When you write or submit anything to be judged or graded, you should always proofread it. You are probably having a flashback to your sixth grade Language Arts teacher telling you to make sure you read over your papers because pressing, “Spell Check” was not enough. The same rings true for your pageant paperwork. Just like Santa makes his list and checks it twice, you need to do the same for your pageant paperwork.
As with any paper you would submit for a grade, it is highly recommend that you have someone else look at your pageant paperwork too before you submit it and there are definitely some key people whose eyes should see it before it gets in the hands of the judges.
You just moaned, “Duh!” didn’t you? That’s okay; that means you are thinking in the right direction. "Your coach," a unanimous answer when The Pageant Planet Queens were asked who they suggested should see your pageant paperwork before you submit it. Why your coach? Well, they know the system. Odds are, they may have been a judge at some point and know what the judges are looking for when reading over pageant paperwork. They also know what pet peeves judges have when it comes to pageant paperwork and, just like a career counselor at college, know the phrasing that is going to get you hired, as in, that crown. They know how to format your paperwork to make it POP! Just like we suggest working with the pageant’s sponsors when it comes to creating your pageant look, work with a coach who knows the system to make sure your paperwork shows the judges exactly who you are and what you stand for before you ever stand before them.
An English Teacher
Say what? Yes! This was also unanimous among The Pageant Planet Queens; so go see your favorite English teacher. By favorite, we mean the one who tore your papers apart with a red pen and made you feel like you were the worst writer on the planet. Why? They are going to make sure your pageant paperwork is well written and grammatically sound. Unlike big name national pageants on finals night, most of your judges are going to be community members and business owners. So they are going to be looking at the formatting and grammar. If something throws them off it’s going to reflect on you. Also, your English teacher can pretty much tell what time of day and how you were feeling when you wrote your pageant paperwork. Which means if they can pick up on that, so can the judges. Making sure someone can weed that out before it gets into the hands of those that decide if you win can help secure your place at the top.
Again, “Duh!” right? Well, if your pageant has a director awesome and they should definitely look over your pageant paperwork; but not everyone has that option. For those that do, your director will probably insist on looking at your pageant paperwork before it goes to nationals/state. Sometimes at the local level, directors may look over pageant paperwork before the local is held. This was especially true in the days before the internet when access to coaches became easier and when systems were revamping. But, depending on your state and system, this may not be possible before you compete for the local title.
However, no matter what level or system, if you have a director you can bet that they are going to want to see your pageant paperwork before you go to the next level. The better you look, the better they look and they always want their girl to win.
Attorneys are great assets to have in your back pocket. Not only can they help read over your pageant’s contract but they can also help read over your pageant paperwork. Attorneys take multiple writing classes while pursuing their Juris Doctorates and are extremely good writers as a result. Also, you are trying to convince the judges to give you the job and direct them to ask you questions that you are willing to answer. You don’t want them to be so bored or confused by your pageant paperwork that they start asking random, “If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound” questions. Attorneys are skilled in presenting the evidence to lead to the questions and results they want.
So have an attorney friend take a look.
If you need to make a “Platform Page” and/or an Ad Page as part of your pageant paperwork and your pageant offers a sponsor who can do this, seek their talents. This is especially true if you are not skilled in graphic design. This person, as a sponsor, helps set the precedence for what the paperwork should look like, what it should contain, and what it should represent. Just like any pageant hair and makeup sponsor knows what the pageant is looking for, the same goes for pageant paperwork sponsors. Reach out and use the as a source.
A Non-Pageant Friend/Relative Who Wont Lie to You
Pretty specific, right? This is because you want someone to look at your pageant paperwork that does not know pageant world because, well, not many judges typically come from pageant world. Also, your BFF and Pageant Parent will lie to you because they want to protect your feelings and because for them, “You’ll always be my queen (insert princess emoji).” We love them for this and they certainly should be in your pageant entourage. But, when it comes to pageant paperwork, you want honesty because the judges are getting this blindly without knowing you and your BFF and Pageant Parent know you very well. Find the one who will tell you the truth because they love you and want you to be successful; but does not know what kind of feminine hygiene products you prefer.
So, if you do not have a director and you especially do not have a friend who is an Attorney who majored in English while competing in pageants, who does graphic design, and loves you so much they’d tell you the truth no matter what; guess what, we do!
Pageants are expensive and you invest a lot of time and heart into competing, so make sure you put your best foot forward before you ever step in front of those judges. Making sure you have the perfect paperwork to introduce yourself to the judges could be the difference between wearing a crown or wearing a frown. Best of luck ladies!
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