This blog is loaded with FREE Pageant Coaching for girls who want to WIN their next pageant!
Use this resource wisely!

Contact our coach/blog author today: * * 410.849.9606

Monday, February 15, 2016

5 Lessons Learned from The Grammys 2016

1. How to hold your microphone
Have mercy. If another presenter covered their mouth with their mic or held it with two hands, I would have screamed. You hold the mic with one hand, at your chin level, then tilt the mic towards your mouth so it can pick up the sound. Do not cover your mouth or your face! 

What do you do with the other hand? If you do not need it, have it down at your side. If you feel compelled to use it, you must use it above your belly button - the camera is usually zoomed in from your belly button up, so in order for your hands to matter anyway, they should be seen (above the belly button). 

2. How to speak with charisma
Do not just read the teleprompter. Do not just say your introduction. Do not just answer the question. Sound like you care! One of the performance announcers tonight said something to the effect of  “that was a great performance” and completely looked like a deer in headlights! No enthusiasm! Well, she clearly did not care, did not rehearse, or was really nervous and was just reading.

The judges need to know that you are not a robot, but are instead, a real human being. So whatever you say and wherever you say it (i.e. in the interview room, on-stage etc), give it some charisma and enthusiasm…unless you want to put the judges to sleep!

In turn, speak with conviction as well. Taylor Swift’s album of the year acceptance speech, for example…were you not convinced that she really meant what she was saying? Were you not drawn in? That’s what I am talking about - speak with conviction, power, and charisma to really make your point and to captivate the judges!

3. No matter what happens, you keep going.
Adele’s performance had a number of sound issues and hiccups, but could you tell? Did she show it all over her face? Or did she start crying? Did she storm off of the stage? NO! No matter what happens on stage, you keep going! You have to show, at all times, that you are a professional

So let’s say you trip on your gown. Or the announcer announces you as someone else. Or the mic is not working during your on-stage question. You keep going and you keep performing. If it is something that can be resolved (like the mic), most likely the director or the producer will have it fixed as quickly as possible…you just keep going and if they make you re-do something, do it without complaint and make it even better!

4. How to lose with grace
Good golly, when Taylor Swift lost…she looked like she won! She was jumping up and down for Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, now that’s positive! Even if her behavior was rehearsed, it looked so much better than those who scoffed at the others or those who looked like they didn’t even want to be there. 

Even if you do not win, stay focused. You may want to come back next year, your reaction will be caught on tape, and who knows…you could end up in a youtube video or as a meme! Consider this: you did not lose, you instead learned for next time. 

5. Being multi-talented is a good thing
Did anyone see that Johnny Depp can play guitar and can sing…and is now in a band with Alice Cooper? Ok, even if you don’t know these particular names, I’ll tell you that Johnny Depp is known primarily as a major actor. And I know you have heard of being a ‘triple threat’. So yes, go to your voice classes, dance classes, and whatever else classes. The more you can do, the more marketable you can be.

Some of you will be ‘picked up’ from pageantry. You’ll land modeling jobs, acting jobs, etc. The more you can do, the more jobs you can land, and the more money you can make. That’s my point #1. Point #2: being multi-talented or multi-interested means that you will have more to talk about in interview! Think about it: the girl who is multi-talented with have more to talk about, more things to reference, more experiences and stories to mention etc. While I’m not saying that you should overfill your schedule, I AM saying that being multi-talented or having multiple interests will make you much more interesting in the interview room than the girl who has no extracurriculars, hobbies, talents, or interests. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

What it means to "just be yourself" in competition...

If you have ever competed, I'm sure you have heard somewhere along the line to "just be yourself". Personally, this line is a bit of hogwash because as great as you are, when competing against someone who is exceptionally polished, you may not compare.

So what does this mean? The idea of just being yourself, to me, is all about being the BEST version of yourself. Polished, humorous, refined, intelligent...whatever. Here it comes (I may get some backlash for this one, but...): in competition, you are an actress. You are playing the role of "the best version of you". Now, when I say this, I mean that you are not your everyday you...where you may use slang, wear that third piercing, or rock those jeans. Instead, you must be the best version of yourself...just as if you were going into an interview for a job or a college. So I want us to stop thinking about just being ourselves and instead, start thinking about being the BEST version of ourselves.

In the business world, you'll hear about this again: the idea of being authentic. Hey, you may have heard of in pageants too: "don't be a Pageant Patty" or "you sound rehearsed". You must be authentic at all times; this means that you must be genuine, real, and self-aware. You should know your strengths and your weaknesses.

Inauthenticity is when you put on a mask; it is a kind of pretending that does more harm than good. For example, maybe you chose to do something that you knew made you uncomfortable or compromised your values. This may be followed up with feelings of self-consciousness or deception. And trust that you never want to feel that way after your interview or pageant competitions. Many judges will be able to see right through your mask; stop wearing a mask and instead, be the best authentic version of yourself!

So, how do you maintain authenticity? Here's my THREE steps to being more authentic in competition:

1. Be exceptionally self-aware.
This means that you should know your strengths and your weaknesses. You should know what you value and what is important to you. And you should be able to speak about these things with confidence.

Suggestion: create flashcards with main topics. When you have a few moments, flash through those cards and give a brief speech about topic. 30-45 seconds will do. For example, if the card says, "Education", you should be able to speak off the cuff about your education (highlights, favorite classes, best experiences, awards won etc). Be sure to record yourself so you know where you sounded shaky or unsure...then go back and try again. By becoming more comfortable with your main topics, you can ensure that you'll know your main points and be able to speak freshly but concisely. And by recording yourself, you will know what to eliminate and what to keep.

2. Notice when you are being inauthentic in life.
Did you lie to your friend about your thoughts on her new hair cut? Did you lie about why your homework was incomplete? Take notice where you are not being honest and real and try to turn things around!

Suggestion: make a list of "if you really knew me, you would know". On the other side of the paper, list "what people think they know about me". Then strive to turn all of your negatives into positives. Be aware of where you could use improvements though - sometimes being authentic is about being humble too!

3.  Highlight your strengths.
You know what you are good at, now can you talk about it? Can you back it up? Some people think that bragging is not good in interview...well, your entire life cannot be summed up in a minute (i.e. NAM or IJM) or 3 minutes (USA Ambassador or United States) or even 9 minutes and 30 seconds (Miss America), so take the time to make sure everything you are saying is of value and that it can sell you. If you cannot provide a good enough story for your strength or talent or ability, it probably should not be listed or said in interview. By eliminating what is not important and by highlighting what is most important, you will be able to understand why particular things are important to you and you will be able to best sell them in interview.

Suggestion: make a list of your strengths, talents, and abilities. You can also list honors, awards, etc. Make a list of your awesomeness...then create flashcards for each (or a list). On the other side of the card, write two or three bullets of explanation. If "it" can be explained easily, it is authentic and real. If you are struggling with it, you'll know that it probably is not the most important topic or the most worthy of slipping into your interview. Once you identify what is most important, you will know why it is important, and how to utilize it in your interview.

People who are authentic or real do NOT:

  • fake their feelings (but instead explain why they feel a certain way),
  • speak for the approval of everyone (but instead diplomatically and with sincerity),
  • compare their journey to anyone else's (they instead realize that their unique journey helps them stand out)
  • lie or pretend to be something they are not (they recognize what makes them amazing and play to their strengths and their awesomeness)
  • dwell on the past (they instead learn from their mistakes and utilize the lessons for the future),
  • blame others for their weaknesses or get jealous over the success of others (but instead support others and realize that their success is just more proof that you can succeed too),
  • hang with toxic people (but instead, understand that birds of a feather, flock together and that positivity is contagious),
  • act out of a closed-mind nature (but instead welcome the opinions of others so that they can make more well-informed statements and decisions in the future)

So the next time you step into competition, don't just be yourself, be the BEST version of yourself! <3