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10 Pageant Tips Every Contestant Should Know

27, February 2023

No matter your experience in pageants, there’s always more to learn to help you become a better contestant.  From walking tips, hair, photography, interview and more we compiled some of the best tips that pageant contestants should use before they hit the stage.  Have more you want to share?  Feel free to let us know in the comments.

Pageant Walking Tips

Your pageant walk has a massive impact on the overall score you get as a participant. When walking across the stage at the pageant, it is important to keep your head up and show a smile. 

Your posture needs to be strong and straight, and you need to walk with positive energy and confidence to show the judges that you have what it takes to win the competition.

The participant needs to be able to walk in a straight line, make a turn at the right spot on the stage and walk back in the same manner. The walk needs to be with one leg in front of the other, each step being in the same line. A polished and elegant walk ranks high in this type of competition.

Walking in a Pageant Evening Gown

The pageant contestants need to wear a suitable pageant gown that flows effortlessly as they walk on the stage. Given that a pageant evening wear round is focused on showing grace and poise, you need to look elegant, confident, and glamorous, making eye contact with the judges. 

Walking in a Swimsuit 

When it comes to walking the pageant stage in a swimsuit, it is very important to walk confidently and show that you live a healthy lifestyle. Posture is a key thing to consider when walking in a pageant swimsuit. 

Compared to walking in an evening gown, this walk is more upbeat and includes slight movement of the hips.

Pageant Interview Tips

The pageant interview is the most important part of the competition. If the interview goes well, the judges will give you high scores, and you will have a chance to win the crown. On the contrary, if it goes bad, you will need to work very hard to make a good impression during the rest of the competition and become a titleholder.

Let’s discuss pageant interview outfits and makeup, how to prepare for it, and what it takes to help you stand out in your pageant interview! 

How To Practice For Your Pageant Interview

In order to present yourself the right way during a pageant interview, you need to know what to expect.

Hence, the best way to prepare is to watch interviews from similar pageants from previous years and determine what kind of questions the interviewers pose to the contestants.

You can also go a step further and contact a former contestant to get advice about what to expect and what aspect you need to work on. Most top-tier pageant competitors work with acclaimed pageant coaches who help them prepare for this extremely important aspect of the competition.

Familiarize yourself with the interview process

The interview process for every pageant is slightly different. Hence, to prepare, you need to learn about the length of the interview and the number of questions the contestants are usually asked. 

Read more about common pageant interview questions and prepare answers you would like to give. Another crucial thing is to be familiar with the pageant judging system and the criteria on which the judges give you scores throughout the process. 

Stay up to date with the world events

Pageants don’t only evaluate the contestants and the glamour but also how knowledgeable the contestants are about politics and the current events happening in the world. 

Therefore, to be prepared, make sure to follow national and international news and stay up to date with the major problems in the world today.

Give confident answers

During the pageant interview, it is important to differentiate yourself from the competition and emphasize your personality while answering. Make sure to hold yourself with confidence and be yourself! And always, remember to smile during the interview and make eye contact with the person who is asking questions. 

Pageant Hair Tips 

During pageant competitions, the judges score the contestant’s whole image, including hair and makeup. The hair completes the whole look and contributes to overall confidence. 

Whether you have long or short hair, what is important is to be up to date with current trends. 

After you decide which hairstyle option to go for, you should consult a professional hair and makeup team to create your best pageant hairstyle that will emphasize your features and compliment your outfit.

Long Hair

Long voluminous hair is a standard when it comes to pageants. Depending on the attire, you can opt for an elegant and timeless updo or go for voluminous curls or a straight hairstyle. 

There are plenty of ways in which you can style your hair, or you can also use extensions to achieve the look you are going for. However, the most important thing regarding pageant hair is for it to have a natural flow and to be clean and healthy despite its texture.

Short Hair

Short-cut hair also contributes to confidence and represents a bold and confident woman. The hairstyle needs to be complementary to the face and go well with your pageant attire. Also, short hair doesn’t require much time for styling, meaning that you can focus on wardrobe changes. 

Pageant Dress Tips

A figure-flattering gown that represents your personality can significantly increase your chances of winning the crown. While there is no specific formula for success, you can read about the latest trends and patterns and research more about recent winning pageant dresses from previous competitions. 

When it comes to pageant gowns, it is advised to look for a gown that is flattering to your body type. The dress style is also related to the type of pageant you participate in. Judges seem to react positively to handcrafted work such as beadings and rhinestones.

Pageant Gown Colors

Regarding color, statistics show that most of the winning gowns have been solid colors. The most popular colors include classic white, blue, yellow, silver, red, and pink. That said, the most important thing is to be comfortable and proud in your dress and to exude confidence, poise, and grace. 

Choose a fabric you feel good in, and go for simple designs and patterns that are neither distracting nor busy. To get an idea about the whole image, you can make a list of styles, designs, and colors that you like before starting to look for the best pageant gown for you. 

Pageant Photography Tips

Another very significant aspect of such competition is the pageant headshots. Beautiful photos can help the contestants to show a good first impression. The pageant headshots are later used for model portfolios, talent photos, flyers, etc.

These headshots should also showcase your personality and set you apart from the other contestants. For this reason, it is very important that a professional photographer takes them. It is vital that you choose a headshot photo carefully, as it will be viewed much more than the other photos.

How to Take Pageant Photos That Stand Out

When taking pageant photos, choose a backdrop color that is flattering to you and your complexion. The hair and makeup should accentuate your features and complete the overall look. A backdrop that is too busy can distract from your gorgeous face, and if the scene doesn’t go with your natural coloring it can make you look off from how you would look naturally in-person.

Equally important for great pageant photography are the poses. Hence, it is advised to practice in front of the mirror and find the right angle. Try different poses and show off your personality in the photos. 

You can either opt for a neutral expression or a smile. You need to be relaxed and comfortable and find the right attire or go for something similar which you would wear on the stage. 

Additionally, you can also incorporate jewelry that can reflect your personality but will not distract from your facial features. 


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