Are you competing in a pageant that includes a personal introduction or opening statement during your competition? A killer personal introduction can quickly establish you as a top contestant. Check out the 5 rules below to create your winning personal introduction!
1. Review the Pageant Introduction Criteria. Check the contestant handbook to see what type of introduction the judges will be expecting. Some pageants want all the contestants to say the same thing (i.e., name, age, grade in school, school activities). However other pageants allow contestants to create a more customized introduction. Read your contestant handbook or ask your pageant director for an example to be sure you know exactly what’s expected.
2. Establish Your Introduction Themes. In order to make it easy for the judges to remember you, you’ll want to establish a theme for yourself. Your theme might be ‘Smart Girl.’ Or, maybe your theme is ‘Volunteer Girl.’ You want to make your theme clear during your personal introduction. Basically, you should include items that make a good impression and help you stand out as a contestant. Discuss topics that highlight your ability to be the titleholder and will cause the judges to ask meaningful questions.
3. Prepare a Short, Basic Introduction. Some pageants require a brief introduction of just a few sentences. Becuase you have limited time in a brief introduction, just focus on listing three things that will impress the judge. Let’s pretend you’re the student council vice president in school, a volunteer swim instructor, and have lived in three countries. In this example you might want to say something like:
“Hi, I’m Suzy Smart, Miss Incredibly Cute USA. I’m currently the vice president of my high school student council, a volunteer swim instructor at the YMCA, and have lived in three different countries.”
The judges can now begin the questioning by asking about what you learned from living in three countries. Or maybe they’ll ask how you got started as a volunteer swim coach. Another possible first question could be about your leadership experience as Vice President of the Student Council. You can easily get your interview pointed in the right direction by carefully wording your short introduction.
4. Develop a 30-Second Introduction. The basic rules for a short introduction can be used to create a 30-second introduction/opening statement. Because the concept is similar, you just include more detail about the three things you identified in your short intro. Here’s an example:
“Good morning, I’m Suzy Smart, and I’m happy to be here to spend a few moments with you. The title of Miss Incredibly Cute International requires strong community service experience and leadership skills. I have over 100 hours of community service within the last six months. As a volunteer swimming instructor, I provide swimming lessons to disabled children. Additionally, my leadership skills include serving as Vice President for my student council and coordinating community service events for over 500 students. My experience living in three different countries will enable me to be comfortable when traveling as Miss Incredibly Cute International. I look forward to answering any questions you might have.”
5. Time Your Introduction. Now that you have a great introduction, double check to make sure it’s within the time guideline for your pageant. I always recommend that your introduction comes in at 2 or 3 seconds under the guideline. That way, if you stumble a little during the pageant, you can finish strong and finish without going over. Trust me; it’s always better to be a few seconds under, than over!
By taking the time to strategically create your personal introduction, you can impress the judges and get top scores!
What’s your favorite personal introduction technique?