Before any of my clients commits to a pageant, I always recommend that she talk with former titleholders to best understand her experience from her perspective. With multiple perspectives, you get a stronger view of whether or not this pageant would be a good fit for you.
I did this the first time I competed in a state pageant and I learned a TON – nothing that scared me away from the pageant, but every piece of insight and advice set me up for success in my competition.
Of course, any time you are asking for anything, even advice, from a former titleholder, you have to approach it with grace and respect. In this episode, I’ll give you a list of what to do and what not to do when approaching a former titleholder of your pageant.
Let’s start with what not to do:
Don’t expect anyone to help you
– she is not your coach, don’t force her into that role. She is not your coach. Unless you have hired her as your coach, don’t expect her to tell you what to do. Instead, just gain insights from her experience.
Don’t be annoying
– don’t over-ask silly things or call her back 12 times because you forgot to ask something. That’s annoying.
Don’t be demanding
– you’re the one asking for help. Don’t expect her to put down everything she’s doing and call you immediately. Allow your request to sink in and if she wants to help, she will.
Don’t give up too soon
– people are busy and get distracted. If you send a Facebook message at midnight on a Friday, they may not get it until Monday or forget to respond. It’s okay to follow up, just don’t be annoying.
Don’t ask a current titleholder
– it’s less likely you’ll get the real scoop and far more likely you’ll get a rose-colored response due to contractual obligations of a titleholder currently representing a pageant.
Don’t repeat what you are told
– to anyone!
Now, here’s what you should do:
Determine your deal breakers
– Don’t just enter a pageant and say, whatever happens, happens. You wouldn’t just take any job you’re offered, you’d explore the benefits, challenges, and sacrifices you’d need to make. The same is true with a pageant. Over the years my deal breakers have been the spirit of the directors, the amount of financial support provided, the travel opportunities, level of platform support that’s given, and even the level of ridiculousness of the contract you’d have to sign. If you have to sign a contract that conflicts with your morals, that should be a deal breaker.
Do your research
– get to know her through what she does online, her platform, watch her dvd, etc. Try to get as much information on your own before you reach out.
– explain why you’re reaching out and be clear about your intentions. Don’t act like you aren’t competing or pretend you have a mutual friend or something wacky. Just be honest.
Ask thoughtful questions
– be prepared with about 5 great questions. My first episode, #1 has a list of 5 great questions you could come prepared to ask. Get those at WinAPageant.com/1
– the conversation may bring up resources, recommendations, warning, or other things that you’ll want to remember. You may not be able to remember everything she says in a 20 minute conversation, so be prepared to write down notes as you talk.
Listen closely & interpret for yourself
– pay attention to not just what she says but how she says it. This is going to be key to interpret what she says into meaning for you. Just because she is loving one thing doesn’t mean that you will. You may have a different set of values or intentions and that thing she loves may clash for you.
Look for themes
– look for themes between what each former titleholder tells you. If they all talk about how fun and supportive the director is or they send out warnings about walking on eggshells around certain people or how much money it costs to participate, or whatever – write it down so you can compare notes after you’ve spoken to several.
Show your gratitude
– tell her thank you for her time and for her contribution to your success. If it’s appropriate, send a thank you note or thoughtful gift to show you’re grateful to her.
It’s your turn to take action! In the next 24 hours, reach out to one former titleholder of a pageant you are considering competing in. Follow the steps to be sure you are being respectful in your approach and getting the right information.
That, ladies is how you win a pageant!
Win A Pageant Interviews with Pageant Titleholders:
(click the link to watch)
For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course