Win A Pageant

66: The Perfect Pageant Platform Outline

You know that all pageant women should have a platform, even if it’s not required. Your platform is the vehicle that gets you appearances & media coverage, helps you to stand out from other contestants and make connections to grow your network – and it’s the way you’re able to leave a legacy during your year.

Some pageants require a platform and even an essay or statement that explains your take on a given topic. Most women who compete in pageants are smart and studious, so writing an essay isn’t the difficult part. What’s hard about the platform component is two-fold: firstly, making your stance different than the next girl and secondly, explaining your platform in a succinct way.

In this episode, I’m going to teach you how to actively differentiate yourself from the pack by explaining your platform in a way that is simple, memorable, and powerful.

You may know how it feels to discover that another contestant in your pageant has a platform that is similar to yours or is supporting the same general cause. I hear so often that pageant women get worried because they think that supporting the same cause means having the same platform. The confusion happens because untrained pageant women sometimes say their platform is the cause, like ‘My platform is the American Heart Association.’ ..ta, ta, ta… rookie mistake. The American Heart Association is an organization that you support, that is not your platform. And if two girls claim their platform is the AHA, now we’re really in trouble because the judges won’t see the distinction either.

You’re going to create a unique stance of what you believe even if it’s tied to an organization. If you go through the steps I outline in this episode, not only will you be able to write an essay that is totally unique and descriptive, but you’ll also be able to explain how it’s different from others to the media, your judges, and potential sponsors.

I call this the “Perfect Pageant Platform Outline” because it’s simple, real (not exaggerated), and will differentiate you from the competition. You’ll have to turn on your creative brain for this exercise, but it’ll be fun!

The Perfect Pageant Platform Outline consists of 5 questions. The answer to each question becomes a paragraph in your essay. Depending on length, you may combine some of the paragraphs, but you should still have 5 distinct parts, in this order. I’ll give you all 5 questions and then we’ll unpack each one.

1: What is the problem from your perspective?
2: What is your creative solution to this problem?
3: What are you currently doing to implement this solution?
4: What impact is it having?
5: What more will you do when you win? 

At first glance, this outline isn’t going to seem so special. If you were careless, you could easily flash through each of these and come up with a sorta crappy essay. Instead, I want you to pay attention to the specifics that I’m about to review with you and the process for making this unique. 

1: The first question is: What is the problem from your perspective?

The key to this question is from your perspective. The idea here is you want to bring in your unique insights and perspective to how you see the problem. Usually, your view of a social issue comes from personal experience. Tap into that to be honest about what you are noticing. For example, if the cause you are supporting is childhood obesity, be clear about the problem from your perspective. Maybe you are a teacher at a school where PE class time has been cut. Maybe you’re a mom and your child is asking for cookies and fruit rollups to take to lunch instead of the carrots you’re packing. Maybe you were an obese child because the school lunches weren’t nutritious. Whatever your perspective, it is yours and that makes it unique, so talk about the problem from your perspective. 

2: What is your creative solution to this problem?

In the second question, you are asked to provide a creative solution to the problem. The key here is creative. If you give the same solution that the American Heart Association is already giving, then that isn’t bringing additional value to the cause. Plus, your perspective is unique, so your solution ought to be too. You may say the solution is to teach other mom’s what healthy snacks they can put in their kids’ lunches. Maybe you want to raise funds to give to your local school for healthier cafeteria food. Maybe you want to lobby to get PE classes back in the schools or create an after-school program to keep kids active, or make an exercise game that families can play together on the weekends. Make sure your solution is creative, and offers a specific solution to the specific problem you mentioned. 

3: What are you currently doing to implement this solution?

For the third section, you want to share what you have already done to test your solution to the problem. This is where most contestants get lazy. They don’t want to actually solve the problem, they just want to be a spokesperson for other people to solve the problem. This paragraph will separate the doers from the dreamers every time. If you haven’t taken action yet, go for it! I’m certain that you have a really great idea of what you can do to make a lasting impact – go do it! Start the after school program, make a list of healthy foods to give out to your child’s classroom – take action! Then, you’ll have tons to talk about in this paragraph. 

4: What impact is it having?

The logical next question is question #4: What impact is your implementation having? My clients are always surprised when they take massive action and gain massive results! It’s so fun to hear their excitement when something takes off, but that’s how it works! When you find a solution and then implement it, you’ll attract the people who have the same problem you noticed and will be so grateful for you and your solution! You may help hundreds of teens lose weight by creating a teen-friendly food analyzer app. You’ll get the attention of local legislators who pass a new law banning junk food in high school vending machines. When you take action, something will amazing will happen and you’ll want to talk about it in this paragraph. 

5: What more will you do when you win?

This is the section you explain your greater vision. Describe how you’ll be able to grow this initiative when you receive the title. Don’t be vague with ‘speaking to the schools and raising awareness to a wider audience’ – everyone says that, so it’s not unique. I want you to be specific and think big! Maybe you’ll be able to partner with the national platform organization to bring your healthy snacks list into schools nationwide. Maybe you will be able to get the attention of more government officials, or promote your program to a new market.

Every pageant woman should have the answers to these 5 questions. This will help you nail your interview, impress the media, convey your message to sponsors, and of course, differentiate yourself to your pageant judges.

And that, my dear, is how you win a pageant. 

Additional Training for Platform:

 Your Legacy Project is Your Ticket to Winning 

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