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PERSONAL ADVICE crowningconcepts By Lisa Quast Excelling from the Inside Competition isn’t only about strutting your stuff on stage for judges, when the techniques you learn are the same ones you can use to succeed in your career eality TV and the media have sometimes given pag- eants a bad reputation, but while my husband and I watched my pupil in the Miss USA Pageant, I found myself thinking about how relevant pageants still are for today’s woman. Think pageants are only about strutting your stuff on stage in front of judges? Think again. The techniques you learn to compete in any competition are the same ones you can use to excel in your career. Here are five essential per- formance tips that can be directly applied to shining, succeeding and dominating in the workplace: R TIP #1: To ace the interview, be extremely knowl- edgeable Pageant queens don’t ace the interview competition just because of their looks; they do well in interviews because of their brains and personality. “When you compete in a pageant, from local to in- ternational levels, you quickly realize that answering a variety of questions flawlessly is a huge element in the competition,” said Christina Clarke, Miss Washington USA 2012. “You never know what questions you’ll be asked, so you have to prepare for anything. Essentially, your answer needs to be as beautiful as you are on stage. And while beauty might get you noticed, it’s brains that are the most important aspect when it comes to competing in a pag- eant as well as competing for a job in business.” Your goal is to learn everything you can about the company, in- dustry, key competitors and needs of the customers. Then, put your knowledge to work during interviews for your dream job by daz- zling them with your wisdom and ideas. TIP #2: Walk the walk, stand tall and show your most confident self Ever wonder why pageant contestants look so confident? Be- cause they practice exuding it even when they may be quaking from nerves on the inside. Libby Crawford, Ms. Oregon America 2012, explained, “Pageants are a mental game and it can be nerve- wracking to go onstage in front of judges and a large television au- dience. So, I remind myself that I am not competing against anyone else but me and I picture myself as the winner. This turns my mindset from nerves into confidence. I’ve found if you act con- fidently you’ll become a confident person be it on stage or in the workplace.” Well said. Confidence is the key for women job seekers and job holders in obtaining promotions, so just remember to exude confi- dence, not arrogance. MISS WASHINGTON USA 2012 CHRISTINA CLARK 56 PAGEANTRY CONFIDENCE LOOKS GOOD: Take the confidence you have to strut your stuff in a swimsuit on stage and translate it to your career! That same confidence will make you shine during interviews and in the workplace.