The best tips for pageant training include both physical and mental training. Confidence also plays an important part in projecting a good image for judges. It is important to know the rules of the pageant contest and to put the contestant’s health and well-being first. Contestants need to practice projecting their personality through the interview, their grace through walking and turning and their beauty through their choices of costume, hair and make-up.
Physique can be a contentious issue with regard to beauty pageants. Mix a healthy diet with calorie burning through exercises such as walking, jogging and cycling. Contestants and trainers should follow the advice of nutritionists and maintain a healthy diet for the contestant. Weight loss is less important for younger contestants, and it is advised that most children be allowed to grow and develop naturally.
Toning and fitness are different, however. Moderate weightlifting mixed with exercises such as crunches, yoga and Pilates work well for pageant training. Consult with fitness trainers and gym teachers about the best exercises for a candidate. Aim for exercises that work on flattening tummies and toning arm and leg muscles rather than muscle-building exercises.
Many pageants allow only one chaperon to go backstage with a contestant. It is important that contestants are able to apply their own makeup and to do their own hair as much as possible. Practice in front of a mirror, and time how long it takes to make a costume, hair and makeup changeover. With practice, the amount of time that it takes will be reduced.
Elegance and poise might come naturally to some people, but for most people, it takes practice. First, contestants should watch how winners walk. Study videos of well-known beauty pageants and attend local pageants as a spectator. Also, take the time to research the different turns that are expected of contestants for a particular contest.
Set up a full-length mirror at the end of a room — the longer a room is, the better — and practice walking up and down the room toward the mirror. Contestants can compare the way they walk against those of pageant winners and adjust their own style. Practice each turn repeatedly. It might also help to record each walk and turn on video so you can study in slow motion or close-up and see which elements are working and which ones are not.
Public speaking is an important part of pageant training because it impresses judges. Pageant training needs to focus on general knowledge and a contestant’s ability to answer questions well. First, the contestant should research the most common questions asked in previous pageants, particularly the pageant being entered, and prepare answers. Contestants also should keep up to date with current affairs, all big news stories and hot topics both locally and nationally.
It is a good pageant-training idea to decide upon an answering pattern. The beauty of a simple pattern is that it can be applied to any question being answered, even if the answer has not been prepared. A simple pattern is the "introduction, explanation and summary" pattern. Contestants should prepare answers to various questions, then practice relaying them in a calm manner within the time limit.
Successful beauty pageant contestants are often confident ones. As well as teaching techniques and reminding the contestant to be humble, the trainer has to boost the contestant’s confidence. This can be done through praise, constructive criticism and confidence-boosting exercises such as public speaking practice and friendly audiences for practice sessions. Before a big pageant, also organize a good-luck party so that the contestant knows many people are wishing him or her the best. All this must be done without making the contestant arrogant and without putting him or her under too much pressure.