Students appearing in any platform competition should observe these important points as they will enter into judging. Carelessness on these points could detract an otherwise excellent presentation.
Appearance – Dignity and good grooming should be apparent. Clothing should be clean and neatly pressed; shoes should be shined. Uniformity of dress is recommended for groups, in addition to the general dress standards required of all in attendance. The following standard is required for those in all platform events.
- Boys – A suit or slacks and sport coat, button shirt (tucked in), and tie should be worn. No white socks, blue jeans, or tennis shoes are allowed. Ties should be dress ties not cartoon or character ties.
- Girls – Appropriate attire should be a nice dress of the proper length (bottom of the knee or longer) and rather tailored, closed dress shoes (no sandals), and nylons. Girls’ appearance should have no hint of suggestiveness or immodesty.
- School uniforms are usually proper if they incorporate the above guidelines.
- Boys should wear no jewelry except a watch and/or ring.
- Girls should wear a very minimal amount of makeup and/ or jewelry.
*Junior girls are not required to wear nylons. Socks or tights would be appropriate.
Poise – Self-confidence
- Approach – The approach is one of the most important elements in speaking, public reading, or singing. The contestant should walk confidently and briskly to the podium or front of the room and establish eye contact, pause for 5-10 seconds, and begin his presentation.
- Eye Contact – The contestant should establish rapport with the audience by good eye contact. He should avoid looking down often at his notes or Bible, at the ceiling, or out of the window. His eyes should move up and down, back and forth over the entire audience, slowly and naturally.
- Posture and Gestures – The rule for posture is DO NOT SLOUCH!!! The contestant should stand straight, but not lock-kneed. Gestures should be free and flow naturally from enthusiasm. Natural movements are more effective than forced gestures.
- Delivery – The speaker should project his voice, using the diaphragm. Recreate the mood, experience, emotion, and feelings of the author. Employ voice and tempo variations.
Preparation – Preparation and study are prerequisites for all speaking, reading, or musical performances. Research, organization, outline, and familiarity are the elements of preparation.
- Introduction of entry before the judges: Contestants in platform presentations are to give their first and last name and title of presentation distinctly “My name is John Doe from ___________ Baptist School and the title of my song is ____________.” You do not need to mention a song’s author.
- For entries involving more than one person a spokesman should be selected.
- This introduction is NOT to be counted as time against their presentation.
MATERIAL SHOULD BE CAREFULLY CHOSEN OR WRITTEN FOR THE PLATFORM TO ENSURE THAT EVIL CHARACTERS WOULD NOT BE GLORIFIED AND THAT THE STUDENT REHEARSING (OR LISTENER) WOULD NOT BE FORCED TO DWELL ON NEGATIVE OR HARMFUL THOUGHTS OR IDEAS. RATHER SELECTIONS SHOULD PRESENT GODLY PRINCIPLES AND SCRIPTURAL TRUTHS THAT HONOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.