Hiring a Pageant Coach

preteens, national american miss, pageantThere are a lot of people who have hung out their virtual, or literal, Pageant Coach shingle.  Today, it seems like every other girl who has stepped onto a stage is now a coach.  Are they worth the investment? Some are. Some are not.

Here are four criteria to help you filter your search.

Know what your goals are. Do you need an overall coach or a specialist? If you are doing well in the interview, but falling short performing your piano concerto, you need a talent coach. Often, there is someone in your hometown who has the expertise to help you become a better pianist, dancer, baton twirler or whatever talent you have. But you must know that the best talent coach first understands pageant talent and secondly, is a good fit for you.

Know what level of expertise you need.  Are you just starting out? Or are you a seasoned professional. There is an argument for hiring the best, overall coach you can afford from the start. Look at your goals, budget and time allotment. If you’re new, you may be able to work with someone who has less experience, but has had quality coaching herself.

Know the coach’s expertise.  There are many past titleholders who think because they won a pageant, they can coach. Sometimes this is true, and sometimes not. It is important to look at walking, presentation, communication and interview skills. Someone who has done a lot of public speaking and corporate or published writings may be the best choice for communication and interview. This coach may not be in the pageant business at all!

Is there a good fit? I always insist on meeting with the contestant and her mom and/or dad before taking her on as a client. I have no doubt I can help anyone become a great communicator, model, interviewer or presenter. But I am not always the best fit. You need someone who has the personality, communication style and “feel” that works for you. To use a cliché, if you aren’t feelin’ it, don’t sign on!

Do your due diligence when looking for a coach. I don’t think I could get the results I do with young women if I hadn’t spent years working corporately, writing, launching and editing magazines. Or, working in the modeling business with some of the best hair and makeup artists, stylists, photographers, models and designers. I learned from the best, discovered my own style and then started transferring that knowledge to others.

Best of luck to all of you who are searching for a coach. Your coach should become one of your biggest cheerleaders.  Let me know if you’d like a consultation or if I can recommend a coach in your area.

I’m here to help!

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