When you assume that the judges are looking for something specific, it's usually based on the belief that you need to change something about yourself in order to fit into the mold in the judges' heads. But I don't like contestants to start out by already thinking they have to fix something about themselves.
That being said, every judge and every single pageant is still looking for the same thing—a well-prepared, relatable, charming, intelligent young woman. They want to crown the kind of woman they hope their son brings home as his future wife, or the kind of woman they hope their daughter has as a bridesmaid at her wedding.
The only way to be that person is to know your platform, know current events, and be comfortable with who you are and what you have to offer. If you try to change yourself, you will not be comfortable. Go into the interview prepared to discuss your platform, and prepare the most in the areas in which you know you are weak. The interview is ninety percent preparation and ten percent magic. That magic happens when you know you are prepared and ready to step into the crown.
Read more about Valerie Hayes' coaching philosophy in Coaching: Everyone is Different.
To find out how to practice perfectly, get Valerie's advice here: Does Practice Make Perfect?
About Valerie Hayes, The Pageant Coach
When she was asked to help prepare a young woman for her interview portion of a pageant competition, Valerie Hayes put her background in psychology to work. The young woman won her local and state titles then placed in the top fifteen at the national level, and word about Valerie's coaching skills spread. Soon, Valerie was coaching other contestants, and decided to make the hobby into a part-time job. Part-time turned into full-time, and now, through her business The Pageant Coach, Valerie coaches twenty to thirty contestants at a time. Find out more about her, The Pageant Coach, and enlisting her to help you win your next competition! Click here!
Interviewed by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer