Being yourself is easier said than done – especially when you stand before a sea of waiting eyes and bated breaths, bright lights bearing down and heart palpable in your chest. But, if you look back upon those speeches in your lifetime that have made some tangible impact in your memory (and maybe even in your psyche) you’re likely to realise the element that is most crucial for a successful speech. That element is authenticity.
Speaking with truth and passion is the key to winning the hearts and minds of your audience. So, here are some simple tips to help you find authentic self, thereby conveying your message most effectively.
It may feel like a massive deal at the time but being on stage is just a moment in time and your audience (and yes even your judges if you have them) is composed of regular humans, like those you might talk to in a park or café. Sure, it might feel like the tide of people before you are as judgmental as a wrathful god or as hypercritical as the most interrogative hotshot attorney, but they are there to listen and take what you have to say on board.
There really is no logical reason why you shouldn’t behave in the manner that you normally would in everyday life – in a composed, cordial and very real and unrehearsed fashion. Certainly, there will be a lot of preparation that would have gone into your script, but the delivery needs to sounds spontaneous and natural. It needs to sounds like your thoughts are flipping and bubbling, smoothly and freshly from your your mind and onto your tongue.
How can you achieve this? You need to talk about something that you are truly passionate about. If you are debating you need to find your passion for your particular side of the argument. Actually, it’s not about impressing people. It’s about saying something that actually means something to you. Giving a speech is akin to giving a performance. The best actors become the sum of their character’s motives and passions. Similarly, you have to become the very essence of your message, of your speech. Yes, you will be performing, but, remember that the best performances come from a place of truth.
What I am saying here (to go all Zen) is that you need to be in the moment. Taking several deep slow breaths before stepping on stage really should be a part of any speaker’s routine. Breathing helps to quieten a racing mind and slow the heart rate. Remember to smile. Think of something genuinely funny and you won’t have a problem (a “plastic smile” is never the best look). Remember, if your nerves surface or you do take a little blunder that you can always employ humour. A little joke can be your best friend. That being said, do remember to always respect yourself and your ideals. When delivering a speech, it is generally not the time for too much self-deprecation.
Another way to get in the zone is to listen to your favourite song or an episode of your favourite TV show (on your phone or tablet etc.) before your speech. It may sound corny (like listening to Eye of the Tiger in Rocky Balboa fashion) but it can take you right out of your headspace and give you a more relaxed perspective.
The most important advice that I can give relates to your intention. Hold this in the cornerstone of your mind and heart when delivering your speech. This is how you will retain focus. You have chosen to give a speech for a reason. It may be to enact change, it may be to win a competition, but, clearly, there is something you have set out to achieve and there is a core message that you need to express.
Keep your eye on the prize and ride this energy to the finish line. You’ll be enjoying the elation of an accomplished delivery and be on your way to becoming a seasoned speaker before you know it.
Perhaps you’re a seasoned pageant entrant or perhaps you’re looking to break into it all. It helps to know what you’re getting into and to be prepared. We’ve enlisted the assistance of Kate Marsden, owner and director of Kat Eyes Promotions who has actively worked in the industry for over 20 years.
Here Kate sheds some valuable light on the practical aspects of competing in a pageant:
1. Keep your different section items in different bags. Allocate a main bag for all your essential items. You are good to go with no confusion when you need to get changed quickly.
2. Be nice and help others but do not forget to allow yourself adequate preparation time.
3. Always take some make up of your own. The make up session that is allocated to you may go slow or not to plan. Occasionally, the look that the make up artists achieve may not “be you” and you may wish to alter it. Also, if you have a little make up on hand you can do your own last minute touch ups.
4. Don’t be that individual who throws a tantrum. Stay professional and poised at all times. This means when you behind the scenes getting ready as well as on stage. Petty behavior creates an indelibly negative impression.
5. Take your own snacks and water just in case you feel week or nervous or cannot eat what is offered to you on the day.
6. Have back ups on everything e.g. stockings, heels, dresses. If a zip breaks on the day or rip or holes appear, you are covered.
7. Change how you walk for each section. Try to work with your outfit and your music. Generally, it’s more fun and bouncy for the swimwear section and slow and elegant for the evening section.
8. Keep an even pace on stage (don’t let nerves get the better of you and walk too fast) and smile nicely.
9. If you do not win give it another shot next time or just feel great that you tried. Do not let it get you down.
10. Always be true to yourself and act with good will.
Visit Kat Eyes Promotions at: http://www.kateyes.com.au
By Patricia Higgins
Samantha Gascoigne cuts a strong and successful figure: a beaming and fantastically fit mother of five, a network marketing pro and an inspiring personal trainer who has helped many of her clients make startling transformations – both physically and mentally. But, behind all this, Samantha is acquainted with the power of transformation on a much deeper level.
Diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer at age 42, Samantha initially visited her doctor for a routine screening after she was prompted by a strange and prophetic dream. Although she had no symptoms, her gut feeling told her to push ahead with a myriad of tests that did, eventually, lead to the discovery of microscopic cancer.
Following the rigors of a double mastectomy, hysterectomy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy (plus ongoing hormone therapy) Samantha then faced the news that she should consider removing her nipples as well. After a total of seven operations in just twelve months, she was now healed enough to undergo a nipple reconstruction. Her journey was finally complete when she made the decision to undergo cosmetic tattooing of the areola at ‘The Beauty Spot’ in Burleigh, QLD, Australia.
Samantha speaks highly of her experience with qualified cosmetic tattooist and salon owner Debbie Labes. “I thought I had enough of operations and needles and people prodding and poking, but I’d heard great things about Debbie, so I went to see her and she was very caring and professional. I had no pain during the treatment as she used numbing anesthetic and the results were absolutely phenomenal… to the point where you cannot tell the difference between the reconstruction and tattooing a normal nipple.”
Finding a way to transform a difficult, painful or limiting situation is what empowerment is all about. Whether physical or emotional, scarring seems to be an inevitable part of the human experience. When scars are the result of a surgical procedure they can function as a permanent reminder of pain and loss.
A woman’s self-image can be psychologically linked to the appearance of her anatomy, and in particular to her breasts. Therefore, a missing or scarred areola can be potentially devastating. Cosmetic tattooing is one of the ways to turn this into something positive and beautiful – it can be a powerful way to reclaim a ‘sense of self’.
For Debbie Labes this is one of the most worthwhile aspects of her job. “For me, personally, I find this part of my work to be one of the most rewarding things I do. It’s all about putting you back together so that your outside matches your inside…to give you a sense of normality.”
Samantha’s story (and Debbie’s expertise) form just one of many examples of the work being done to correct mastectomy scars in the wider community and around the world. One such website called P.Ink helps tattoo artists connect with women who are requiring this specialized service. Tattoo artist David Allen comments on the process. “What was clinical became beautiful again… we turned sterile into sensual. We took back control.”
And, over in Canada, artist Shaughnessy Keeley is also doing great things in the field of areola restorative tattooing. She currently operates from ‘Studio Sashiko’ in British Columbia. Some of her more playful motifs include heart shapes, but her more standard hyper-realistic designs “help cancer survivors rebuild a relationship with their breasts”.
It’s important to note that whilst cosmetic tattooing may be readily available, it should only be administered by qualified professionals who have undergone certifiable education, training, and experience. Cosmetic tattooing of the areola should only be performed after approval by a surgeon.
In conclusion, we turn back to Samantha. For this strong, instinct-based woman areola tattooing comprised the final part of her recovery – the ‘finishing touch’ after breast surgery. And, just like a cherry on top of an ice-cream, it was a welcome flourish to her overall sense of normality and the culmination of her personal journey and transformation. For Samantha, and many women like her – this is certainly very well-deserved.
By: Jenny Aluning
One can never truly underestimate what being in the right place at the right time can do for your future. Alyssa Manalo was taking part in a singing performance when destiny called “I have never thought about trying out for a pageant and I didn’t really know much about pageants, but the lady recommend that I auditioned so I gave it a go.” Little did she know that on June 6, 2015 she would find herself crowned as First Runner Up in the ‘Miss Australasia Official Beauty Pageant’! “I was so overwhelmed and I couldn’t believe that I actually placed since it was my first competition. It was really exciting standing there while I was awarded with a crown and sash in front of family and friends.”
The pageant, established by Maryrose Salubre of Salubre Models International, aims to help empower young women to help others in need. In this, Alyssa will be fulfilling that tenet as she was also named ‘Charity Ambassador for the BNH (Bunga National High School) in Leyte, Philippines which was severely affected by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. She will not only be raising money and collecting much needed supplies or the school, she will also be traveling there to personally deliver them and to meet the students!
Participating in the pageant definitely found the 17-year old outside her comfort zone. But she warmed to the experience as she was able to “meet new people” and “I like being able to dress up in different types of clothing and styles to express my personality.” She endured the hard slog of hair (“hair styling can hurt sometimes”) and makeup as she found the whole event, and especially her fellow contestants, very interesting “It was great getting to know them, their past experiences and lifestyles. Especially since we had many rehearsals together, we were able to talk to each other frequently.”
While new to beauty pageants, the half-Filipino, half-Maltese has already spent quite some time in the entertainment industry indulging her passion for music. Indeed since winning her crown, Alyssa also performed at the inaugural Mrs Australasia Official Beauty Pageant on October 24. Being in the limelight is never easy and Alyssa has learned to stay grounded by “staying true to myself and I never put on an act. I’m also focused on other aspects of life like school, family and friends.” She’s also learned to “always challenge yourself even if you’re scared of what others will think. I’ve learnt to always try my best and to not let self-doubt or others stop me.”
For now, it is academia that occupies most of Alyssa’s attention. She plans to finish high school and attend university. Never far from her mind though is her love for singing and music. Now, she also has to juggle her new role as Charity Ambassador amongst all of that! But she has the full support of her family behind her and it will not be a surprise if chance and success finds this talented young lady once again.
By Jenny Aluning
Yes, she’s just 11 years old and yes, she’s barely in her first year in high school. But young Jasmine Henry has not let that stop her from already making a name for herself in the Australian music industry. First taking to the stage at 7 years old, Jasmine has since then been a prolific performer, never failing to impress her audiences with her powerful and soulful voice.
Her time on stage fuels her love for performing. She enjoys it “when my audience connects with me and I can feel their presence when I am singing.” She’s shared the stage with some of the Philippines’ biggest artists such as Piolo Pascual and Martin Nievera, and earlier this year, she was one of the opening acts for YouTube megastar, Gabe Bondoc. In February last year, Jasmine wowed a crowd of 5,000 when she sang the Australian national anthem at a Sydney Kings home game at the QANTAS Credit Union Arena. Sydney Kings’ general manager, Rod Harys and administration manager, Lorraine Landon said: “We are happy to have Jasmine. What a great voice for someone so young!” But what she considers her most memorable performance so far is her birthday concert last year which was held at the Parramatta RSL where she performed Broadway theater star and The Voice Philippines judge, Lea Salonga’s iconic song: ‘On My Own’ from Les Misérables.
For someone so young, Jasmine possesses a mature, sensible and humble attitude with a strong belief in her faith. Strongly supported by her mother and her brother, she says “my mum inspires me to be a better person every day. She believes in my visions and dreams in life.”
There is absolutely no doubt that Jasmine’s music career is taking off. While she is currently working on her album (produced by TrueAmerican Music), Jasmine admits that there has been challenges – “finding the right materials is not easy for a young teen like me. They kept saying it has to be age appropriate.” She is also adding songwriting to her resumé and hopes to include at least one of her own compositions in the album.
But while her time in the spotlight seems to be ramping up (she has a massive following on both Facebook and Instagram), Jasmine admits that “my studies comes first. I have few amazing offers from here and abroad but then my mum keeps saying take it slow and one day at a time.” Even at 11, the half Filipino/half Australian songbird already knows about the darker side of the music industry. She knows “that haters will hate hate hate” and that she has to remember “that I am beautiful inside out…I have to stay loyal to people who were there from the beginning and never to forget where I came from…I consider beautiful when the person is honest and loyal. Because you know they won’t hurt you and will be with you no matter what. By then, I see Jesus in them.”
Multi-talented Jasmine Henry (who incidentally not only sings, but can make her own soaps, hair care products and lotions using natural ingredients) is a young girl with big dreams in and out of the music industry. She’s expressed that she wants “to be a politician one day so I can help our country especially those who suffers in different forms of abuse and help build a better future to the new generations to come,” and would like to “start my own brand of clothing for kids and teens because I love fashion.” Within music, her album’s release would be a dream come true as well as performing in the Philippines. Another dream is a chance to work with Justin Bieber – “he is a great artist and my ultimate crush, I dream one day to be on stage with him.”
It is distinctly clear that the sky is the limit for this extraordinary young lady. Jasmine Montemayor Henry is definitely one name to watch out for!
She may be young but Tamara Reynolds has all the hallmarks of a beauty queen. This star in the making made quite the impact on judges and audiences alike during her first foray into the world of pageantry. She has the trifecta down pat – poise, beauty and confidence.
This young and talented individual has a heritage that is both British and Indonesian. Although she’s quite the accomplished marvel, she does enjoy hobbies that would relate to girls her age, such as hanging with friends, the beach, dancing and shopping. One of her favourite things to do is to hit up local markets for cool finds.
However, Tamara is set apart from her peers, displaying a mindfulness that would belong to someone perhaps twice her age. She’s a yoga devotee and practices health living. She’s completely committed to her goal as a pageant queen – to become a role model of substance and virtue.
Miss Reynolds disclosed that it was Dean Marzolla of Aussie Elite that first introduced her to the Miss Teen Australasia Pageant. Mr Marzolla must have been guided by keen instincts in his apt appraisal of Tamara’s star quality. She certainly is a natural when it comes to being on the runway.
“What I like most about beauty pageants is how you can have fun. You only need to be confident and show your personality to the judges and the audience while you are on stage. I have been a dancer and natural performer since the age of 3, and I have always loved the stage. I feel comfortable performing in front of large audiences so I really enjoy doing pageants”, she excitedly tells us.
However, the pageant industry is not for those who have a weak determination. Tamara did have to overcome some of the more stressful elements of preparation. “Whether the food you need to eat, the physical training and, of course, the things you need to do to be ready mentally, it can all be exhausting. Fortunately, I like to be healthy in all of these aspects, I eat superfood, and whenever I can, I exercise and meditate,” she disclosed.
For Tamara, all the hard work did pay off. One of the most rewarding aspects of participating in the Miss Teen Australiasia Pageant were the fond memories and friendships made. When asked what was the most special of them all, she answered, “The most memorable experience of my life as a pageant winner is being introduced to many amazing successful people during networking nights and social events.”
Clearly Tamara’s experience is one that will remain with her for a long time. She learnt a lot of valuable lessons and built her confidence to a whole new level. “I have learned that in life you just have to believe in yourself no matter what, and your confidence will grow over time. You need to be assertive and self-motivated especially in the modeling industry because sometimes you may not be a specific look that a person is going for but you may be perfect for another person,” she sincerely tells us.
Tamara is grateful to her friends and family who had been extremely supportive of her. She says “It feels empowering, fantastic and reassuring to have such a large and strong supportive network behind you!”
This beautiful and brilliant beauty queen looks beyond the crown she is wearing. She disclosed that her future plans are to focus on not only finishing school but also in fulfilling her role as a school captain. She does see herself pursuing a modeling career, but she also wants to keep growing in the other aspects of her life. “Individual growth is so important to me and having a healthy mind, spirit and body. I find the opportunity to spread positivity with others amazing, and I hope that I could be a good role model and influence others to be the best of who they are,” she explained.
The AGSA (Australian Golden Sash Awards) is a ceremony aimed at showcasing Australian beauty queens who have made the most outstanding contributions to the pageant industry during the year.
National Directors were invited to nominate and vote for men and women who have competed in their respective pageant systems in the specified categories. They were also able to nominate and vote for men and women who belong to other pageant systems whom they feel deserve to be recognized. Pageant kings and queens as well were invited to nominate and vote for men and women whom they feel deserves to be recognized for their platform. All the entries were judged by the entire pageant community. You had to be a National Director, a titleholder or a beauty pageant contestant to be eligible to vote.
This annual event is a first of its kind in Australia. The ceremony is brought to you by the International Beauty Pageant Awards in collaboration with StarCentral Magazine, and the awards are broken down into the following categories:
Beauty Queen of the year
The beauty queens that defined the year as a whole with ubiquitous industry demand and presence. They distinguished themselves by crossing over to the modeling industry via top-tier bookings with some of the best photographers, stylists, and clients earning next-level visibility, while at the same time giving back to the community – making them this year’s foremost star.
Ultimate Role model of the year
The beauty queens who inspire and sets positive examples for other beauty queens as well as members of their community.
Humanitarian of the year
Nothing is more important than giving back to the community, and during the past year, these beauty queens have inspired us all by putting charity first. Devoting their time, energy and status to causes big and small, these women raise awareness and bring hope to those who need it most.
Most Promising Newcomer
The most promising newcomer has had a substantial presence on the pageant and modeling scene, only their careers have just begun to take off in the past several seasons. As a newcomer to the pageant/ modeling industry, these rising stars have racked up coveted campaigns and impressive editorial work in a short period of time and are set to leave a lasting mark on the industry.
International queen of the year
The international queen of the year has had a significant presence on an international beauty pageant. These beauty queens have inspired us all by not only becoming a titleholder here in Australia but also performing well overseas.
LGBT beauty queen of the year
The LGBT beauty queen that defined the year as a whole with ubiquitous industry demand and presence. They distinguished themselves by crossing over to the modeling industry via top-tier bookings with some of the best photographers, stylists, and clients earning next-level visibility, while at the same time giving back to the community – making them this year’s foremost LGBT beauty queen.
Pageant king of the year
The pageant king that defined the year as a whole with ubiquitous industry demand and presence. They distinguished themselves by crossing over to the modeling industry via top-tier bookings with some of the best photographers, stylists, and clients earning next-level visibility, while at the same time giving back to the community – making them this year’s foremost pageant king.
Curve Model of the year, Miss Photogenic of the year, Charity queen of the year, Miss Natural Beauty, Social media queen of the year, Pageant of the year, Pageant Director of the year, Best Pageant Host, Best Pageant Photographer, Best pageant makeup artist, Best pageant hair stylist, Best pageant dress company, and Best Children’s pageant.
It is very easy to believe that Maryrose Salubre possesses a Midas touch. Her successes so far have been numerous both on the personal stage and in the pageantry spotlight. She’s a breast cancer survivor and a paralegal. She evolved from a beauty pageant contestant into a beauty pageant queen. She is the founder of Salubre Models Inc and has seen the rapid growth of the 4 pageants under the Australasia Official banner – Miss Teen/Miss/Mr/Mrs Australasia. And after being crowned Mrs Southeast Asia in April 2016, Maryrose travelled to China to compete in Mrs Universe in late August and walked away with the title, Mrs Universe Courage. Maryrose also represented Philippines in the Mrs Classic Universe pageant and walked away with the Mrs Classic Galaxy crown. She’s hoping to compete again in the near future.
The title could not have been more apt for Maryrose. Her achievements have shown her to be a woman of grit, determination and yes, courage. She has used her personal struggles as a springboard for initiatives to help others. After beating breast cancer, she became a fervent advocate for breast cancer awareness. When Typhoon Yolanda swept through her hometown of Bunga, Leyte in 2013 and heavily damaged the Bunga National High School and Bunga Elementary School, Maryrose was not idle. The 4 Australasia Official pageants have all raised funds for breast cancer, BrainStorm (a charity dedicated to research into brain tumours run between Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University of Sydney) and for rebuilding of the two Bunga schools as well as providing them with much needed supplies.
Maryrose has definite hopes for her involvement in the Mrs Universe pageant and it’s in keeping with her ever-present goal to be a voice for others who feel powerless. She hopes to bring awareness to the exploitation of animals and animal cruelty, and to shine an even bigger spotlight on domestic violence. She wants to break down the stereotype of pageants being all about beauty and instead, show that it can be a powerful tool in bringing attention to a wide variety of causes. Maryrose also dreams of using her time in the Mrs Universe pageant to open more doors to her work building kindergartens and orphanages not just in her hometown, but in other areas that desperately need them. For now, she’s hoping to raise enough money this coming 26 May to finish the kindergarten in her hometown and she’s also planning a much bigger project in August to further raise funds for her hometown.
Maryrose wants to go global and her plans are big – Guiness World Records-big. She longs to see children properly housed in an environment where they are safe and clean and have the opportunity to attend school. The Salubre legacy will be one of substance, confidence, courage, compassion and a job well done. Maryrose is well on her way to achieving this goal and making it one that will be well remembered and admired.
Gliselle Ramos is the eldest of 3 children. She and her family migrated to Australia in 1988 and even though she calls Australia her home, she still left a piece of her heart in the Philippines, where she was originally born.
Gliselle has an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She’s a skilled finance professional, with more than 15+ years of experience, working with both the public and private sectors. She has also passionately offered financial services to not-for-profit organizations. As a founding Director of her own business (Millionaire Earth Angels and NuQueens), Gliselle has acquired outstanding finance knowledge of Start-Ups and SMEs. In addition, her experience offers a comprehensive understanding of the application of business finance that assists businesses to improve their bottom line management.
Gliselle is passionate about Empowering Women in Business. She believes women should be allowed full self-expression. She also believes women should be empowered financially so that they don’t have to put up with toxic relationships because of financial reasons. This is what she’s trying to solve by founding the Millionaire Earth Angels and NuQueens.
Gliselle is also passionate about the victims of domestic violence, children in orphanages and children with cancer. She believes that we, as a society with means should reach out to those who are less fortunate and empower them, not give them a handout but a hand up. Like the old adage “If you give them fish, you feed them for a day but if you teach them how to fish, you feed them for a lifetime”. She also lost a lot of family members from cancer and she believes children with cancer are the most vulnerable and their spirits should be cherished.
Gliselle loves to sing and dance and when she was in her 20s and in fact, she has front acted at few concerts like the Apo Hiking Society, Geneva Cruz and Donna Cruz. She also often get asked to sing at weddings and birthdays by her close friends and family.
Gliselle is currently Mrs. Universe Australia 2019 and she will be competing for Mrs. Universe in Guangzhou, China this December. This is a perfect platform for her because she wants to empower women all around the world, especially those in pageantry to use their voice to speak up about matters they care about and use the platform not only for 1 year, while they’re reigning but for a lifetime. She’s also noticing that a lot of small children are getting involved in pageantry so she would like to bring substance in that space and influence young children not to get caught up in the shallow world of vanity but to make the platform an empowerment to inspire them to be of service as well at a very young age.
Since Gliselle is competing for Mrs. Universe in Guangzhou, China this December, she is organizing her very first Mrs. Universe Australia Grand Ball Dinner Dance Gala to raise funds for her trip.
This year’s event will be held at one of Sydney’s award-winning venues, The Epping Club and MENM Productions together with Australasia Official are proud to host their first-ever Mrs. Universe Australia Grand Ball Dinner Dance Gala at Epping Club’s Grand Ballroom.
Feel the grandeur and luxury, as we all make unforgettable memories that are equally spectacular and breathtaking on Sunday, November 10, 2019. Doors open at 5:30 PM. Dinner will be served at 7:00 PM, followed by a short program at 7:30 PM with live band entertainment, performers and dance.
There will be door prizes, special surprises, as well as an Open Bar (drinks at your own cost). Don’t miss this momentous affair! Please contact Ella Ponce on 0416 754 318 for tickets or for more information.