When I first started competing, I quickly learned that a common on-stage question is “What will your legacy be as the titleholder if you were to win tonight?”
I, like many pageant contestants, learned this the hard way – on-stage, instead of at rehearsal. So, naturally I made up some blah-ba-de-blah about being nice and stuff. Then, I had to tuck my tail between my legs and slide off stage. I can honestly say – I had no idea what to do with the crown if that had given it to me! Today, I’m gonna teach you what to do with the crown when you win.
You may be surprised how many contestants on any given stage have no clue what they would do if they won. They think it’s like becoming a fairytale princess, marrying the king, and ….then what?
My job as a pageant coach is to see the qualities, values, strengths, and goals of my clients and then help them to create a Legacy that will reach far beyond their one year of service and instead will be valued for years to come.
You can imagine how difficult that must be.
It is. But, I’ve been doing it for years so I have a few tricks that I can teach you.
First of all, legacy refers to a product or project, which is based on your personal brand, that requires you to set it up yet will last far beyond your year of service. It is also a question that makes many contestants nervous, because it seems so large, but vision is what separates winners from beautiful pageant contestants.
When I first started competing, I was like many of my clients who believe that pageants are won on looks. And that’s because the majority of what is seen is the on-stage portion. The audience doesn’t see all the work that the pageant winners put in prior to their winning. The work is done behind the scenes, many months prior to the pageant, but the audience only sees the on-stage question. It’s really a shame, because women then enter pageants without a legacy project, and they really have no chance of competing against a woman who has had proper guidance toward an impressive Legacy Project.
A common on-stage question is “If you win this title, what legacy will you leave behind?” And, if you were to take just 2 seconds to think about this right now, I know I can guess what you’re going to say.
Imagine if you were to attend a pageant where each girl gets some version of this question on-stage like:
+ What will your legacy be?
+ How will you be remembered?
+ What do you plan to do during your year?
+ What makes you different from other contestants?
And everyone says that same old answer about how nice they are and how excited they’ll be and how many appearances they’ll do.
It’ll be some version of this, “I want to be remembered as a kind titleholder. Even if I only touch one life, I will consider my reign a success because every individual counts. I’m very friendly and kind and I will be so sweet to everyone at appearances and…blah, blah, blah.”
Now, if you are an easy talker and not nervous than this answer can still come off poised and lovely…. it’s just that when one of my clients walks onto the stage and has a wham-bam answer that speaks to her Legacy Project, she blows the competition out of the water with something like:
“As an advocate for children’s exercise, I recently published a fitness dvd for children. It’s currently available on Amazon and paid YouTube – the proceeds go to our partner, The American Heart Association. As Miss Titleholder, I’ll work with the administrators of the national public library system and the AHA to distribute the dvds to libraries and school. I want every child to love fitness with a passion – I can’t wait to leave a legacy of health.”
I mean, as a judge, how can you not give this girl the crown?! You’d be crazy – she’s the only one with a concrete plan, connections, a project already in the works…she’s clearly ahead of the competition.
Plus, she will be poised because she’s not nervous. She’s confident because she’s been thoughtful in preparing this and working with this project. She knows her stuff!
This is why you need a legacy project!
Because if you are competing in a competitive pageant, all the girls will be gorgeous, with an amazing wardrobe, great hair, lovely nails….but, this is not what wins.
What wins is the women who is able to accurately communicate how you are able to combine your personal passions with your strengths to develop a unique product or project that supports a greater cause.
Not, just how nice you are (though, I’m sure you’re very nice).
Your Legacy project has to be something that can exist outside of you as the titleholder. And, the pageant can continue to get props for your work even after you give up your title. It’s a win-win-win for every party involved.
Here is the process I use when I work with my clients. If you have someone you can work on this with, it will help dramatically. So, call your mom, ask a friend over to brainstorm, or get in touch with your coach.
There are 3 steps:
1 – Self Study
Your first step is to understand who you are: your strengths, core values, passions, skills, education – all of who you are. I offer these guidesheets in my new course “Pageant interview Game Plan. Your legacy project should be a part of your overall interview and personal development strategy. Click HERE to learn more.
2 – Dreaming
Step 2 is to dream up exactly what you hope for the world – big picture style! What’s a huge vision that you’ll need partners for – the Bible Proverbs 29:18 says, “without a vision, people perish.” My version says, “Without a vision, pageant girls don’t win”
But with a vision that is larger than you, God can step in and help make it amazing! So, create a dream that is far beyond what you could do on your own.