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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

WIN the Virtual Pageant!

Many pageants are now turning to virtual events to find their winners, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So how can you stand out in a virtual pageant or competition? Here are 5 quick tips to help you WIN:

1. Plan and create the winning atmosphere.
This is your time to SHINE! Nothing should prevent you from giving your flawless performance, just as if you were on stage. Create the atmosphere for a winning by preparing ahead of time. For example, have a water bottle, kleenex, cough drop, chapstick, powder, paper, and pen nearby. You never know what you will need. Do not forget a copy of your pageant paperwork too!

Visualize being on-stage. The lights are on you. ALL eyes are on YOU - literally. Give your winning performance by preparing your winning atmosphere.

2. Plan your non-digital background. 
When you are at the pageant, there will (hopefully) be some sort of non-distracting background to help you stand out. Create the same environment by planning a solid, distraction-free background to compete against.

Never forget: Sometimes tech will fail us. A virtual, live competition would be one of the worst times to have your tech fail and have everyone see your toilet! Plan ahead: should you iron and hang a white sheet to cover your messy closet? Is there somewhere you could do your walks that is big enough without needing much adjusting? Could your interview be in a private, quiet space...perhaps with a locked door? Plan ahead to prevent visual mishaps - nothing behind or around you should be distracting to the judges. (I'm the first one to spot something shiny and get distracted!)

3. Amp up the energy!
Don't be afraid to turn up the 5 to 10 notches. Normally, your energy is being shown across a stage and into a ballroom with focused viewers. When your event goes virtual, eyes can be all over your room! And people get distracted, let's be honest. Draw them in with your must be conveyed across the screen and into the judges' hearts - you can't really make direct eye contact, so share your enthusiasm like crazy! Truly happy smiles, bright eyes, and excellent posture will serve you well on camera.

4. Practice on video.
Record your walks from your computer/device. Go back and watch it. Did you walk out of the camera area? Did your smile fall when you got to a specific area? Could your posture be improved anywhere? Record yourself then "play judge". Assess yourself honestly and see where you could improve. Do this weeks in advance AND multiple times to ensure that you have your routines solid for each phase of competition.

This will also help you figure out camera placement. Ideally, for an interview, place the camera at eye level. Whether you are standing or sitting, you do not want to appear as if you are looking down on the judges. You may also need to scoot your camera back when you start doing your stage walks/presentation because you will want to show your entire body, head to toe, at every stop on the stage.

5. Expect the unexpected.
Turn off your cell phone. Have a backup light(s) ready to go. Try to create a wired internet connection to create a solid line. Have a backup microphone and camera prepared. Test your sound and lighting ahead of time. Make sure your computer is well-charged AND plugged in. These are just a few ideas!

If something does happen, like the cat jumps in, a sibling starts screaming, etc: do NOT get flustered. Breathe. Smile...laugh if its your natural human reaction. Do not get angry on camera; always present your best self. The judges understand that everyone is at home (they likely are too) and that things happen. Make the best of it and let your most positive light consistently show through.

Best wishes as you prepare to go virtual! I'm happy to help with all of your pageant preparations - just email me: <3