Do you have the modeling skills and fierceness to walk the runways in Paris? Is your swimsuit body ready to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated? Can your technical skills and performance value put you on the stages of Broadway and the Kennedy Center? Are you able to sit in front of Anderson Cooper on CNN and be interviewed by him on current events?
Can you do your own hair and makeup and then step in front of a camera to pose for the cover of Pageantry Magazine? If you answered yes to all of these questions—not one or just a few—you don’t need a pageant coach. For everyone else, though, you should probably read on because you do need a pageant coach. Pageants are a type of sport just like gymnastics, baseball, figure skating and tennis. All of these sports have coaches who are respected and revered for their expertise and train their athletes to compete at their best. Please realize, however, that as in any sport, all coaches are not created equal.
4 Types of Pageant Coaches:
The Best Friend (Fee: Free)
Your best girlfriend has done the church fashion show, she was voted best dressed in her school, has taken some awesome pictures with the local photographer and has competed in a pageant or two and got the “people’s choice award.” While she brings her limited experience to the table and creates some level of excitement, she has no real knowledge of what judges are looking for, since she has never judged or won a pageant. She needs to cheer you on to victory and stay out of the way of the professional you need to hire.
The Previous Winner (Fee: $35-$75 per hour)
The pageant winner is a person that has won a pageant. More than likely she competed at some major national pageant. She has a clear understanding of what it takes to win. She also has a grasp on the hard work, dedication and national experience that only a pageant winner can share. However, sometimes people who have been successful in pageant competition tend to try and recreate their winning formula in other people. One size does not fit all. Also note that just because a person won a pageant does not mean they can teach you how to do the same. Check out the "5 Secrets of a Pageant Winner" for advice on how they won.
The Specialist (Fee: $50-$175 per hour)
The specialist is a person/organization that has laser beam focus on a certain area of competition. Let’s assume you have a great body, flawless talent but cannot put a noun, verb and adjective in the right order. You may want to visit with a communications coach. If you have great clothing and can walk the catwalk, but you are competing as a size 16, you may want to give a fitness coach a phone call. If you have all the stage skills but your paperwork is horrible, then you may want to call a consultant. If you are the type of person that wants to manage your own process and deal with specialists only, then add to your list to call for hair and makeup lessons, as well as, photography sessions for your pictures. If you are the ‘Type A’ personality and like to manage your process, the specialist is the way to go.
The Full Service Coach (Fee: $75-$175 per hour)
The full service coach is a person/organization that manages your entire presentation package. You know you have a full service coach when you, as a contestant or parent, only have one phone call to make, not five. If you have more than one call to make, then you are not dealing with a full service coach. A full service coach is a full-time job. The advantage of a full service coach is that this person/organization is fully engaged and knowledgeable of every type of pageant and every area of pageantry.
The downside is that they are normally in high demand and hard to reach on a daily basis. In order to have a successful relationship with your full service coach, you must be trusting and patient. If you are considering this direction, please make sure that the person/organization has the experience and resumé for you to feel comfortable delegating management and control of your pageant preparation. Finally, with a full service coach, even though they manage the process, the final decisions are always up to you.
How to Select a Pageant Coach
1. Type of Coach: Determine what type of coach you need, i.e. specialist, full service, etc.
2. Budget: How much are you willing or able to invest on your pageant preparation?
3. Personality Set: Do you want someone who is aggressive and tenacious, or someone who is nurturing and loving? I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I am a more aggressive, sports-minded and “in your face” kind of coach, and I demand results. However, someone who has a softer approach can reap the same amount of success. So, look at personality and training styles for your comfort level.
4. Track Record: For the rate the coach is charging, do they have the resumé to back it up? Have they produced a Miss America, Miss USA, state winner or are they just starting in their career?
Everyone has to start somewhere and the rates should match the resume. Check out our "4 Tips When Looking for a Pageant Coach" for more help on finding the right one for you. Ultimately the decision to get a coach is up to you. Pageant coaches can be extremely helpful in your journey to the crown if chosen correctly. This guide will aid you in deciding on the right help for you.
Her tip is: "Enjoy networking and remembering you are competing against yourself not others!"Learn More