Miss America on The Value of Public Speaking
The Miss America Organization is more than a competition, it’s a 365 day effort to advance scholarship and service. It is a voice for young women who are looking to participate in social change. Today, the Miss America Organization is more relevant than ever. We are passionate about educating young women, and we provide them with a platform to strive for their own personal growth through academics, community service, and more. We are leading the charge in empowering women, and I am honored to be Miss America during this year of immense transformation.
The organization continues to make an impact on women by giving them a voice and the strength to be leaders. In the past few of months, I’ve had the pleasure of participating in many events across the country where I’ve had the opportunity to use my voice and speak on behalf of the Miss America Organization, to thousands of people, ranging from young students, parents and more, about the importance of education and scholarships, women’s empowerment and community service.
The Value Of Public Speaking
One of the most rewarding parts of my role as Miss America is my ability to use my platform to empower everyone I meet – to show them what it means to strive for their goals, and to dream big. Most of the time, the way I convey these values is through public speaking. Over the last six months, through my role as Miss America, I have had plenty of practice with public speaking. I regularly give speeches in front of large crowds on topics that I am extremely passionate about. These topics include scholarship opportunities, female empowerment, community service, and making a social impact.
I believe that public speaking is an important skill to master, and I have witnessed firsthand the effect of delivering a powerful speech.
Some Public Speaking Tips
Here are some of the public speaking tips I have picked up throughout my career:
- To be an effective public speaker, identify what you want the audience to learn from your speech. When applicable, establish the who, what, when, where, and why.
- If you have the ability to do so, choose a topic you are experienced with and passionate about. Your experience establishes your credibility, and your passion engages your audience.
- To perfect your timing, eliminate nerves, and make your speech seem effortless, practice your speech in the mirror before you present it.
- Talk TO your audience, not AT them. Approach your speech as if it were just a conversation with a colleague. Keep your audience engaged by making and maintaining eye contact.
- Consider utilizing your space. It is not always an effective technique to remain behind a podium.
- Try to make your audience FEEL something. Although it is unlikely your audience will remember every detail of your speech, it will be difficult for them to forget the emotion they felt.
These tips only scratch the surface of what it takes to find confidence and deliver a powerful speech, but following them in your own way is a helpful place to start. Never underestimate the impact you can make by utilizing your voice!
This guest post was authored by Miss America Cara Mund
This past September Cara Mund, a Brown University honors graduate, made history by becoming the first woman from North Dakota to be awarded the title of Miss America and a $50,000 educational scholarship.
Prior to becoming Miss America 2018, Cara earned a bachelor’s degree in business, entrepreneurship, and organizations. She also completed an internship in Washington, DC, office of U.S. Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota.
In her role as Miss America, Cara has embarked on a national speaking tour. She is advocating the importance of empowering women, education, and community service. She also serves as the National Goodwill Ambassador for the Miss America Organization’s national platform partner, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, visiting youths treated at children’s hospitals and raising awareness.
Five things to know about Cara:
- By winning her state and national titles, Cara was awarded over $90,000 in scholarships to continue her education.
- In 2011, President Obama recognized Cara’s charitable efforts. At age 14, she founded North Dakota’s Annual Make-A-Wish Fashion Show. For the last ten years, Cara raised over $78,500 for Make-A-Wish, granted 23 wishes, and became a certified wish granter.
- She is a national dance champion and trained four summers with the Radio City Rockettes.
- She is related to Victoria Claflin Woodhull — the first woman to run for U.S. President, the first woman to operate a brokerage firm on Wall Street, and one of the first females to found a newspaper.
- She aspires to be the first women elected governor of North Dakota.
Cara’s photo credit to Matt Boyd Photography.
Speaker image courtesy to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. .