By Marian Rothschild, AICI CIC Pageant Coach Colorado
Walk up to the microphone on stage in front of thousand of people, lights glaring in your eyes, introduce yourself wearing a figure-hugging evening gown and three-inch heels and explain to the audience why it’s important for girls in third-world countries to get a good education. Or tell us what you value and what are you doing in your life right now to reflect those values. Or explain why mental health is important in middle school and what’s going wrong in most of our schools today.
Sound easy? It’s not. Just try it. These requirements may seem trivial when you know they are part of what’s expected in pageants. But pageants aren’t what they used to be. They are not the “beauty pageants” of years ago.
When I explain to people that I’m a pageant coach for girls and young women, I use the term “scholarship competitions” because that’s what they are. Most organizations that have competitions offer prize money to help with college tuition as well as other gifts and services such as modeling contracts, acting lessons, scholarships to specialty schools, etc.
These competitions demand leadership qualities that go far beyond physical beauty. Contestants are judged on verbal and non-verbal communication; how they walk into a room full of strangers and introduce themselves, how they move from one side of the stage to the other while holding the audience’s attention. They are graded on how they speak, what they think about themselves and others, and what they’re doing in their daily lives to back up their talk. Judges take note of posture, body control, style and wardrobe choices that speak volumes about who that girl is and what she thinks of herself.
She needs to formulate an answer that shows her ability to think outside the obvious, beyond selfish or superficial needs, without using filler words: “um, like, so, well, uh…” and without sounding like a “valley girl” or a robot. She needs to be genuine, authentic, and relatable.
As a multiple-title winner from my late teens and early 20’s and as a former judge for pageants, I have the experience and understanding of what is needed to do well in these competitions. As a former professional dancer and actor I understand performance, movement, body awareness, voice and presence. And as a certified personal image and wardrobe consultant I understand the power of color, line, shape, wardrobe, hair and makeup choices.
Recently my coaching client Lujane Yacoub, pictured above, won Miss Universe Bahrain! She will compete in the Miss Universe competition later this year. What an amazing experience! The opportunities this win will give her are limitless. Best wishes for good luck in all future endeavors, Lujane!
Another client of mine, a lovely 13 year-old girl won a national title which was her very first competition! She was a diligent student and practiced everything I taught her in our coaching sessions. She was the only competitor to implement certain moves that I taught her for the evening gown portion of that competition. My formula for answering any question brilliantly and authentically sealed her fate as the winner when she answered her on-stage question with heart-felt sincerity in front of the entire audience.
If you would like to learn these techniques and do your best in competitions and other challenges, check out my pageant coaching packages on my website and then let’s talk. Learn to communicate your best and boldest self!
Pageant Coach CO, pageant coaching colorado, pageant coaches CO https://marianrothschild.com/pageant-coaching-denver-colorado/