I recently hosted a series of workshops to help a group of local girls prepare for a state level pageant. The workshops focused on variety of things the girls would need in order to be prepared for their upcoming event. But one workshop attracted far more young ladies than the others. It was the “Everything Evening Wear and Walking Workshop”. They were there, because they wanted me, a former title holder turned director and judge, to tell them “The Big Secret”. The big secret to walking on to that stage like a queen and walking off it the clear winner. They were sitting there wide eyed and eager, ready to do whatever I told them…and I knew when I gave it to them, it wouldn’t be at all what they were expecting.
There are so many things you can work on and practice for the evening wear competition (and you should!) But the thing that wins evening wear every time, is really all inside your head. The big secret to winning evening wear, is confidence.
Confidence is the number one thing the judges are looking for in the next title holder, and it doesn’t come from a great walk…it MAKES a great walk.
Yes, you need to know how to stand, and walk, and pose like a pro, but all that comes with practice. Those are things that absolutely anybody can learn or mimic. But without confidence, all the practice in the world will amount to very little when it comes to your scores.
Confidence is something that comes from deep down in our souls, it’s a quiet understanding that you are enough. It’s believing that you are not lacking in this area or any other. That quiet confidence in yourself, makes you able to hit that stage KNOWING that you are the next queen.
That’s great and all… but how do I get it?
Ah, the one thing even the best pageant coaches in the world can’t give you. This one is on you and getting there looks a little different for everyone. The people around you can help to boost or blow your confidence but having that assuredness in yourself can only come from you. So here are my top tips on gaining that confidence that will put your next set of evening wear scores through the roof!
- Start on the inside. Confidence is a huge part of our inner beauty and inner beauty makes outer beauty. You must know and rest in the fact that you were perfectly made, and that while you may possess things that make you physically different from the others, you don’t possess any physical flaws! Don’t just recognize the things that make you different and unique but choose to love and celebrate them!
- Verbal affirmations. Spend 5 minutes every morning and say out loud all the things you like most about yourself! I know it sounds like a small thing, and maybe even something that will make you feel a little silly, but reminding yourself verbally of how great you are, will cause your confidence to soar when done daily.
- Do the work. Confidence comes naturally when you know you’re prepared. So practice, practice practice! Know your walk and routine like the back of your hand. When you practice enough, muscle memory takes over, so it becomes something you’ll do automatically on stage!
- Make eye contact. Make eye contact with every single person you speak to every single day. This will not only help you make eye contact with the judges on stage and in the interview. But it is scientifically proven to increase your confidence when done daily! This is such an easy one and it works great!
- Get a dress that you LOVE!!! I can’t stress this enough; it is by and far my number one tip for girls looking to purchase an evening gown. You need to fall in love with a dress. You need to love the way it looks on you. It needs to give you warm fuzzies, and you should want to put it on every single time you see it. If everyone around you is telling you how great it is, but you’re not feeling it… HANG IT BACK! That is not your dress. Loving how you look will absolutely affect how you present yourself on stage. It gives you part of that secret weapon we talked about – confidence. Don’t settle for any less than L-O-V-I-N-G your dress.
Confidence is the big secret, the thing that will help you own the stage at your next pageant. It doesn’t just happen over night so spend some time working on this important part of your inner beauty as you prepare for your next event. Gaining confidence isn’t just something that will help you win in pageants, but it’s something that will go on to help you, long after your pageant years, in every area of your life.
Photo Credit: David Yu