Three things any professional can learn from Miss Bahamas Universe 2018
People often undermine and even scoff at beauty pageants. The funny thing is, the same skills and principles that help my clients to communicate in a way that helps them to be taken seriously at work, apply to winning a pageant. People may trivialize competing in such contests, but the same tools are needed in your arsenal if you desire to communicate with impact and influence to excel in your career.
When it came down to the final question at the main event, any of the finalists could have taken the crown. However, the ability to speak extemporaneously, articulately and emphatically deliver an answer of substance requires skills of Olympic proportions, all while maintaining poise, charm and grace.
Lesson number one: The final question was essentially, “Which other contestant’s platform resonated with you most and why?” Here is the first lesson we can all remember – take time to be in tune with what is important to others. In a contest, surely it is easy to be totally self-absorbed and not pay attention to what’s going on with those competing against you.
In the workplace, with all you have going on in your department or at your desk, you may become oblivious to the nuances outside of your personal concerns. When the time comes to present your matters, provide feedback or sell an idea it is important that you do not speak from a vacuum, nothing is more polarizing; it diminishes your power to influence. Imagine if a contestant could not remember anyone else’s platform.
Lesson number two: Danielle responded by talking about Devyvette Nagee’s platform on sexual abuse. She spoke of how she admired her bravery for choosing a platform that was so incredibly personal. This helped to connect the audience to Danielle, because she showed genuine admiration for another contestant. She not only spoke about Devyvette’s platform, but she shared the spotlight. A certain radio host later asked Danielle whether she was nervous to speak so highly of a competitor. Devyvette was no longer in the competition at that point, nevertheless, if she were still a competitor, Danielle’s response would have come across even more powerfully. There is no stronger display of confidence than being willing to share the spotlight.
In the workplace, people often try to diminish each other to make themselves look good. This is the weakest strategy for recognition; it reeks of insecurity. If you are truly confident, another person cannot steal your spotlight. If you want to come across as unmistakably self-assured, recognize and verbalize those things that are commendable of another. This works on and off stage.
Lesson number three: In the final analysis, all the answers were good. Yet, the third thing we can take away is how Danielle made her ending sound better. She delivered her answer with an emphatic ending. I cannot remember the exact words, so I won’t guess but it was the way she ended with an attitude that came across like “That’s a fact, Jack!”
It is not uncommon for us to weaken our responses by the way we end them. Endings like, ‘That’s all’, ‘That’s what I believe’ and even ‘Thank you’ can be underwhelming. When you are asked a question in the boardroom, give your answer, support it and end with a powerful statement that summarizes what you said. For example, “By implementing these three adjustments, the new procedure will work perfectly”. Doesn’t that sound so much better than, “That’s my five cents”?
I will be working with our new queen to prepare her for the international pageant and if you are a professional who wants to come across in a way that positions you as a leader, I would love to also work with you. Send me an email if you would like information on my upcoming workshop to help professionals go from insecure to influential.
• Kim Welcome is the CEO and founder of Influential Voice. She assists businesses and professionals to develop deliberate, skillful, polished communication skills to increase their impact and influence. Her clients range from the country’s largest and most prestigious employers to public figures and individual professionals. Feel free to contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.