The First Impression

Did you know that it only takes seven seconds to make a first impression?  Holy cow, that’s barely enough time to look tumblr_inline_ndjpgkgsI71rpwc7psomeone in the eye and shake their hand! In pageantry, what do you think makes up your first impression? Maybe your hair, the way you dress, or the way you carry yourself across the stage… Not exactly. Your paperwork is your first impression, and it is more important than you think.

I have seen numerous contestants breeze through their paperwork, turn it in with grammatical errors, and no meaning. It just makes me cringe when I read paperwork that is not a full reflection of you. Why would you do yourself such an injustice?

Your paperwork is the first impression your judges have of you. It is your first seven seconds of meeting the panel. It should be thoughtful, genuine, and include all of the outstanding things about you. Essentially, that paperwork is the resume you just handed in to the hiring manager that will be interviewing you for the job of your dreams. That one piece of paper will be the only thing the judges get to see, and could potentially determine whether or not they are looking for you during interviews on the day of your competition. Sure, you could turn that first impression around with a great interview, but why work twice as hard?

Here are a few things I almost always find in contestant paperwork:

  • Too many generalities that can lead to the judges asking tough, off-the-wall questions.
  • The use of vocabulary words that the contestant doesn’t understand or would not use in their everyday speech.
  • Sentences that the contestant’s mother wrote.
  • Spelling and grammatical errors.

Here are some things that are missing from contestant paperwork:

  • The reasons why you need the crown; remembering that why you want the crown is much different.
  • The story that paints the picture of why you chose your platform, and gives reason to why you are so passionate about that subject.
  • A good plan for marketing yourself and the pageant system. No, saying “I plan to use Social Media” won’t cut it.

We remember things in images. There have been several scientific studies that conclude the act of associating an image with an event or list can help you remember those things for longer periods of time. I once sat in on a class with two time USA memory champion, Ron White. He taught us how to memorize a list  by associated images with each random item. Imagine your paperwork is a blank canvas to paint a picture of your life, your passions, and your vision for the future for the judges. You want the panel to remember everything on that piece of paper.

Please, please, please spend the time on your paperwork. You always want to make a good first impression. It’s just a lot easier than trying to reverse a bad first impression.

Sparkle On!

Brittany Crews DiCello Email Signature.001

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