1. Smile, smile, SMILE!
2. While on stage, hold your head high and pretend that crown’s already on your head.
3. Scan the judges, scan the audience, then once again scan the judges.
4. If you find it difficult to look the judges in the eyes, look at their foreheads.
5. Remember – it isn’t the most talented girl who wins the talent competition. It’s whoever has the best stage presence.
6. Don’t compare yourself to the other girls, because you’re only being judged on you.
7. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get a pageant winning dress. Search ebay or your local mall for sales. If it is elegant, sparkles on stage, and it makes you feel like a queen, then it could be your winning gown.
8. Swimsuit isn’t about who is the hottest girl on the stage. It is about who has the most confidence walking out on a stage in what can feel like underwear.
9. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Most pageant winners have competed before, often many times.
10. It is good to exercise and eat well before a pageant, but there is no need to starve yourself because no matter what your size, your confidence and poise is what will take you on to the next stage of competition.
11. DON’T LIE ON YOUR PAPERWORK OR IN THE INTERVIEW. If you get caught in a lie, or one of the judges is an excellent poker player, your bluff will cost you.
12. Be true to yourself. The judges want to see girls who are real, not girls who sound rehearsed.
13. On your fact sheet, don’t give it all away. Make statements somewhat vague so the judges have something to ask about!
14. Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the more prepared you are, the better you’ll do.
15. You don’t have to have perfect grades or have something super impressive on your fact sheet to impress the judges. What will make you stand out is something unique that not many people have done or can do. Play the accordion? Race go carts? Breed hamsters? Write it down.
16. Have someone proofread your paperwork before you turn it in.
17. Perform your talent for as many people as you can. The more advice you can get, the better your performance will be.
18. Choose a platform that really means something to you, not just something you think will impress the judges.
19. Know your current events and important issues that are being discussed in the news.
20. Even if you don’t get the crown, you’re a winner just for competing so if you don’t win, don’t feel like a loser.
21. If you want to begin to eat healthier before the pageant, do some reading on proper nutrition. Surviving on tiny salads and diet soda will only slow your metabolism and you won’t lose fat that way.
22. Diet pills do NOT work. Enough said.
23. Every girl has a little "junk in the trunk". If you jiggle, don’t worry about it. Even the skinniest girls have a little jiggle room back there.
24. Cover any and all tattoos and remove any piercings other than up to two holes in your ear. You aren’t supposed to be judged on such things but unfortunately some people will. Sure, those people are stupid but there’s nothing you can do about it.
25. You don’t need to hire some expensive pageant coach to win. Anyone can do the same job and with a little reading and some research you can learn all you need to know about pageants.
26. Read up on some famous titleholders, especially if you’re competing in the Miss America or Miss USA systems.
27. On stage question is not as tough as it might seem. Often times the stage lights are so bright you can’t see the audience anyway so just pretend they aren’t even there.
28. If you don’t feel confident on stage, try and get some friends and family to be your "cheering section". This will definitely give you a confidence boost while on stage!!
29. In order to create a natural smile rather than a "plastic look", think of something funny before you go on stage. I kept a picture of David Hasselhoff from his Baywatch days backstage. This struck me as funny and kept my smile from looking unnatural.
30. The interview isn’t an interrogation, but rather a conversation where the judges can get to know you better.
31. Know your platform inside and out. You never know what you’ll be asked.
32. Be sure you understand just what the responsibilities of the titleholder are. You don’t want to win and discover that you can’t handle the job.
33. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in the interview if you don’t understand. The judges will be glad to clarify for you.
34. Try and think of all of your positive traits first before you write your paperwork. It’ll help a lot!
35. Never portray yourself in a negative light in any part of the competition. You want to be confident, not self-depreciating.
36. Does this pageant charge you to compete? Then forget about it. It’s only a scam.
37. Make sure your talent is not too long. If you have to change it the day before competition you might not perform very well.
38. Form opinions on EVERYTHING, from your opinion on the death penalty to what your favorite color is.
39. Use the bathroom before the interview and before the show. Trust me, you’ll appreciate it.
40. Keep your clothes organized and hung up so you can find things and they remain unwrinkled. When you have to change fast you won’t be stressing out about where you put your strapless bra or that your suit is wrinkled.
41. Don’t drink any carbonated drinks on competition day to prevent bloating.
42. Always maintain excellent posture. Shoulders back, chin parallel to the ground, and back straight, whether you’re sitting or standing.
43. Keep your walk slow and elegant during evening gown. Remember, it’s at this point the judges will be able to see who that crown will fit on best.
44. Search online for a good "pageant hairstyle". Look at pictures of all the current Miss America or Miss USA contestants for ideas. NO PROM UPDOS!! They just don’t work.
45. Don’t fuss with tons of jewelry. A large pair of rhinestone earrings can be all you’ll need. Search stores like Icing or Claire’s for cheaper accessories because when they have sales they mark some gorgeous jewelry down for dirt cheap.
46. Make sure your gown fits perfectly. This sometimes means waiting until a month or two before competition to buy it because if you lose or gain weight in the meantime, it may not fit right and you don’t want to find that out two weeks beforehand.
47. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for a "pageant swimsuit", either. Stick with solid colors that compliment your skin tone and hair color. Something that has a touch of sparkle to it will look great.
48. Your evening gown shouldn’t look too much like your typical high school prom dress. Look at the type of dresses Miss America contestants wear. They are elegant, often with long trains, and they have at least a touch of sparkle. You can find these gowns among the many prom-type gowns but it can take a lot of searching to find the perfect one.
49. Do your research. There are lots of good pageant resources online, but finding them can be tough. Google will be your friend.
50. Talk to the current titleholder about what she does to prepare for competition. She’s already done it so she’s bound to have some excellent pointers for you.
51. Don’t do a pageant just because someone else wants you to. You won’t win and you won’t be happy. You have to want it.
52. Want a pretty crown? Buy one on ebay. Being a titleholder can often be a big responsibility, so be prepared.
53. Don’t spend thousands on cosmetic dentistry. Get some Crest Whitestrips if that will make your smile more confident. If you’re worried about the appearance of your teeth, see an orthodontist. Braces aren’t all that bad and you’ll be happy you had them because your mouth will be prettier and healthier.
54. Show your personality both in the interview and on the stage.
55. Get plenty of beauty sleep during pageant week!
56. Never get yourself down because you think the other girls are "better" or "prettier". We’re all more critical of ourselves.
57. You don’t to sing or play an instrument to win. Dancers and monologues do quite well, also. A unique talent will really set you apart, too. Are you a baton twirler? Juggler? Yodeler? Give it a shot because you’re bound to stand out among all the boring song and dance routines.
58. Afraid to go to the beach in your swimsuit? Probably not. So why is the stage any different? Those heels are just like sandals and at least on stage you can wear some sort of body makeup, boob pads, and butt glue. That stuff won’t fly down in Daytona and I bet you wouldn’t let that stop you from having fun there, either.
59. Make friends with the other girls! Don’t be catty or talk behind backs. Miss Congeniality is an even more honorable title than Miss America.
60. Don’t stay out late the night before the pageant. Dark circles under your eyes can only be covered up to a certain extent.
61. If and when you win, you are representing a group of people. Be a good representative and don’t do anything you might regret later or that might force the pageant to strip you of your title.
62. 99.9% of your interview will probably be based on your fact sheet. Just FYI.
63. Even though most of your interview will be based on your fact sheet, still be aware of your current events just incase they pop one of those questions on you. Don’t know what’s going on in the world most of the time? Then fill up that fact sheet so they’ve got more things to ask you.
64. Keep your answers short and concise. If you’re asked, "Do you take criticism well?" don’t answer with a one minute speech about the time when you were criticized and it made you feel bad. No one word answers, though. The more questions the judges can ask you, the more they get to know you, and the better you’ll do.
65. A little extra padding can go a long way. I think that statement’s self explanatory.
66. Make sure you have extra nylons. You never know when you’ll get the runs.
67. Don’t be afraid to make the judges laugh a little! Sharing something humorous will lighten the mood and make them feel more comfortable.
68. The judges are often just as nervous as you are, or even more so. They have a huge decision to make that could change the lives of the girls competing.
69. Still feeling nervous? Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Deep breathing relaxes the body. Another thing you might try is listening to a favorite song or watching an episode of your favorite comedy on your ipod beforehand.
70. Only tell a story if it is relevant and doesn’t take too long to tell. Remember, you’ve only got a matter of minutes for these judges to get to know you.
71. Read books that are geared towards people looking to improve your job interview skills. A pageant is just like a job interview. You are being interviewed for the job of Miss Whoever.
72. Have your friends and family pop interview questions on you. The more practice, the better.
73. Is there a local title you really want to win but don’t have much experience? Try entering an open pageant (one in which anyone in the state can enter). The competition will be MUCH tougher and it will give you some valuable experience. The girls competing may be quite experienced and can give you plenty of advice.
74. Watch pageants on TV. See just how these girls do it.
75. Still don’t feel like a queen? Buy a plastic crown and wear it while you practice that evening gown walk. It may seem silly, but it can be a confidence booster!
76. You don’t need to be 5’9", blonde, and have a white gown to win. You can win no matter what your size, shape, color, or social status. The judges don’t know how much money you have or if that’s really your natural hair color or not.
77. Make sure you have tons of fun! If you aren’t having fun, maybe this pageant thing isn’t for you. It shouldn’t seem like a chore. You should enjoy it.
78. While working on your platform, make sure you know the names of organizations that are somehow connected that you can get into contact with. If you’ve got such connections it’ll be very impressive to the judges.
79. Search Yahoo or any news site for current events relating to your platform. If your platform’s cancer and someone very famous died of cancer last week, you might want to know this. If your platform is AIDS and they’ve discovered a new treatment a couple days ago and if you can include that in the interview, it’ll wow them.
80. The competition is a performance! Put on a good show. You want to entertain as well as impress.
81. You should use some sunless tanner to get some color in your skin if you’re very pale. The color accentuates your muscle tone and makes you appear to be thinner.
82. If you’re still feeling self conscious about something "jiggling", rub Preparation H on it. It tightens the skin temporarily so use it before you go on for swimsuit.
83. Use a shimmer lotion on the front of your legs and your arms for a slimming effect.
84. If you want to know how you’re doing, ask the pageant directors. Hopefully they’ll be honest with you.
85. I know it’s ridiculous, but… "BE THE CROWN!! You ARE the crown!!"
86. Wear heels everywhere. It’ll help your walk immensely.
87. Pump iron. Weight training along with cardio will keep you toned and burn more fat. If you’re in good shape you’ll be more confident!!
88. Remember that oftentimes the judges are at foot level. Have a nice, neat pedicure. Use a light pink polish if you are unsure as to what color to use. It looks classy and goes with everything.
89. Keep double stick tape and super glue in your dressing room. You never know when it’ll come in handy.
90. Your talent costume should be comfortable but also a little flashy. In the pageant world, a little sparkle here and there (or a lot of sparkle, whichever you like best) goes a long way.
91. Pageants are a great way to earn scholarships. Look for pageants that reward scholarships for all contestants participating so you’re guaranteed to get something back out of it.
92. Fake eyelashes are great for the stage, but don’t wear them in the interview. The interview is a much more professional setting so wear a nice suit, small earrings, and little makeup. Your makeup should be just as much as you might wear on an average day.
93. Whether you’re an A cup or a DD cup, you don’t need plastic surgery to win a pageant. Don’t be like those girls on MTV’s Tiara Girls who think they need lip injections to do well. Have you noticed that those girls usually don’t win?
94. Don’t scoff at first runner up. First runner up means you beat out everyone else except one, and that’s nothing to cry about!
95. You never know what’s going to happen. Don’t prepare to win or to lose. This set of judges might make one decision and another set of judges could make an entirely different decision!! A girl who was fourth runner up at a local pageant was awarded the crown when the winner was stripped of her title for some reason and the three girls ahead of her were ineligible because they’d already won other titles. This girl recently became Miss Kentucky.
96. If you make a mistake, try to act like it never happened. The audience may not notice and if the judges notice but see how quickly you can pick up your composure quickly afterwards they might be impressed.
97. Be on time. There is no such thing as fashionably late in the pageant world.
98. Not everyone is as nice as they appear. Be nice to everyone during the pageant and if someone turns on you don’t seek revenge. No matter what, always strive to be Miss Congeniality. It will take you far not only in pageants but also in life.
99. Be prepared for everything. I suggest bringing a large Rubbermaid container and pack everything but the kitchen sink because you never know what you might need backstage.
100. Don’t change anything during pageant week. Make all of your final wardrobe decisions beforehand and you’ll feel prepared and confident!
101. Last, but most certainly not least…HAVE FUN!