Creatively Connecting with the Judges
Every experience the judges have with you matters. These experiences include, of course, your interview and your time on stage, but it truly starts in your paperwork. Your paperwork should share enough information that leaves the judges wanting to know more about you, but it can also be used to guide the judges to have another experience with you through the use of technology.
A tip I have, when it comes to your paperwork, is to direct the judges to a website and/or a video that allows them to learn more about you and have another "experience" with you. (Please make sure something like this is allowed...some systems don't allow outside connection with the judges, while others don't have rules about something like this. Be sure to talk with your director or read the contract just to be sure). When I competed for my state title, I directed the judges to the website that hosted the YouTube videos of my health and fitness television show that I co-hosted. Since it showcased me within my element, it allowed the judges (who looked at it) to get a better feel for me and my personality. My directors thought this was a fun and creative way to connect with the judges and loved the idea!
When I competed internationally, in my paperwork, I directed the judges to a specific page on my website (CharityMajors.com/hellojudges) that had a little note - specifically to the judges, as well as a YouTube video that I embedded within the page, that allowed me, my husband, and my son, to say hi, share our story, and have a fun time! We were sitting on the floor, in our play room, and it was a more "casual meet and greet" instead of the formal interview experience.
The website also contained photos of causes I had been involved in, more about my family and me, as well as my instagram feed. This gave the judges more of a memorable experience and they got to know me outside of the perfect hair and makeup and the 5 minutes of interview.
I highly encourage you to use technology to the best of your ability! Use it to create another experience for the judges, so they can get to know the real you, outside of the perfect look you will have during interview...be comfortable, be "in your element," share your story, be goofy, be fun...this will create another real connection with the judges and will have them looking forward to meeting you and seeing you on stage!
For the technical side of things, I used a tripod to hold my phone during the recording that my family and I did (which I highly recommend...it makes the quality of the video MUCH better). I used the "filmmaker pro" app to edit the video (the beginning and end, where I was running back and forth pushing the "record" button) and used it to add royalty free background music.
All in all, I had a positive response from the judges who saw it! They enjoyed the personal touch and effort I made to connect more with them, and they said they were looking forward to meeting me in the interview!
If you don't have access to making a website, make a post on your facebook or instagram, copy the URL of the post, and put it into Bit.ly. Bit.ly is a website that you can take ANY URL address, and give it a shorter and more recognizable URL...it will look something like bit.ly/mrsoftheamericas (not a real link...just an idea of how you can brand it with your name or title), and you can include that in your paperwork just as easy as a specific website!
Cheers BeYOUtiful one! Now go out there and change the world! <3