Make a Great Impression as Visiting Royalty
Summer’s in full swing, which means you’ll make a lot, A LOT of appearances at rodeos, parades, and contests in the next few months.
When you visit a speech banquet as visiting royalty or go to another promotion event, the expectation that causes you the most anxiety is likely to introduction---or at least, that was the case for me. It doesn't have to be that way. Learn to make a great introduction.
Own the Nerves
When speaking makes you nervous, you’ll obsess over the moment you’ll be handed the microphone. You’ll quietly ask yourself, “What will I say, what would people think, what if I mess up?” Rather than get worked up, own the nervous energy, but call it something else. Tell yourself that you’re excited to introduce yourself, your rodeo, and say something thoughtful to the even-more-nervous girls who are competing, and you will be.
Positive self-talk helps you feel confident even when you’re in a stressful situation. You’ll learn to channel your nervous energy into something positive. It’s a skill that’ll come in handy now, and later in life as you negotiate with your boss or potential client or as you prepare to speak in a meeting.
Prepare Your Pitch
The old adage if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail comes into play in every speaking situation. You wouldn’t leave for a parade or rodeo without your horse, so why would you show up unprepared to any other public appearance? A personal introduction should be short, sweet, and cover the facts. Write out a few sentences beforehand to practice on the way to the event, or even better, have a prepared bit memorized to pull out when the occasion arises.
Know what you need to cover:
- Greeting: hello, howdy, hi, etc. (Choose what’s most natural.
- Your name.
- Your title.
- Dates of your rodeo, organization, group, or club’s event.
- How to get in touch for more info.
- Personal message to audience.
As you introduce yourself, you don’t have to work your way down the list. In fact, it’s often more interesting if you don’t. Notice the difference between these two introductions.
Hi, my name is Alexis Bennett, founder of Project Pageantry and I’d like to invite you to our event on July 2. I’ll be here for the entire night if you want to talk and good luck to all of the competitors.
Project Pageantry teaches girls unlock untapped potential to become their best selves to win rodeo queen pageants and the job of their dreams. I’m Alexis Bennett, the founder, and I’ll be hosting a workshop July 2, along with many of the bright, talented ladies here tonight. I’m excited to see this group of leaders perform tonight.
Which one was more interesting? The second example, I hope. People want to hear a story, so share yours. Share what’s special about your rodeo, and then share the dates. Hearing that your rodeo is the oldest rodeo in the state or has the wildest cow milking competition you’ve ever seen will pique my interest and I’ll put your rodeo on my calendar as soon as you share the date.
Remember, You’re on the Job
Just because you’re not being judged that day doesn’t mean you that you shouldn’t put your best foot forward. You never know the impact of a single interaction. Someone in the audience could be a judge at your next contest or an aspiring queen might be turned off (or turned onto) queening because of you.
When you competed and won the title, you signed up for job. Take that responsibility to heart. The polish you won with should be the same you represented with. It’s your standard for everything that you do. And, if you struggle with this, draw on outside-the-industry examples for inspiration. Miss and Mrs. representatives appear stage-ready at every appearance whether it a gala, a press conference, or a car-wash fundraiser