Pageant Platform Essays

A lot of girls wonder if your platform can truly help you win the crown.  There’s even been an article on The Pageant Planet about why the platform is the least important part of your pageant preparation.  And this isn’t true.  The platform matters when the competition is the fiercest, your platform is the tie breaker.  If you and another girl are neck-and-neck in every other portion of the competition, whoever has the most compelling platform will win.  The more a system relies on platforms, the more this is true.  Here’s how to develop and present a compelling platform that will win over judges, because once they’re on your side, you’re the presumptive winner.

1. Choose an issue with a personal connection.

Think of things that affect your life in a very personal way.  Miss America Laura Kaeppeler’s father was convicted of a crime and was in jail for part of her childhood.  Miss District of Columbia Allyn Rose’s mother died from breast cancer.  Miss USA Olivia Culpo has always been involved in music education and plays the cello.  Judges can tell when a girl picked a platform that she doesn’t connect to, there’s no passion or drive.  A personal connection humanizes you and gives you a reason to have the crown.  Judges don’t want to select a girl who just wants a title, they want her to have a reason and passion to get the title.

2. Know everything about the issue.

Be an expert on your platform issue.  Judges can trust a girl who has extensive knowledge on a topic and it gives you authority to speak on the topic.  Unless a judge works in your topic area, you should know more than any of them.  You shouldn’t act like a know-it-all, but you should seem like someone who knows what they’re doing.

3. Make your platform statement active, not passive.

Many girls write platform statements above what is happening or what has been done in their platform area.  Talk about what needs to be done and what you will accomplish.  There shouldn’t be an “If I become [titleholder]…” in your statement, you should assume that you will win the title.  Phrase sentences with the assumption that you will win.  Talk about what you’re already doing and how it will expand as a titleholder.

4. Be engaging when discussing your platform.

Facts should be in your platform statement, but only in the body.  The opening and closing portions of the statement should focus on personal stories.  People tend to be less engaged by facts and statistics than they are by personal stories and connections.  Be passionate when discussing your platform during the interview and draw people in.  Passion when speaking is one of the things that will make every judge want to crown you.

5. Have a plan for once you’re crowned.

Many people can get up on a stage and say what is wrong with an issue.  Lots of people can say what is missing or needs to be done.  You need to be doing it.  Your platform statement should demonstrate that you’ve laid the seeds for even more work once you’re crowned.  Research does come in here, because you should be well-versed in what experts believe need to be done in order to solve the problem you’ve laid out.  You should be well-versed in criticisms of those solutions.  Based on all that knowledge, you should have a well-defined plan for what you’re doing once you’re crowned.  Make it simple and quick to explain.  Have someone help you distill your plan down to a 20-second soundbite.

You should practice everything when you’re preparing for a pageant.  But know that when it comes down to a lot of professional girls who are well-prepared, the girl with the platform will win.  Be that girl.

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Beauty pageants require contestants to take platforms by writing essays introducing their connection to social issues. Write a solid pageant platform statement with a pageant veteran in this free beauty pageant preparation video series.

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