It’s that time again: you’re reviewing what worked and what didn’t work from last year, while making plans to make this year’s pageant dreams come true. As an experienced pageant coach, here are the top five mistakes pageant contestants made last year that you’ll want to avoid:
1. No Strategic Prep Plan. Most contestants get excited about competing and as soon as they’re signed up for the pageant they start shopping for an evening gown and schedule their headshots. But what you should do instead is develop a strategic prep plan. What do I mean by ‘strategic’? Different pageants have different overall brands, and those brands are reflected in the scoring categories. You want your strategic prep plan to coordinate with the scoring for your pageant so that you’re ready to get top scores in each category.
2. Spending Too Much Money on Wardrobe. It’s lots of fun to spend money on your competition wardrobe – you see all the beautiful gowns, the pretty cocktail dresses, and of course you need the fabulous shoes! But you need to sit down and prioritize your pageant budget before you start shopping. Most contestants blow the bulk of their budget on wardrobe before they realize it and then don’t have money to invest in the skill development necessary to boost their scores. That amazing wardrobe may cause the judges to look your way, but if you don’t have the right skills, you’re just not going to win.
3. Repeatedly Entering Pageants vs Developing Real Skills. Some contestants are emotionally addicted to competing. They love the “high” of pageant weekend, get bored in-between competitions and are constantly looking for the next pageant to compete in. They enter again and again, but end up feeling frustrated when their placement never seems to improve. If that’s happening to you, my advice as a pageant coach, is that you’re probably competing too frequently and are not investing enough time and money in developing the skills necessary to win. Cut back on the number of pageants you’re competing in and use that money to invest in developing the skills of an elite contestant.
4. Competing in the Wrong Pageant. Often contestants will enter their first pageant and do well, but feel that they have potential to do better. They’ll become completely focused on competing in that pageant, even though that particular pageant is not a good fit for them. This is where understanding the brand of the pageant, scoring categories, and preferred contestant profile is important. You shouldn’t be trying to make yourself over to fit that pageant, you should take the time to evaluate whether or not the pageant is the right fit for you.
5. Taking Advice from Everyone. Anyone who’s ever attended a pageant or has seen a pageant on TV considers themselves to be a pageant expert – and they’re just dying to give you advice on how to win. Unfortunately, it’s not always qualified advice and it’s your job to use your critical thinking skills to evaluate the advice you receive. You will need to consider if they have a demonstrated track record of helping contestants win before considering their advice. You’ll also want to determine if they are an expert in just one scoring category or if they’re an overall qualified pageant coach professional.
Best wishes as you use this advice to make 2017 your best pageant year ever!miss america, Miss America's Outstanding Teen, Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, National American Miss, pageant coach, pageant coaches, pageant coaching, pageant interview, pageant interview coach, pageant interview questions, pageant questions, the pageant coach, Valerie Hayes