself to spot opportunities for appearances, platform development, personal promotion etc...then jump! Pounce! Run!

Use every opportunity possible to get speaking experience. Use every opportunity to gain time in the public eye. Use every opportunity to self-promote!

On a side note, choose appropriate events to attend; this means, I don't want to read about your evening at the local pajama party at Club X! =) Go online and search "events in Baltimore" or whatever town you are from and a list from your local county or state will pop up. Use this list to find upcoming events you can attend. Or go to your local library and find local magazines; contact the magazines that have articles or purposes close to yours. Maybe they can interview you or maybe you can find out when the next event pertaining to that subject matter will be held. 

Never stop looking for (appropriate) opportunities to promote yourself!

5. Always be prepared
You never know who you will run into, so carry that business card everywhere. And carry that crown and banner (if applicable) everywhere too; I can't tell you how many times I said..."yea, definitely should have brought it tonight". You never know when you'll need your promotional materials!

And personally, always have a small speech ready to go about the event you are at. You never know when a TV or radio crew will see you and want a testimonial from you about the event, why you choose to attend etc. Wouldn't it be awesome if this happened and instead of denying the camera time you said, "Hi, I'm Susie Awesome, Miss Awesome 2012, and I am here at the Keeper of Awesomeness event because it really ties in with my personal mission in life - to make sure everyone is awesome. This organization really empowers youth to think positive and be awesome!"  Sounds prepared (and like great self-promotion) to me...I'm just saying!

Final thoughts...

As I'm closing out my year as the reigning Miss Allegany County, I will no longer have the privilege or honor of wearing that crown and sash everywhere - so how will I promote myself? I have spent my year campaigning as me...Victory. I have built three businesses on who I am, not who the titleholder this year was. People know that if they need an emcee, judge, makeup artist, public speaker, TV host,'s me!

Publicity is a full-time job. Good self-promotion can create careers...and bad self-promotion can get doors slammed in your face. You want to start creating name recognition ("I know that name from somewhere" syndrome). Good self-promotion can inspire you, excite others, and excite your prospective partners or employers.

Become a walking self-advertisement - yes, having a title can get some doors opened for you, but don't rely on it. When your year is up, you're back to being you. Use your year to create a name for yourself. A great example of this is Miss Maryland 2009, Brooke Poklemba. Brooke used her year to meet everyone possible and to gain extensive public speaking experience - she has now moved to California to pursue her entertainment/hosting career. She took every appropriate opportunity during her reign and less than two years later, she has worked as a TV show host, a model for a large fashion line, has been to events with Condelezza Rice, was a correspondent at this year's Miss America pageant and more.

Publicity never sleeps; it is an all-day, everyday type of thing. That's why when those unfortunate photos pop up, they really explode - the media does not rest. So instead, why not have the media blow up in a positive way about you - you are your best marketing tool! Believe in what you are promoting (yourself) and make this the year/campaign of your life. I don't care if you are a titleholder or are working on becoming one; effective publicity will get you far in life!

Take every opportunity ladies! Title or not, self-promotion and good publicity is everything in life. Make a positive name for yourself - wouldn't it be awesome if you interviewed at your next pageant and you sat down and the judge said, "Oh, I know you! You're that girl who was on the news last week," or "you're the girl who spoke last year at the anti-bullying conference in California (across the country)". Sounds pretty good to me.

With your success in mind,

*credit, where applicable, given to Guerilla Publicity, Second Edition by Jay Levinson et al
*credit, where applicable, given to Brooke Poklemba

Thursday, January 12, 2012

BV Group Tele-Classes

Over the past few months, we've realized that we're only reaching a specific area of girls with our services, but we want to reach all of you! Many of you on our email list, on our facebook page, or reading this blog want to work with BV, but can't make the trip to the workshops, events, in-studio sessions etc. Well, your concerns are over!

Starting this month, BV will begin offering group tele-classes! 

*What is a group tele-class?
A group tele-class will be a one-hour conference call hosted by Victory, once a month. The call will include a mini-lecture (for roughly 20-30 minutes) and then 20-30 minutes for Q&A. The group calls will be like a class or session with Victory, in group/workshop format, with the opportunity to ask whatever you want, from the comfort of your home!

A VERY LIMITED NUMBER OF GIRLS WILL BE TAKEN PER SESSION. Sessions will be held in six-month groupings; we want to ensure that you receive a superb “education”!

There are a variety of topics to cover with your group, including the normal pageant topics and deeper discussions for self-confidence and inner development. We'll explore the worlds of pageantry, modeling, and never know who might stop by on the phone call to answer questions! ;) Sometimes, you’ll even have downloadable worksheets to help you along the way – proof of your “education”!

*What is the point of this?
There are many girls around the nation who are connecting with BV, but cannot travel as often for sessions or workshops. BV wants to reach out to those girls to ensure they too are getting the help they need to be victorious! To ensure that we are reaching BV girls everywhere, these group tele-classes will cover the main pageant topics, plus:
  • surround you with other girls facing the same questions,
  • coach/prep you, at a cheaper rate than the in-studio session,
  • improve your interpersonal skills (listening, critical thinking, questioning etc),
  • and more!
*The Advantages of the Group Tele-classes:
  • No driving or flying! Call with your PJs on and from the comfort of your home!
  • Less "on the spot" work than a studio or skype session
  • Peer learning
  • Inner development and more!
*Who is this for?
Those BV girls who:
  • want coaching or consulting, but can't make the trip on a regular basis,
  • are local girls who can attend sessions often, but just want another outlet to help them succeed,
  • have the desire to succeed and grow this year,
  • want to contribute as well as evolve,
  • want to reach or exceed their goals,
  • want to explore specific topics and diverse views,
  • are willing to keep matters private, when needed.
The group tele-classes will have robust opportunities for conversation and real understanding of subject matters, sometimes even beyond the typical pageant topics of interview, evening gown, and personal introduction.

The group tele-classes really are for every girl who wants to grow and be victorious this year. The classes will go beyond typical pageant material and bring you current events, self-confidence building, and much more. Enough cannot be said about the classes – you do not want to miss out on this opportunity to work directly with Victory and the BV team!

*Ok, what next?
1.     Send any questions or concerns you may have directly to Victory at
2.     Register online:
·      A commitment of at least 3 months required upon registration; this means you must pay at least half the rate of the 6-month session to reserve your spot – a very small number of girls will be taken each session!
·      Upon registration and confirmation of payment, you will receive all the information you need for your group classes!
3.     Call in for your first group tele-class - Thursday, January 26th, 7-8pm

This six-month session is worth over $2,300.00!

However, BV will offer this six-month session for ONLY $240.00!

That’s less than 6 in-studio sessions! Plus, think of how much you’ll save on gas or airfare!

Your deposit of $120.00 is required by Monday, Jan 23, 2012 to reserve your spot among the select group of lucky young ladies!

And yes, you'll receive a few fun gifts when you complete the 6-month session, but heads up, no two 6-month sessions will be alike! There is always new information in this industry and we want to keep you up on it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

5 Steps to Getting Those Filler Words Out of Your Interview

It's the fear of most pageant girls...the filler word! While in interviews, we are determined to not use them...but they still come out! How do we handle this?

When thinking about this blog post, I was compelled to say, "get rid of them...never use them, cut them out". However, the reality is that it is human nature to use such filler words. Why? An occasional filler word never killed anyone and honestly, your use of a filler word may make you seem more human. Ok, I am totally not justifying the use of the filler word, but make it a point of yours to realize how much or little you actually use them.

And please, let me be clear, I am not just talking about filler words, but filler phrases too, like "you know", "what I'm trying to say is", "I think/believe" etc. Don't be afraid to jump right into an answer. This comes with practice.

If you need practice, contact me today and let's set something up. In fact, I am so confident that I can help you improve your interview skills and techniques that I'll give you your first 20 minute phone session free. Contact me (Victory) for more info:

Here is a "strategy" to help you reduce the frequency with which you use the fillers...

1. Make a decision to note how often you use them.
Be more conscientious of your usage of the words and sounds that plague your communication skills. I suggest recording yourself answering a few questions and listening back to the recording - make notes: be honest, how many times did you need a filler? Jot that down. Redo the taping with the same questions with the previous usage of fillers in your mind, listen to the new taping, note any difference.

You can always try new sets of questions, give mini-speeches etc for practice.

And yes, recording yourself via video, phone, recorder, etc all count! You could also have a family member ask you questions and make a tally each time you use a me, you'll become more conscientious of it!

Questions for yourself: is my use of these filler words hurting my interview? Do I sound like I'm always looking for the right word? Do I sound as though I lack intelligence? Or is it almost invisible? Be honest.

2. Think about why you are even using them.
What is going on in your mind when you use these fillers? Are you nervous? Are you trying to process too quickly. Are you just spitting out answers? Do you fear that if you don't use filler you'll be interrupted?

The judge will rarely interrupt you - they want to see if you can finish your thought (honestly, we are human and just want to hear you speak). There is no need to signal the judge that you are nervous, need a second, etc.

Judges understand that you are nervous, but I assure you, there is no reason to use a filler to fill dead space. You can honestly breathe for 3-5 before answering a question and it won't be awkward...honest.

3. Prepare better.
Ms. Jerri says it best, "Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance".

Perhaps you use those filler words when you are unsure of what to say are searching for the next best thing to say. Your failure to prepare well creates worry in your mind - your brain freaks out, your heart starts pounding, and you begin to dig for words and thoughts from your memory.

Or perhaps you are well-prepared but just nervous. Your nerves cause you to speed up what you're saying and just interject a filler to not sound crazy or over-rehearsed.

Prepare better by getting adequate rest (so your brain can be sharper and quicker) and enough practice (trust me, contact me). You'll also need a light meal before interviews (and yes, brush your teeth after you eat...cornflakes aren't too pretty).

4. Slow down!
Give your brain some time to catch up to what you're saying. Not to mention, give the judges the time to catch on to what you're saying. It may come out of your mouth 33 seconds into the interview, but it may not click with a judge until 55 seconds in the interview. Let them (and you) catch up; slow down, it is ok!

And yes, embrace your pauses. Pausing never killed anyone either; my rule of thumb is 3-5 seconds will keep an interview from going awkward and you'd be surprised how many thoughts run through your mind in 3-5 seconds!

5. Be patient.
You will not stop using your filler words automatically; it is a process.

Try to tape yourself once a week or every few practice interviews; tally your usage each will become less overtime. And please, make a real effort to eliminate the fillers in everyday conversation - not just when being interviewed. You would never want to nail the interview and win the title, but then never be invited to speak anywhere as the titleholder....

I do hope this blog post made sense and connected with some of you. Don't forget: If you need practice, contact me today and let's set something up. I am so confident that I can help you improve your interview skills and techniques that I'll give you your first 20 minute phone session free. Contact me (Victory) for more info:

And even if you don't want the free 20-minute session, just send me an email letting me know what the article meant to you, if it helped etc! I would appreciate the feedback!

With your success in mind,

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monthly BV girl contest ANNOUNCED!

BV is officially launching its Monthly BV Girl Contest!

Each month, BV will choose one lucky girl to be the BV girl...a BV girl is determined...fearless...and victorious, in all that she does.

The winner will be determined by an essay contest - the person who submits the best essay response to the monthly question will be our winner. She will walk away with money towards her next pageant (paid directly to the pageant), a feature in the BV blog, and more!

This contest is free to enter - but you must be a BV girl and you must open your BV emails (failure to open your BV emails means you are not serious about BV...we appreciate you opening and reading through each email!) If you are not on our email list, get on it today by emailing us ( You must also like our facebook page (click here for our FB page)!

This month's question: What is a leader to you? Why do you make a good leader?
*100-300 words
*must be typed in 12pt font, Times New Roman
*winner or runners up will be asked to video tape their response and upload to our facebook or blog
*free to enter
*deadline to enter: January 27th, 2012
*winner announced: Jan 31st, 2012 via facebook etc

Friday, January 6, 2012

Top Five Interview Questions!

Many times, the interview can be the most intimidating competition of the entire pageant! You have to consider what the judges will think, how you should answer, how you should sit etc etc etc...the list goes on forever! 

To ease some of your nerves, I wanted to provide the top FIVE most common pageant should work on these weekly, as your answers do indeed change. Work on formulating your answer to have the best sentence structure and thought possible, but do not sound over-rehearsed; you want to sound confident! If you are questioning whether you sound over-rehearsed or not, call me and let's find out!

1. What three words best describe you?
*don't just list the three words, briefly tell me about how each word describes you

2. What do you want to do in the future/what is your ambition?
*ok, this does not have to be exactly what is on your resume. The judges understand that these things change!

3. What are some of your strengths?
*be prepared to answer the flip side question: "what are some of your weaknesses"

4. If you win this weekend, what will you do with your year?
*don't just say "go to nationals and win"...what else?

5. Why should we select you as the titleholder?
*my favorite question...go on, tell me why!

Use the questions above to get your mind working...of course, there are 100s and 100s of possible questions for interviews and while we could not possibly practice every single possible question in the world prior to your pageant, we can at least get you prepared to handle any question with confidence and poise.

Winning takes practice, it doesn't happen much practice are you willing to put in?

With your success in mind,
Victory and the BV team