Managing the Audience: Miss USA Does It. Can You?

June 11, 2014 by Jeff Black in The BlackSheep Blog | Comments (0) |


Miss USA 2014

We’ve seen it happen more times than not … beauty pageant contestants answering an on-stage question and it doesn’t go well. (Remember Miss SC Teen USA 2008, talking about the lack of maps in U.S. homes!?!)

Watching this year’s Miss USA Pageant with my wife and daughter, I couldn’t help but think of the incredible pressure these contestants face—especially when it comes to “Q&A” time. Answering difficult questions and managing the audience can be tough, whether you’re around a conference room table or on a stage.

This year’s Miss USA winner, Nia Sanchez of Nevada, delivered a solid answer when asked by celebrity judge Rumer Willis her opinion about sexual assaults among college students. She used the strategy that Black Sheep believes works in the business world too: big picture/personal example. Her big picture addressed colleges protecting their reputations and the importance of women learning how to protect themselves. Her personal example was about being a fourth-degree black belt and how that has increased her confidence.

Thinking on your feet is critical to one’s career success—whether handling a tough exchange with your boss … or competing for Miss USA.


Jeff Black

Jeff named his company Black Sheep for two reasons: 1) He became the black sheep for not going into the family business. Selling Buicks wasn’t for him. 2) He believes there needs to be a little “black sheep” in all of us—stand out from the herd in a very crowded marketplace. He offers coaching, consulting and training programs on projecting executive presence, delivering strong presentations, demonstrating excellent communication skills, influencing customers and talking to the media.

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