Top 3 Worst Pageant Prep Mistakes

Every contestant dreads becoming a viral YouTube moment. Whether it’s mumbling your way through a terrible onstage question or tripping in your evening gown, making a mistake is something that stays with you forever. Don’t believe me? People are still talking about Caitlin Upton’s “geography” answer at Miss Teen USA 2007.

While nobody wants to make that kind of mistake, the most common pageant mistakes actually take place during your pageant prep. And those mistakes can kill your shot at the title just as quickly as anything you do at the competition.

Since I don’t want that to happen to Adorable You, here are the Top 3 Worst Pageant Prep Mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. You Look Great, But Your Skills Don’t.

As a contestant, you probably understand that you need to look like a winner. So you stalk last year’s winner and Top 5 on social media. And you pour over pics and video clips from last year’s pageant. You analyze every aspect of their pageant wardrobe and even practice posing like the winner in her competition headshot.

But while it’s easy to recognize a winning look, it’s hard to see the skills required to win. If you’re not consistently placing or winning it’s probably because you haven’t developed the skills required to get top scores. And just so there’s no confusion, let’s go ahead and define those skills. I’m talking about your pageant interview skills, contestant branding skills, and on stage modeling skills.

I get it. It’s totally tempting to spend all your time and money on looking great. It’s fun and it makes you feel good about yourself. But you’re not going to feel so good about yourself when the emcee doesn’t call your name. You deserve better than that. So, spend more time on developing real skills than you do focusing on how you look.

2. You Think You’re Better Than You Are.

Everyone likes to think that they’re fabulous and ready for the title. And while I’m sure you are totally fabulous, you don’t want to make the common mistake of underestimating the skills needed to win and overestimating your own skill level. What exactly does that mean? Let me break it down for you:

Most contestants don’t really understand all the hard work and skill development it takes to nail their pageant interview and effortlessly glide across the state in their evening gown. They think a couple of practice sessions here and there will make them a top contender. That’s just not true. So note to self: it’s not as easy to win as you think it is.

It’s also easy to make the mistake of overestimating your own skill level. You totally believe that you’re ready to be the next titleholder and assume that it’s just as obvious to the judges. It’s not.

In order to win you’ve got to move through all aspects of the competition in a way that makes it look like it all comes naturally to you. You know…like you just woke up this morning able to model an evening gown in 5-inch heels while walking down a set of prop stairs. Or, that you were born with the ability to answer complicated questions about peace in the Middle East during your personal interview. Just like a prima ballerina effortless floating through a beautiful ballet, your skills must be so developed that you make winning look easy.

3. You Think Instead of Do.

Even before you actually enter your pageant you’re probably thinking about it all the time. You think about what kind of gown you want and spend hours surfing the Internet. You wonder who your competition might be and check out everyone on social media who might possibly enter the pageant. You look up different nutrition and workout plans. You watch last year’s pageant video and think about what you should do to win. But, you don’t actually do.

I promise you that contestants who consistently place or win spend some time thinking but more time doing. They make sure they do meal prep and get to the gym. They schedule their walking lessons and practice at home in front of a mirror. They get their pageant paperwork done early and start practicing their interview about three to four months before the pageant.

Contestants who want to win think but don’t do. Contestants who actually win know that it’s important to think about their strategy but that the secret to winning is doing.

So, before you jump into pageant prep for your next competition, take some time to think about how you’ll avoid these mistakes. And before you know it you’ll be leaving the stage with a new crown and sash.

I believe in YOU!