Mary Sickler poses with pageant coach Valerie Hayes. WelcomeMary’s mom registered her for pageants after she was bullied in school. A bit shy at first, Mary now wins public speaking awards as well as pageant titles!

Welcome to my blog and my new and improved website!  I’m so glad that you stopped by to see everything that’s here for FABulous contestants just like you!  Just in case this is your very first visit to the website, here’s a little bit about me:

I love working with pageant contestants.  Why?  Because pageant contestants are like no other people you’ll ever meet.  They have a positive, “can do” attitude and are interested in learning new skills and developing their talents to the fullest.  Sure they like to win…after all, doesn’t everyone?  (And make no mistake; this website is about helping you to win.)  But elite contestants and titleholders know that it’s the journey more than the destination that counts.  The crown and sash only last for 12 months, but the skills and abilities you develop on the way to that title are what last a lifetime.  That’s what makes pageant contestants so special: although they’re working hard to win, they really do see the bigger picture.

Pageant coach Valerie Hayes appears on Good Morning America. WelcomeAs the most media-interviewed pageant coach, I teach speaking expert skills to contestants and titleholders.

But it doesn’t end there; pageant contestants are actively working towards their own success at the same time they’re supporting and encouraging the success of others.  You see, elite pageant contestants are not the self-centered, self-obsessed people you see portrayed in the movies and on TV.  (The media just likes to present those exaggerated stereotypes to get good ratings.)  Each year contestants perform thousands of hours of community service.  Whether it’s their volunteer activities, appearances representing their title, or just a comment here and there encouraging sister contestants and titleholders, pageant contestants are special because they know that giving back to others is ultimately the best way to make a difference.

Pageant coach Valerie Hayes poses with titleholders. WelcomeSome of the dear friends I’ve made through pageantry.

And while all those TV shows and movies like to focus on pageant hair and the challenges of walking in sky-high heels don’t let anyone tell you that pageant skills don’t cross over to the Real World.  They absolutely do!  We’ve all seen successful women in all walks of life who are former contestants and titleholders.  My students have become broadcasters, charity spokespersons, doctors, lawyers, community leaders, successful entrepreneurs, business people, and the list could go on and on.  Think about it for just a moment: the skills that it takes to win a pageant, (the ability to talk to a variety of people, to work under stressful situations, to bounce back after setbacks, to remain poised and confident even when you’re stepping out of your comfort zone) are the very same skills it takes to be successful in life.

Pageant coach Valerie Hayes congratulates local Miss America winner. WelcomeMaking your pageant dreams come true!

So, welcome!  This is a place where you can find helpful information on your path to becoming an elite contestant…then an elite titleholder…and then an elite success in all aspects of your life!

This is Your Home for the pageant information you’ve always wanted to know, the encouragement you’ve been looking for, and the mentoring you need to win the crown.

So put on your best pageant heels, get ready to start down your yellow brick road, click your heels three times together and say “there’s no place like Home!”

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