Today, I want to share with you the top 6 things I find myself sharing with every pageant contestant relating to their platform.
One of our listeners, Caroline, recently featured some of these tips in an article she wrote for The Pageant Planet. Shout-out to Caroline!
First of all, even if your pageant doesn’t have a platform requirement, you should still have a platform. So listen up as I unpack these 6 tips. The last one is the absolutely most important one and honestly, the one that most women do not do…which is why it can be the difference between your win and your loss.
Unique and Open-Ended
One major downfall of platforms is that they have to be related to an already existing organization. My preference is to not tie a contestant’s platform with a specific organization. In my experience, you can sometimes limit your reach when you are representing just one organization. If your platform is generically “America Heart Association” then, there could be more red tape when you want to partner with local gyms for a heart-health event. Instead, I recommend a personalized platform that provides greater flexibility and ultimate reach.
A contestant’s platform must relate to her brand. If you don’t know your brand inside out, don’t try to think up a platform. Without a brand identity, your platform appears lack-luster and inauthentic. When the platform and the brand align, suddenly the judges feel an immediate connection even in a super-short interview time.
Every reliable and intriguing platform has a product or project based on the contestant’s personal brand
Every reliable and intriguing platform has a product or project based on the contestant’s personal brand, which requires her to set it up yet, but not to manage it, which allows it to last far beyond her year of service. I call this the Legacy Project, because this is the goal-oriented incarnation of her platform making real change to leave a legacy. For example, some of my clients have sparked social media movements, developed kits for school children, written useful and meaningful books, and even created businesses around their projects. When you have something this powerful, your interview flies with ease and confidence because the judges are genuinely interested in a project you’ve already begun to implement.
Platforms are like businesses and must be marketed to the masses with a clear strategy that is easily communicated to the judges. If you can’t answer the question, “How will you market your platform?” outside of talking in the schools and on Facebook, then you don’t have a marketing strategy. Get together with your coach to create an actual strategy to raise awareness of your cause. It should be tied to your Legacy Project, or the keystone piece of your platform and it should be able to cover more ground that just you as a single person. Think outside the box of pageantry and start thinking like a wise entrepreneur.
Focused on the light
Platforms should be something people want to talk about. Instead of focusing on the shadow side of a cause, focus on the light. For example, instead of “combatting bullying” focus on “be a friend.” Or, instead of “domestic violence awareness” focus on “creating a healthy home” By simply shifting the focus to the light side of any issue, you invite conversation with anyone, especially the ones that need to hear it the most. Imagine discussing “child abuse” with an abuser. That’s a tough topic. But, “happy parenting” would likely be much more welcoming.
Platform implementation is so important! When someone says the have a ‘good idea’ I’m happy for them, but not interested in hearing about what they ‘will do’. When they say they’ve ‘created something good,’ now I’m interested in hearing what they ‘have done.’ There are lots of good ideas, but not a lot of dedication to making them a reality. The key to your platform is to go out and accomplish what you desire. Don’t just create a bunch of plans and expect to win the crown without having implemented.
That, ladies, is how you win a pageant!
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