Inside the minds’ of both pageantry judges and model agents
If you could reach into the minds of a pageant judge or fashion agent, would you? What you are about to find out in this article is there are some common tips, suggestions and advice all pageant girls and models should be aware of.
If you were participating in a pageant or auditioning as a model and you notice a pageant judge or agent walking down the hall or entering a room you are in, what thoughts cross your mind? Did they notice me? I wonder what they are looking for. Should I talk to them? Am I good enough? I hope they like me!
Let’s face it, pageantry and the modeling industry are both “show me” industries. Pageantry and modeling are the business of being judged. Interestingly, pageantry and the modeling industry are two of the most competitive industries on earth. This may seem obvious, but the fact is there are millions of girls competing for the same goal. Therefore, there is tremendous responsibility on the shoulders of the judge or agent who is directly responsible for the futures and dreams of each and every model and pageant girl. From my experience of being a pageant girl, beauty queen and international model, I’ve had my dreams made and shattered all at the same time. I have learned it’s important to remember people will always have a plan for you if you don’t have a plan for yourself. Treat the plan as a kind of roadmap for yourself and follow it the best you can. If you get off course or are heading in the wrong direction, make the necessary changes to get yourself back on course. Please remember to be persistent, you will get there.
I have enjoyed pageantry as a contestant and judge. I had the pleasure of judging many Canadian pageants including Miss World Canada, Miss Supranational Canada, Miss Grand Canada, Miss Intercontinental Canada, Miss Teenage Canada, and the Canada Galaxy Pageants. I also have been a mentor within the Miss Universe Canada family for the past 5 years. Sitting on a judging panel is a humbling experience, meeting girls and women from all over the country and listening to different platforms, life stories and everything in between. Pageants were a huge steppingstone that opened a lot of doors and possibilities, especially when I competed in the Miss Universe Canada Pageant. From the pageant life, I went on in the industry to become a professional international model.
Preparation and training are two of the most important concepts when it comes to pageantry. It is very rare a pageant girl can sign up weeks before with minimal preparation and win the crown. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but overall, very rare. Judges are constantly on the lookout for girls who are prepared and go above and beyond the norm. From a judge’s viewpoint, the amount of preparation and training it takes to be stage ready never goes unnoticed. It is all about creating a winning strategy on how to stand out. Consistency is a stand-out quality. It is important to understand consistency is a major component of a winning strategy. It is all about quality, an important point to remember. Judges are always watching too, especially when you don’t think they are.
The dreaded interview is one of the most important, yet stressful parts of the pageant. Having limited one-on-one time with the judges is a way for the contestants to become memorable and leave their lasting impression. It can be a make-or-break situation. As soon as the contestant sits down, the judges are watching posture, overall presence, the interview outfit, makeup, hair, personality, just to name a few. It is imperative to understand there’s lots of non-verbal communication proving body language can speak louder than words. Another trait judges watch for is eye contact. Judges want you to look them right in the eye when speaking. This helps them connect with the contestant and be drawn into what is being said, therefore making the conversation more memorable.
On the other hand, the dreaded interview can be exhilarating as well. It’s a terrific chance for the constants to share their story. Ultimately, the goal for contestants and judges is to get to know each other on as many levels as possible in a limited period of time. During that time, judges are looking specifically for authenticity and charisma.
It’s important to note here, there is an element of the competition which drives judges right around the bend. It’s called rehearsed speech. Judges do not like rehearsed speech. Rehearsed speech sounds robotic and unnatural. Judges can tell when a contestant is rehearsed, compared to being poised and answering the question directly. If a contestant is truly passionate and believes in their platform, there is no reason for any question to be rehearsed word for word. Speech and ideas will simply flow naturally.
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