Girl wondering what the judges are looking for.

Whether you’re a beginning or experienced contestant, you probably wonder what the judges are looking for in the next titleholder. What skills do I need to possess? Last year’s winner wore a white dress, should I wear one too? Is there anything about myself that I need to change in order to win? These questions are often overwhelming, so here are some tips to know what the judges are looking for.

1. Analyze the pageant scoring criteria. The first thing you need to understand is how the scoring system works. This information is typically listed somewhere on the pageant website. You might find it listed under Areas of Competition, Scoring, About the Pageant, or How to Compete. If you can’t find the scoring information on the website, use the Contact Us page to contact the director and get more information about the pageant. Because, if you don’t understand the scoring system, you can’t determine what the judges are looking for.

2. Review titleholder bios for the last 5 years. The bios of the last 5 titleholders can give you helpful information to determine what the judges are looking for. Read the titleholder bios and determine what these successful contestants have in common. Do they all have a lot of academic awards? Or do their bios include an extensive list of volunteer activities? Does the bio seem to emphasize talent appearances? Remember, you’re looking for patterns here rather than focusing on one winner.

3. Checkout the pageant’s social media pages. You can gain a lot of information about what the pageant thinks is important by checking out their social media. Does the pageant post tons of appearance photos of the current titleholder? That means the pageant wants a titleholder with a flexible schedule who’s willing to make appearances. Do the pageant posts emphasize silent auctions, selling ad pages, and getting People’s Choice votes? That could be a clue that the pageant is looking for someone with strong fund raising skills. Instead of just looking at the pretty pics, analyze the posts to identify the pageants’ priorities.

4. Determine the preferred visual image of the pageant. No, this is not what you think. I’m absolutely not about to suggest that you change your look based on a pageant. But, I am suggesting that you identify your preferred look and then find a pageant that is a fit for you. What does that mean? Well, if you prefer an All American Girl look and enter a Hollywood Red Carpet pageant, you’re probably not going to feel comfortable with that look. It doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful; it just means that you may not be a fit for their visual brand. If you love modeling onstage, but don’t want to follow a strict eating and workout plan, skip the swimsuit pageants and look for one that includes Fun Fashion instead.

There are so many wonderful pageants that you’re bound to find a pageant that’s a perfect fit for you!