No one is perfect, and practice makes progress, but there’s a line that many contestants cross during pageant prep, which makes them come across a “Pageant Patty.” Here are 3 real examples, I’ve witnessed, that make judges say, “Thank you, next!”
I can recall an extremely bizarre pageant interview.
Too eager – I can recall an extremely bizarre interview with a pre-teen contestant. After answering EVERY question, she said, “Thank you.” It was not only strange, but it got really annoying. It told the judges that contestant was a “Pageant Patty.”
A similar mistake is when a contestant goes above and beyond during an interview entrance or exit. She gushes about how grateful she is for the judges time, she falsely flatters, emphasizes how wonderful it is to be in a room with such distinguished individuals, or thanks the judges each time they ask a question she is prepared to answer.
Want to stand out in the right way? Read more about 6 ways you can make a positive impression in a pageant interview.
“Is she reading from a teleprompter?
Sounds scripted – Have you ever seen an elementary school play? Each line sounds memorized and usually lacks real emotion. Well…that’s how a lot of contestants sound in pageant interviews and onstage questions (and they wonder why they don’t win!) This happens when a contestant practices the same answer for the same question, over and over again. She loses spontaneity and sounds like she’s reading from a script. Don’t waste time memorizing answers word-for-word. Instead, organize your thoughts in bullet points, with no set script; this keeps things conversational.
“All I could think about was, is she going to put her arms down?”
Body language – I’ve seen some pretty unnatural things happen in a pageant interview and onstage. I was astounded when I judged a pageant and witnessed multiple contestants place their hands on their hips for their ENTIRE interview. All I could think about was, “Is she going to put her arms down?”
Regularly I see contestants exaggerate movements, by adding a bounce to their walk or flipping their wrists as they place them on their hips, for a pose. Generally speaking, keep it natural; if something feels uncomfortable or unnatural, it probably looks unnatural too. Full disclosure, I immediately deduct points from contestants who do anything, over the top or extra, that causes me to break eye contact with them.
69% of pageant contestants use a coach
If any of these signs sound like familiar feedback, it might be time to bring in outside help. Recently Pageant Planet released statics they complied from their audience which, stated that 69% of all contestants use a coach to prepare for their pageant. As a coach, I’ve seen vast amounts of improvement, in a short amount of time, from unbiased, constructive criticism.
Thinking about pageant coaching? Here’s how to find the best one for you, in this video.