Dear Iowa contestants,
Throughout your life you gather information. What you do with it is completely your decision. You can either keep it to yourself, or share it with those around you. Six years ago I started my journey with NAM and have gathered many tips and tricks of the trade from people much wiser than myself. So whether this is your first or last time competing, I have three important tips I want to share with you today.
1) When it’s time for formal wear, ask your escort to tell you a joke right before you enter! When my grandpa walked me onstage one year, he learned over and whispered something about peeing his pants! It was so unexpected and hilarious I had the biggest smile on my face as I walked on and it completely calmed my nervousness.
2) Get into your happy place as you wait backstage, or as you stand onstage. You’re automatically going to tense up when you think about how you’re being judged. During introduction I think about my best friend and all the funny stories I’ve told her over the years. During formal wear at Nationals, I thought about how it was the last time my dad was going to escort me until my wedding day.
3) Strike a power pose. Studies have shown the way you stand can make you more successful. Psychologically, you will do better in an interview if you strike a pose of power for two minutes before walking into a room. Stand with your arms up in victory or in the “wonder women” pose behind the curtain as you wait back stage, it will boost up your self confidence.
These are just a few of the things that have helped me over the years, but as you continue your journey, you will figure out what works for you. The most important thing is to always be yourself and you will have the most amazing, life changing weekend.