I have recently been coaching a Japanese lady who entered Mrs International Beauty Pageant. 


You might think that a beauty pageant is all about swimsuits and glamour (I thought that too!) but in fact the speech that they have to give accounts for 50% of the judging criteria. 


Preparing speeches for pageant participation is a very exciting, yet challenging process. It’s supposed to draw on their own life experiences, something that resonates with them that they can clearly communicate to a panel of judges, in just 30 seconds.


The process I used to help my client was about finding her “ONE BIG MESSAGE®”. It’s a technique that I use for all my clients to convey a punchy, yet informative message that’s easy for the audience to recall and engage with.  


Using introspection to clarify thoughts and experiences

My client had a huge accolade of achievements with so much life experience. The process felt a bit like trying to find the golden nugget. We started by drawing on her most important experiences using introspection and then scooping out the parts that I knew would resonate with her audience. 


Most of my clients struggle with this initial process. That’s why, in the first session of Presentation Coaching, I listen to the client’s story, facilitate, and search deeper by getting my clients to talk about past experiences until we find the “golden nugget.”


The key to successful speech-making is to find a point of contact between “your own perspective” and the “listener’s perspective”.


When that point of contact is found, we get the key information, scrape off what we don’t need, and verbalize the message concisely to about 10 words. 


In the case of my Pageant client, we summarized her ONE BIG MESSAGE® to: 


“Following your heart is the best way to find your own way (12 words)”


Now that we had found her ONE BIG MESSAGE®, it was time to start fleshing it out using storytelling so that she could really engage with the audience and keep them hooked.


I helped her create characters so that they can be seen, felt, and heard, and a narrative that got the audience always wanting more. 


Being authentic with the narrative

It was really important that the narrative sounded like it was coming from her voice and didn’t sound ‘borrowed’ from someone else. I helped her find different expressions to make sure they sounded authentic to her, as though she has really lived the experience. 


We did this work carefully to every corner of her speech. This process is like picking up and polishing each golden nugget.


For the pageant, we prepared a 60-second version and a 30-second version. The 60-second version has 112 words and 55 seconds, and the 30-second version has 73 words and 27 seconds. This shows how concise you have to be to communicate your ONE BIG MESSAGE® firmly. 


The finished speech is here >>


One of the biggest challenges can be narrowing down your ONE BIG MESSAGE® and then stripping out the most important parts.  That’s where I can help. Don’t forget that when you have one of a kind ONE BIG MESSAGE®, it creates a ripple effect.  My client started to use her ONE BIG MESSAGE® with her clients to help them follow their hearts.  Her friends started to use her ONE BIG MESSAGE® with thoughts of: “Break a leg at the world content! Follow your heart!” ONE BIG MESSAGE® is not just for one particular speech. When it’s powerful enough, it becomes your brand.


It doesn’t matter whether your speech is for a beauty pageant, a board presentation, or a room full of international leaders, the process is the same. 


Book a FREE 15-minute consultation with me here and let me help you create that important message that will make you an unforgettable speaker and presenter. 

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