Once upon a Bazillion years ago (or so it seems)… I was asked to judge a pageant outside of the Miss America system.
And boy howdy – I sure learned a WHOLE LOT from sitting on the other side of the table! In fact, being a judge gave me a much greater perspective on being a better pageant contestant – one that I would like to share in today’s Thursday Post…
THERE is GREAT WISDOM in a DIVERSITY of OPINIONS!
There’s a reason why we don’t have 1 person judging a pageant. That’s because each winner should not be determined by only 1 person – It should be determined by a collective group of people who recognize, nobody’s perfect. We ALL have strengths and weaknesses – we ALL have good days and bad days. We all have different things to share that resonate with different audiences – and NOBODY can please everyone. That’s why a diversity of opinion is a good thing.
If the judges (who often come from wildly different backgrounds and experiences) can enjoy each other’s company and get along with one another in some pretty intense situations, despite likely having differing opinions of the ladies on stage, then YOU can most certainly benefit from their “collective wisdom”. It’s a good thing – not a bad thing. Embrace it. 🙂
WHAT is a PAGEANT – REALLY…?
Contrary to popular belief… Pageantry isn’t about being ‘the best’ in interview, or having ‘the best’ talent, or having ‘the best’ clothes, body, makeup, hair or stage presence. Pageantry isn’t even about being well-rounded in each of these categories! It’s more than all that!
In my opinion, pageantry is about making 5 different people, fall in love with you, at the same time.
How is that possible? LOL! Great question! Especially since most judges come from a wide variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, socio-economic statuses, birth orders, personal experiences, and other various motivations!
Before we can to how you make 5 total strangers fall in love with you, I can certainly tell you one way NOT to get 5 people to love you all at one time… By becoming someone YOU THINK they want. That’s a recipe for disaster which we’ve discussed at length here in the Thursday Blog…
If I might suggest a better way…
Which pretty much makes me sound like a broken record, right?
IF I’ve HEARD it ONCE, I’ve HEARD IT a THOUSAND TIMES…
“Just walk in and be yourself”
“Let the judges see your heart – the REAL YOU – and you’ll be fine”…
Look – Those are great tips (and stuff you should totally do) – But I would like to encourage you to take it a step further and ask you this question…
WHY is it important to “be yourself” and “let the judges see your heart”?
Many of you may be thinking, “Well – because if I’m ‘me’ and I win, I know it’s because I was ‘me’ and not a fake version of me.”
True. But there’s more to it than just that…
If you can “be yourself” in front of 5 total strangers, that’s your best chance at connecting with 5 total strangers.
Your goal, when you walk into the interview room, shouldn’t be to talk about your platform, or to make sure the judges learn “this” about you before you leave, or to even have the judges thinking about how smart you are when you’re through.
The goal – is to connect.
And when you’re being yourself, it means you’re truly confident in who you are as a person. You’re not trying to please anyone… Instead, your genuine interest is in others – Not in yourself.
AND HERE’S the KICKER…
When you’re comfortable in your own skin, that means you can easily communicate with all kinds of people who disagree with you! How? Well, in short, it’s because you’re not trying to have all the answers. You’re not trying to “be amazing” or “impressive” or any of the other things young women try to be in pageants.
Think of it this way… When you’re trying to be “impressive” or “funny” or whatever else your goal may be in your interview, you’re busy thinking about YOU. And you know what? Nobody likes talking to people who think about themselves the whole time! Not in real life – and certainly not in a pageant interview!
However, when you speak in a confident way, that succinctly expresses what you believe, without putting anyone else down – and allows people to recognize you’re comfortable in your own skin – you’ve just done something extraordinary…
And when 5 judges, who come from a super wide variety of backgrounds, believe your ultimate goal is to reach out and connect with each one of them, they can’t help but respond! As human beings, we’re wired to get along with each other… Especially when someone else is purposefully trying to get along with you first!
It doesn’t mean you have to check your opinions at the door. It doesn’t mean you can’t be strong. It doesn’t mean you need to play both sides of the issue. It only means, you’re secure enough to simply be yourself and express yourself in a way that makes people respect you – because your ultimate goal isn’t to “be impressive” – instead – your goal is to connect.
And when a young woman walks into an interview room and can connect with 5 total strangers, those strangers begin to fall in love with you.
WHAT’S YOUR GOAL???
When you walk into your interview room, do you have a list of things you want to say? Are you busy worrying about what the judges might ask you? Or is your heart set on making a connection?
Maybe one day you’ll get the good fortune of sitting on the opposite side of the table as a judge and you’ll come up with a few things you wish you knew too. In the meantime, trust me. Make “connecting” with the judges (and people in general) your first priority.
That’s the kind of mentality that wins way more than pageants – it wins friendships, jobs, and a positive relationships that you will treasure for years and years to come.
Each and every time.
If you’d like to see more Thursday blog posts like this one, just click here…
Carrie Lakey is kind of obsessed with Miss America…
So are 16,000 of her closest friends.
As an avid fan of the Miss America Organization, Carrie began
publicly predicting pageant winners over 10 years ago.
Now, she’s galvanizing an online movement of fans
known as “Pageant Junkies”.
Learn more about the Junkie Nation
by clicking here.