Before we dive into today’s episode, I want to ask for your feedback. Each week I create these trainings because I really want to impact your pageant experience. We know that the Pageant Interview is one of the most challenging parts of Pageantry and you have to be totally prepared to really rock it.
So…I have a few things to help you with that.
The first is a product that hasn’t come out yet – I’m still putting it all together and would LOVE to get your insights about what would really help you in pageant interview.
There’s a quick questionnaire which you can fill out to give some insights about what you really need to help you with interview.
If you can take just 5 minutes to fill this out for me, not only would I be super grateful! – I’ll give you my Interview training Series called “How to Answer the Hardest Pageant Interview Questions”
Everyone who fills out the survey will be moved to the front of the line for early access to the Interview Training, as a special thank you.
Ok…now onto today’s episode!
When I judge a pageant, I always have a list of suggestions for each contestant in hopes she cares enough to ask. But sometimes, pageant women feel too embarrassed or like they’re stepping out of line asking for feedback.
In today’s episode, I’m going to teach you two specific ways to get valuable feedback from your pageant judges after the pageant. These approaches have helped me to get feedback from judges in person, via email, over the phone. I’ve even maintained relationships for ongoing help with mock interviews with some of the people I met when they first judged me.
Though, asking for feedback can open a can of worms if you don’t have a grain of salt for every point. Remember that pageantry is a subjective sport. That means that there are no cut-and-dry rules to winning, it’s mostly based on the opinion of a panel of 5 strangers. Even so, if you’re lucky enough to have an experienced panel, you may be lucky enough to get some powerful feedback – even if you didn’t win.
Immediately after your pageant, it can be soooo tempting to approach a judge and ask for feedback. If you are so lucky to have a moment with your judges taking photographs with the newly crowned queen, this is not the ideal time to enlist their feedback.
Every pageant is different. I know that some directors forbid you to talk to the judges, others host cocktail parties before the pageant and invite the judges! Some directors are stingy with judges’ information, they don’t want you to reach out to them for fear you’ll bother the judge and make them look bad. Other directors welcome the thoughtfulness of contestants to send thank you notes to their judges – especially volunteer judges! After every one of my pageants, I ask the director for mailing addresses of each of the judges – I only ask once in case they are uncomfortable of have a fear-mindset. If they don’t get them to me, I do some of my own research. It’s generally pretty easy to get contact information when you have the names of your judges.
There are two ways to go about showing true gratitude and getting genuine feedback. The first is the simple ask, which is best executed in person. The second is the pen-pal approach.
The Simple Ask
This begins immediately after the pageant. If you have the opportunity to show your gratitude during the post-pageant photos, or in the parking lot afterward, start by saying “Thank you for taking part in our pageant.” Maybe strike up a conversation about where they are from, their family, or their pageant history. If they are receptive, you could ask then if they might be willing to provide some candid feedback to you in a few days that could help you in your pageant career. If not, still wish them well and let them know they are appreciated. If yes, ask them what is the best method to contact them. Sometimes they’ll spout out a few tips right then and there. Or, they’ll give you an email or phone number. Follow up the very next day while it’s still fresh on her mind. But…. Be prepared to take anything she says with a grain of salt.
Remember, you are only getting one person’s subjective opinion about what they saw for 40-seconds 24 hours ago. This is not your coach, your friend, or your mom, so don’t expect it to come out perfect or even worthy of applying. Though, if someone is gracious enough to give you some feedback – helpful or otherwise – it would be appropriate to follow up with additional gratitude. Sometimes that means a small gesture of appreciation like an Amazon card or hand-written note.
The Pen Pal
The second approach ends similarly, but starts with a hand-written thank you note. Show your gratitude for them coming to the pageant, taking time away from their family, spending the day indoors, and fairly judging your performance. In that not, you could mention that you plan to continue competing and you’d be grateful if they would share any helpful feedback that could improve your performance in the future. Give your email and phone number – so you are easy to reach and it can be ‘off-the-record’ if they’d like to jump on a quick call.
Think of the last time you approached a judge for feedback. Did you make it more about them or all about you? People want to feel good about their time and value. The more respectful and gracious you are, the more generous and respectful they’ll be.
And, that, ladies is how you win a pageant.
For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course