During most pageants, in order for a good representative to be chosen and for judges to ”really” get to know a contestant, personal introductions are usually required before the actual interview segment. Personal Introductions do just as the name suggests, introduce the contestant. Contestants are normally given a time limit, usually ranging from 20 seconds to a minute and a half, but those few moments are particularly important.
Contestants are encouraged to speak about what makes them unique including career goals, special academic honors, extra-curricular activities, and charity work. What matters in a personal introduction is presentation: voice inflections, great eye contact, a sense of confidence, and a smile. In most pageants, judges will draw interview questions from the personal introduction segment because resumes aren’t used. The judges want to get to know you as a person and who knows best about you, then you?
Personal introductions should be memorized and easy to follow. However, don’t get caught up in rehearsing every single moment until the actual competition starts. Nothing is more boring than hearing someone sound like a robot. Personal Introductions can be straight to the point, or include a quote that means something to you or that tie everything you say together. Don’t worry about fancy wording to make yourself come off as “impressive” or “intelligent;” simplicity and naturalness is the best route to take.
The personal introduction and interview are linked so don’t forget to look professional and groomed. Some girls may go for a basic blazer and skirt suit, some may be more comfortable wearing a nice dress; it depends on the girl, and the rules of the pageant. Hair can be worn down, but remember not to play with it. This can come off as nervousness, something that you don’t want to show, even if you feel it. Big, flashy jewelry is a no-no, as is perfume and heavy, mature make-up.
Personal introductions help girls think about what makes them special and help proudly highlight their strengths and accomplishments. It’s amazing some of the things people have accomplished in such little time. You’ll learn that there are some people that are similar and share your same dreams, so hearing personal introductions and talking to others is a great way to make friends and networking contacts. Not only can you make friends and meet potential business allies, but personal introductions help tremendously with learning how to overcome stage fright and how to be a great public speaker. Learning how to speak effectively speak into a microphone, looking out into the crowd getting everyone’s attention, and enunciating words correctly are good traits to have no matter if you aspire to be a model, teacher, businesswoman, or lawyer.
Being a pageant queen is a job. It can be glamorous and fun, but people expect certain behavior out of a representative and it is vital to be presentable to those in the media and those in public office. Pageants and pageant competitors have been given a negative reputation so show the truth, that pageant competitors are intelligent and well mannered. No matter what, you are a representative of an organization that the directors and staff have worked hard for; most, if not all pageants will make sure to tell you that, be a pleasant representative.
The important thing at all times is to be yourself. Don’t try to say what you think judges want to hear or be someone you’re not. People who are successful try, try, and try again, and believe that they can achieve their goals. Be confident, and let everyone know all about you, the real you.