Before The Pageant:
- A smile and saying hi to the judges when you accidently meet them in the hallway, elevator, restaurant, parties or restroom is okay. The judges will be staying in the same hotel with you. You will meet each other at some point during the pageant. This is not the time to try to impress them or engage them in conversation. At the same token you don’t want to be rude and ignore them either. Treat them with the same respect and manners you would anyone else you pass in a public place. Please don’t stalk them or try to bump into them on purpose thinking the more they see you, the more you’ll be remembered. Drawing too much attention to yourself off stage can back fire on you.
During The Pageant:
- Over the top hoots, whistles, and shouts during the pageant could hurt you and not help your chances of winning the pageant. The only exception to this is if the pageant system is giving an award to the contestant whose fan club is the loudest. In this case, the judges are aware of the fact and can block out the excess noise. However, very few pageant systems offer such an award. After the initial applause of when a contestant’s number or name is announced, if one or more people continue to shout things and make a ruckus the whole time their contestant is on stage that becomes distracting. You do not want the judges distracted.
One time when I was judging, there was a contestant who had a family member who would shout her name every time it was quiet during the pageant. When she was on stage it was a constant stream of noise. We couldn’t hear what the emcee was saying over this group’s commotion. At that point, my attention was not on the contestant but instead on how disrespectful and rude the members of her family and friends were acting by disturbing the pageant environment. I certainly didn’t want the director to have to deal this group of people for a whole year, so it affected the scores I gave that contestant. There is a line between being supportive and being obnoxious.
A couple seconds of cheers and applause is great. Then stop. You want the judges to be focused only on the contestant.
- Give the judges space. Don’t sit right behind them or get to close to the table during the pageant. And by all means, don’t stand or walk in front of them to take a picture or video tape your contestant. In some pageants, your contestant will be disqualified if you take photos or video tape the pageant. Seriously, don’t be tempted thinking, well no one will see me. Oh yes they will. If the announcement is made “no photography or videotaping allowed” they mean it.
After the Pageant:
- Never approach a judge face to face, send an email, call them or Face book them after the pageant for justification , feedback, or scores of the pageant results. This goes for your family and friends contacting the judges, too. It’s a small world and by doing so, you could be jeopardizing your chances at the next pageant. It is solely the discretion of the director as to if judges comments or scores are shared with you. Whatever comments and scores you receive; you should gratefully and humbly receive them. But remember, all judging is subjective and everyone has a different opinion.
Never make any assumptions because you could be putting yourself in a very awkward position. Let me briefly explain.
After I judged a pageant the newly crowned queen came up to me, thanked me for my vote, told me how excited she was about going to nationals, and went on and on about how hard she had worked and how she deserved this opportunity. I simply congratulated her and wished her the best for her upcoming year and let her experience the excitement and joy of the moment.
You see, the woman crowned was not my pick for the title. In fact, the second runner up was my favorite throughout the entire pageant and had my final vote. Rarely, is the judging panel unanimous in the final vote. You have no idea which contestant was each judges favorite. Sometimes even the judges are surprised at the end results when all the numbers are added. But the end results are the final decision.
Do you see how devastated she would have been if I had replied, “Oh, I didn’t vote for you because of this, that and the other thing.” Although she looked and moved the part, my reasons for not choosing her were I felt she lacked humility and a gracious spirit towards the people around her, which was exemplified by her actions after the pageant. This may or may not have been true, but it is how I perceived and interpreted her actions and the manner in which she spoke to people. But I was just one judge on the panel.
After a pageant emotions are very high. Everyone but the queen, to some degree, is feeling disappointed. Act like ladies, be respectful towards the people around you, and wait until you’re alone to release your emotions. And ideally, I mean totally alone, in the bathroom with the door locked where your mother, your husband, family and friends cannot hear or see you. Here’s why.
You need to release and process whatever feelings you have at that moment just to get them out of your body and mind. Sometimes that’s all you need is a couple minutes by yourself to just let it go and you’re good. Or if your coach is with you, release to him or her.
If you do this in front of those who love you, they could possibly get even more upset than you are and say or do something that will make the situation worse. No one likes to see someone they love cry or hurt. They immediately want to try to fix it. So before you know it, they are on a quest to find the judges and the directors to get some answers as to why their contestant didn’t win.
Immediately after the pageant is not the time. The director hasn’t had a chance to talk with the judges nor see the scores and can’t help you at that time. Disappointment is part of life and learning how to deal with it in a healthy and sportsmanlike conduct is vitally important.
Now, it is an entirely different story if a judge seeks you out afterwards and chooses to talk with you. That is their choice. But whether you win the crown or not, do not initiate talking to the judges.
At this point, you might be thinking, “well how am I to know what to do to get better results if I can’t talk to the judges?” After 7-10 days, reach out to the director to see if she can share any scores and comments with you. If your coach was in the audience, ask her. Judge a pageant yourself. You’ll be amazed at the insight you will receive being on the other side of the table. And in some cases, experience is the best teacher.
After a lifetime of being in and around pageants, I’ve learned a lot. A key question I ask myself and of my clients is this, “If you knew for sure you wouldn’t win the crown, would you still do the pageant?”
You see, in a fair pageant, no one can guarantee the end result. If your only focus is on winning the crown, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of hurt feelings. No one wins the crown every time. Instead, the contestants who focus on the benefits of the process are usually the ones who have a positive and rewarding pageant experience.
Request my free special report, 10 Insider Secrets to Winning, and receive my free award winning newsletter weekly. Just click here or at the top of this page to GET YOUR FREE REPORT.Then fill out your name and email address in the boxes.
Pageant Season Is Here!
Now's The Time to Brush Up On Your Interview Skills
The ability to answer questions about you, your purpose, current events, and controversial topics in a clear way is an important life skill that everyone can benefit from. The more you practice, the better you will get. These handy interview cards are a great way to practice with a partner or use by yourself to get you thinking about the topic.
The Beginning 10 Questions are the staple interview questions everyone must know the answers in an interview situation. Then each month you will receive a new card in the mail with fresh questions.
Now preparing for your interview is easy and for a limited time FREE.
Rhonda Shappert is an expert pageant coach, an iPEC Certified Professional Coach, an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, and a member of the International Coach Federation. She created Winning Through Pageantry® to partner with pageant contestants and their support people to provide complete pageant preparation, achieve winning results in life through pageantry, and to Succeed From The Inside Out®. She has over 30 years experience in the pageantry world as a contestant, judge, emcee, staff member, mother of daughters who compete, Mrs. Ohio America 2005, and has held multiple titles at the local, state and national levels.
Rhonda graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors degree in Musical Theater from The Ohio State University and has performed on stage in 15 countries on the Asian, European and American continents. This mother of three home educates their children and has been married 22 years to her husband Stephen, is the former mayor of her community, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Virtual Academy. She and her husband perform original contemporary Christian music. For more information on Rhonda, visit www.WinningThroughPageantry.com .