Although they are called “beauty pageants”, very often it is not the most beautiful face that wins. All of us in the pageant business, whether contestants, directors, coaches or judges spend our time, energy and effort working toward the same goal…the crowning moment. It is that moment that the crown is bestowed that validates all of our hard work. It is emotional, exciting, and sometimes even breathtaking; a bit of drama in the midst of ordinary lives. But how many of us really understand why that particular girl took home the crown?
It seems simple that you would know yourself, but many contestants cannot answer the simplest questions on what they feel and how they feel. Infact some of them have never even bothered to go through frequently asked questions. Or they give clichéd Pageant Patti answers. The ability to put your thoughts into words in a concise and understandable way, both in judges’ interview and on stage is an admirable quality.
The KISS (Keep it Short and Sweet) Principle
It does pay to be articulate in the Pageant world. However learn to keep your answer short and sweet. Don’t ramble on and on .Most contestants simply dig themselves into a hole they can’t get out of because they keep talking long after they have given their answer. Don’t give one word answers, but don’t make it a monologue by you either.
Take a Public Speaking Class
If you are really serious about a pageant title, take a public speaking classer join the Toastmasters club. Day to day practice leads to confidence!!!
Practice for the Various Rounds and Contests in a Consistent Manner
Interview Contest – Practice speaking in front of people whenever possible, have friends/family ask you questions on a weekly basis about your ideas, opinions, current events, whatever you can think of. VIDEOTAPE these sessions whenever possible. Try to see yourself in the way the judges might see you, and be TOUGH!! Have others view the tape and ask them to be totally honest in their appraisal.
Runway Contest – The way that you walk and stand speaks loads about how you feel about yourself!! Poor posture shows a lack of confidence, a heavy or clumsy walk says that you don’t really care how you look, an overdone walk shows lack of poise, and a stiff walk shows insecurity. If you have never walked in heels, START!! Practice in them for an hour every day, until it seems natural to you. Train yourself to keep your composure no matter what happens, even if you happen to fall.
Pageants can be glamorous and fun, but if you want to win one, YOU MUST BE ORGANIZED!! Pageant success takes time…time to get to know yourself, what you think and believe; time to get in shape physically for swimsuit; time to find a good wardrobe; time for training with a coach; time for community service work. Set your priorities!!
Learn to focus mentally. Understand WHY you are competing, what you hope to gain from it, how you will learn from it and what sacrifices you are willing to make to achieve success in it. Your internal self-image is vitally important!!! YOU will be the one up there on that stage and in that interview, and you must believe in yourself, even when no one else will. Block out others negative attitudes and develop a positive inner voice. Use visualization techniques to “see” yourself on stage or in judge’s interviews and become comfortable with those things.
Poise is the ability to present you and handle any situation in a graceful, elegant manner; in other words, Grace under Pressure.
.If you have done your work, are very prepared and believe fully in your abilities and value as a person, you will be confident. If you think you are better than everyone else and DESERVE to win, you are simply CONCEITED! CONFIDENCE comes from within…. CONCEIT comes from insecurity.
If you have taken the time and put in the effort to do everything it takes to compete, DON’T GIVE UP AFTER YOUR FIRST, OR SECOND OR THIRD LOSS! History has proven to us that some of the most successful people in the world failed repeatedly, and were it not for their persistence; we would not have the telephone, the light bulb or the airplane. Learn from your failures, practice every day, and you WILL have your Crowning Moment eventually. If you can dream it, you can do it!! Good Luck!
Pageant Coach at The Tiara