You’re all dressed up, looking fabulous and you’re about to introduce yourself to the judges. You’re not exactly sure what you should say, so you end up sounding like everyone else. It’s a lost opportunity.
But learning how to introduce yourself in a pageant isn’t all that complicated or time-consuming. If you prepare wisely, you can make a big impact in the few seconds it takes to introduce yourself.
So, check out the most common pageant introductions below and my tips for impressing the judges every time.
1. Introduce Yourself at Orientation
Often, the first time that you’ll be asked to introduce yourself is at check-in/orientation. You’re excited to be there and want to make a fabulous first impression. So, you do the introduction that you’ve practiced for the judges and/or give a list of your many appearances.
And your introduction falls flat.
Why? Because this kind of introduction in this setting comes across as bragging. It’s as if you’re trying to ‘one-up’ the other contestants before the competition has even begun.
When you’re delivering an introduction, you need to consider your audience and present your content accordingly.
During orientation, your goal is to present yourself as a pleasant, hard-working contestant who will get along well with the staff and your sister titleholders after you’ve captured the crown.
This is not the time to go on and on about your accomplishments. That will come during the competition – not the social events surrounding the pageant.
2. On-stage Pageant Introduction
After the opening number contestants are often asked to step to a stage microphone to introduce themselves. Don’t underestimate the value of this moment. You need to prepare your on-stage introduction content with the same focus you do for your interview questions.
Typically, you’ll be given a general format that the pageant would like you to follow. It’s important to combine that format with a little creativity so that you don’t sound like everyone else.
But “creative” does not mean funny or cheesy. Remember, everyone has a different sense of humor. What you think is funny might cause the judges to roll their eyes.
So, let’s pretend that the pageant wants you to say your name, current title, hometown and the name of your platform. You could go with this:
“Good evening, I’m Patty Pageant, your Miss Incredible, from Wherever, USA and my platform is Important Issue.”
You’ve stayed within the format, but it’s just a tiny bit boring.
How about something more like this:
“Good evening. I’m Patty Pageant, and I’m honored to represent my hometown of Wherever, USA as Miss Incredible and am a dedicated volunteer for Important Issue.”
You’re still within the guidelines but it just sounds a little more polished, doesn’t it?
And remember to practice your delivery skills. You begin by walking confidently to the microphone. Then you Stop, Smile, and Speak. Do not begin your intro until you’ve stopped moving. If you begin speaking while you’re still walking or striking your pose, you will come across as over-anxious. Instead, you should walk, stop, smile and speak. That’s the secret to appearing poised and confident at the microphone.
3. On-stage Personal Introduction
In your on-stage pageant introduction, you follow the content format provided. In your on-stage personal introduction, you may be given a time requirement, but you get to pick your content.
You might want to emphasize your academic achievements or your community service work. The goal is to select the content that will help you stand out and be memorable.
And, to create a smooth personal introduction, you tie all the information together with a theme.
Let’s look at an example.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world. Whether it be working the runway, twirling on the dance floor, or leading student council, I am always the girl on the go, striving to leave a positive mark on my community. Although my schoolwork keeps me busy, I volunteer weekly at a local Alzheimer’s care center and have raised thousands of dollars for Alzheimer’s research each year. As a goal-oriented and caring young woman and future neurologist hoping to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, I know I am well on my way to changing the world. Proudly representing Wherever, USA, I am Patty Pageant.”
Notice that the first and the last sentence both have a “changing the world” phrase. Beginning and ending with a similar phrase or concept is a great way to establish a theme.
4. Personal Interview Introduction
Your personal interview introduction could be something as simple as stating your name and contestant number. Or, you could be asked to tell the judges a little about yourself to kick off your interview.
Whether you’re just saying a few words or doing a 30-second introduction, you should prepare your content and practice your delivery skills.
If you’re just supposed to say your name and contestant number, that’s pretty easy.
But if you need to give a longer introduction, select your content as you would do for an on-stage personal introduction. If you’re doing both an on-stage personal introduction and a personal interview introduction, make sure that your themes and content are similar, but not the same.
These words create the first impression the judges have of your interview skills. So, don’t mumble your words or speak so softly the judges can’t hear you. Conversely, don’t speak so loudly and quickly that the judges find you overwhelming.
You want to come across as intelligent, prepared, and pleasant. Preparing your content and practicing your delivery is the best way to get your personal interview started.
5. Media Introduction
If you compete in a platform or appearance pageant, you may do some media interviews prior to your competition. You might appear on a local radio station or TV news broadcast or morning talk show. Media interviews are fun, but if the host doesn’t provide you with an introduction, the first question could be, “Tell us a little bit about yourself.”
And if you’re not ready for that question, you’re going to stumble or look confused. Why? Because you are ready to promote your pageant or your platform but didn’t think you’d be promoting yourself.
No worries. If you’ve prepared your other types of introduction, you already have the content for a media introduction.
First, take a look at your on-stage personal introduction or your personal interview introduction. Remove the “theme” phrases and focus on your accomplishments and community service. Then end with a sentence about your current title and the upcoming pageant. Easy peasy.
It’s tempting to overlook your prep for your pageant introduction. But as you can see, creating a great introduction isn’t hard. It just takes a little thinking and a little time.
Whether you give your introduction on-stage or in the interview, it demonstrates whether or not you prepare like a top contestant. Top contestants work to achieve a high level of excellence in all aspects of their competition. Even if it’s only worth 10% of their total score.
So, when you’re preparing for your next competition, invest a few moments in preparing your pageant introduction. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
You’re going to be FABulous!