Emily Hutchison, Miss Delaware Teen USA 2016
As a teen it can be hard to excel in classes, maintain positions on sports teams and clubs, have a social life, and still prepare for a pageant win. However, in preparing well for the win you can use this experience to achieve your big life goals and walk away one step closer to your dreams. "The best advice I have for a teen is to focus on the big picture rather than getting caught up in the short-term. Teens are now using their success in pageantry to get into their dream college, land an internship, or score a cool summer job. It's not enough to just win, though, you have to have a strategic plan that keeps your eyes on the bigger prize," said Alycia Darby, Pageant Coach and Host of the iTunes #1 Pageant Podcast WinaPageant.com. To help you prepare for your next win, here are five keys to success for teens.
Choose the Right System
In order to prepare for a pageant win, you want the system to match up with who you are and why you want to win. If your platform issue is what's most important to you, choose a system that gives you an opportunity to work extensively for that cause. If you're looking for scholarship money for college, look into a system that offers a lot of scholarships. Make sure that your own personal goals line up with the goals of the pageant, and you're golden. (View: Find a Pageant)
Be Attentive to Detail
Once you've selected your pageant, you want to research it. Watch videos, talk to former contestants and titleholders, and look at the details of the winners. "I researched what trends the judges consistently gravitated to in the system. For instance, almost all winners the previous four years wore a ball gown. So I switched from a fitted gown to something more voluminous but with my personal sense of style and flair," said Jesse Ladoue, Miss International 2013, reflecting on her experience winning a local Sunburst pageant as a teen. Pageant winners recognize the trends of the specific system, and choose their apparel and talent accordingly. Like Jesse, research the trends of the pageant you're entering. Make sure that your wardrobe and talent fit with the style of the specific pageant, but adapt it to make it your own.
Have a Road Map
As Alycia said, you want to have a plan to use your pageantry success to achieve your goals outside of the world of pageantry. As a teen, that may be getting into your dream school or scoring a fantastic internship. Whatever it may be, see what ways pageantry can help you to reach those goals. Knowing where you want to go and using your pageant experience will not only help you keep the bigger picture in mind and give you crown-winning confidence, it will also help you to navigate your pageant interview because you already know what you plan to do with the crown should you win. (Read: How to Set Achievable Pageant Goals)
Be Uniquely You
To win the crown you need to emphasize what makes you uniquely you. What are your favorite aspects of yourself? Highlight those. From your paperwork to your introduction, you want to stand out by being yourself, not a version of someone else. As a teen, people around you may not always expect you to do all the great things that you're capable of, pageantry is your opportunity to shine. Preparing for a pageant gives you the chance to work on improving the areas of your life that you want to improve, and to make a difference where you want to make a difference. Pageant Judges want to see you already working towards the things that are important to you, as that's what you'll do as a titleholder. Don't put off working towards your goals and dreams, work towards them now.
Build a Support System
Winning a pageant is no small accomplishment, and in order to win you're going to need a support system to back you up. Fill your life with people that support and lift you up. A great way to do this is to work with Pageant Coaches and professionals for each area of the competition. You want people who will be honest with you about where you're at, but encourage you to push forward and improve. Find friends who are pursuing their big goals, and walk alongside and encourage one another. Find a buddy to train with.
The options are limitless and the support is invaluable. Bringing people into your pageant journey allows them to celebrate in your success, and gives you that extra encouragement that you need before you hit the stage or the interview room. With a carefully crafted plan to win the crown, you'll be ready to take on your next teen pageant with the utmost confidence. Having specifically selected your pageant and tailored your pageant journey to your own unique skills and aspirations, and with a game plan and a support system, you'll be ready to shine on the pageant stage and win the crown at your next teen pageant.
Her tip is: "When you work hard and your determined, anything is possible!"Learn More