Critique: ATV 2015 Miss Asia (Boston) Grand Final

Last time, I gave you insight on Coco’s journey through the ATV 2015 Miss Asia (Boston) Grand Final. In that vlog, I highlighted the importance of stage presence, pacing, transitions, and composure when it comes to the realm of public speaking.

In this post, I wanted to review about the event itself. There’s three main points to touch on. Most of the mistakes are tied to event planning, but I’ll explain the crossover in communication.

1. No Emcee Teamwork

I’m not sure how many events Bob Gao and Alice Zhang have hosted before, but they presented themselves as amateurs. And that’s a bummer, because I know Alice has a passion for interviewing.

When you’re the “face” of an event, it’s easy to get caught up in the formalities. Plus, there’s  so much to do, so much to say, and so much to remember.  That’s why it’s so important for you and your co-host to work together– you’re supposed to have each other’s backs.

Instead, Bob and Alice were constantly talking over each other.  They were both glued to their note-cards, and they didn’t pay enough attention to one another to make things flow.

It reminded me a lot of a college group project. You know, everybody hates group projects. Everybody ends up having a really segmented role. On presentation day, when everybody comes together, it just sounds like 3-4 individualized presentations in succession rather than one cohesive product of a team.

Establishing a personal connection should always take precedent over your message. That’s what separates the great speakers from the people who just show up and do the work.

Grade: C

I don’t think your general audience is going to look at any presenter this critically, and there were times when Alice and Bob both had their moments to shine.

Overall, it’s just frustrating to see the hosts act this way because I want to believe they practiced. I’m pretty sure they had to sacrifice time and energy in rehearsing. But to show up on game day and look like you didn’t put any effort into it at all? That’s a damn shame.

2. Mismanaged Schedule

Beginning 30 minutes late didn’t really help, but that would end up being the most minor offense.

Due to the delay, they had to shuffle some things around, and I do give them kudos for that. It’s almost a spin on the note-card predicament I mentioned above. You don’t want to be tied down to your material, just like you don’t want to be tied down to a specific order.

Sure, it might’ve worked well in practice before, but now you have the added elements of being live and having an audience. The ability to react and adapt is crucial. However, when you switch things up, you have to keep people informed. Don’t keep things a mystery.

Keeping the audience guessing only works if you’re a magician or telling a story. Otherwise, people are going to feel lost and upset that they can’t keep up.

But then there were times when they really wanted to stick to the plan. Intermission had three bands that wanted to play 3-4 songs each. The music really took away the focus and momentum of the show.

Grade: D

I think the plan was to give everyone their money’s worth. Perhaps some felt that way. I know others were really angry because they couldn’t stay for the whole event.

Those people managed their expectations for the original 6-9 time-slot. By the time 10 o’clock rolled around,  one fourth of the audience was gone. Bad time management would have a huge effect on…

3. Rushing the Grand Finale

When you don’t prepare a speech well enough and don’t have grip on the time, you’ll rush through the end. For an event, mismanaged time forces you to abruptly reach the end and lose out on savoring the good moments.

This is where the ATV Miss Asia pageant really dropped the ball.

The whole night they were building up the crowning of “the one”. But by the time they reached it, a good chunk of the audience was gone. Your winner was pushed to condense her mic time. Then the curtain dropped.

Grade: F

That’s the image you’re going to leave your audience? “Oh, it’s over?”

Adding salt to the wound, the original plan was to have family and friends of the finalists to join them on stage. That would’ve been a great way to close out the show. Can you imagine how meaningful that would’ve been for the contestants?

When it comes to public speaking, your wrap up is the moment to leave the most impact. The ending is your saving grace in case you have a rocky start. Shaky beginning? Finish strong– because that’s the part that’s going to stick in everyone’s minds.


Published by Jon Dao

Formerly, the Conversation Coach

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