Beauty Pageant Tips | The 101 Ways of Winning a Pageant

Pageant tips you wished you knew before, tricks that won numerous crowns, and tested insights by beauty contest experts.

This contains pageant tips from screening, orientation, activities, practices, pre-judging or pre-pageant, production number and introduction, casual interview, awarding of minor awards, swimwear competition, gown competition, question and answer portion up to the announcement of winners.

Tips for Pre-Pageant activities

Screening tips


All pageants start from screening or audition. The notion that you are going to prepare after the screening is a misconception on how to win a pageant. Yes. Usually, candidates who officially passed the screening have one or two months of pageant preparation before the scheduled pageant night. However, their notion “I am going to prepare for the pageant”, should be corrected earlier. It should be “I am going to prepare before the screening” – and that’s totally different. On the first statement, you have two months to prepare, on the latter you have maybe four months to prepare or so, doubling the preparation for the pageant. The more prepared you are, the more confident and better performance you will have. Pageant is all about preparations too.

  1. Do not wear body make-up. The committee might conclude that you are hiding something and not qualified without that body make-up.
  2. Since a pageant screening is a closed-door and a close-up interview, fake eyelashes and heavy make-ups would not do well for you.
  3. Know yourself, list down the things you want and prepare an explanation for each. Make sure that you know what you have written in your bio-data.
  4. Get a copy of the form as soon as it is available so that you would have the time to check and master your answers on your bio-data.
  5. Give the judges concrete reason why you should qualify and leave them with a feeling that they should let you in. Do not forget to thank them after the interview.

Tips during orientation

It pays to listen during orientations and briefings. As a contestant in a competition, you should know the criteria and how you would be judged because that is one way to know how to win a pageant. If personality is measured by the number of attendance in practices, then at least you would be able to know that every coming to a head is important. You might also consider going to the meeting place earlier than the other candidates to build a good impression.

  1. Knowing the criteria for judging is knowing how to be in a pageant and how to win a pageant.
  2. Having the list of sponsors will give you a huge advantage over the other candidates.
  3. Give a copy of the schedule of activities to your make-up artist and to your family.
  4. Know who the people you will be working with like the production staff, sponsors, and the director. Be careful of not being impolite to them, they may have the power to drag you down.
  5. As a general rule in any part of the contest, be generously kind. When all the girls are beautiful, she who is the kindest remains the prettiest.

Tips during pageant activities

Sometimes, the schedule of activities is also discussed during the orientation. You have to look at this carefully. If there are lots of outdoor activities, then you might considering buying a sun block protection lotion with a higher SPF or Sun Protection Factor. You may also consider taking Vitamin E since your body will need these to regenerate lost tissues from tedious activities of the pageant. Vitamin E will help you stay blooming among the candidates. One of the effective pageant tips is to get noticed. Don’t overdo it.

During pre-pageant activities, it is important that the committee must see the effort coming from you voluntarily. Can you mention a pageant organizer who wants to win a candidate who does not really want to join the pageant in the first place? Like for example, someone joined the pageant because she is the only one who could best represent their place, or someone who was only forced to join by her friends. No committee would ever let that candidate win a pageant without changing her ways and regards about the competition she had joined. Attitude towards the pageant matters.

  1. Be enthusiastic and cooperative. Keep in mind that you have applied to be a candidate in their pageant. You are lucky compared to those who applied but were not chosen.
  2. Be optimistic by all means. Pageant activities can be tiring and stressful and might flare you up anytime without intention in front of pageant staff.
  3. Be sociable, but be cautious. You will meet people you might not know much and ask for your mobile numbers.
  4. Read books about how to present and introduce yourself in different situations. A personality development trainer will be helpful or your ramp and question and answer trainer should know to teach the basics.
  5. Mobile phones are important since this is your communication line, but during pageant activities such as visiting some places, it would be unethical to bring out your phone.

Tips during practices

Practices for the pageant night would be very tiring. Aside from that, since the pageant night is getting closer, the pressure among the candidates is doubled, thus, making it stressful for them – although being a candidate is actually rewarding and enjoying too.

In this part, the choreographer takes his place. All attention should be his and it must be. It is advised that you should listen to the choreographer’s instructions and follow and execute his movements properly.

Being inattentive will not help you. If you do not perfect the dance steps, blocking and routines prescribed by the choreographer, then how would you perform well? How about looking at the other candidates while performing the dance number? Judges would notice that. I would remind you that the place where the judges stay is the best view one can ever have better than the president of the organization who is financing and heading the pageant. So all the movements you make or any form or show of being not confident would be noticed by the judges.

You must be able to dance very well even if you are going to do it alone. Consider dancing well and be noticed out of the 20, 30, or even more numbers of pageant delegates. How did the past winners do that? Do you mind asking for their winning tips on winning a pageant? Most likely, they have their own way tested by their own experience. My advice, listen to the choreographer. Do it right. And dance very well as if the judges are the only ones present.

  1. Look and listen. Once you have done that, it is time for you to execute it so your body becomes familiar with the movement. Knowing the dance steps is different from performing it.
  2. Familiarize the stage platform. Sometimes during the pageant night, there are unexpected adjustments finding yourself in an unfamiliar place. Read lessons about pageant walk so that you will know how to carry yourself and know how to react when you have committed a mistake.
  3. Find a chance to practice the steps while on the rehearsal area with another candidate who dances well.
  4. Do not be afraid to ask the choreographer’s help or his assistant if you do not get the movements.
  5. Practice at home, dance in front of the mirror checking your angles and poses.

Pre-pageant and Pre-judging tips

“Pre judging” is mistakenly often interchanged or associated with the word pre pageant. Pre judging is a day set for the judges or the committee to see and rate the candidates whether in panel interview or in a face to face interview in a closed-door set-up. This is done to select the semi-finalists to be announced during the pageant night so as to save time and make the pageant night show shorter. It is an offset for the casual interview portion. Pre-judging can be done days before or hours before the pageant night, depending on the pageant committee’s decision.

On the other hand, the so called “Pre pageant” is often associated with the Talent Night Competition too. The candidates introduce themselves in their casual wear and then proceed to the backstage to prepare for their talent presentation. Sometimes, pre-pageants are done without talent competition since most of the pageants nowadays prefer to omit talent competition since it is just a waste of time and is just a minor award that does not have any bearing to the selection of the semi-final candidates much more to the top winners. Pre-Pageant sometimes are being held to select and award the different winners for the minor awards. This is done again to save time for the pageant night since the ideal time-frame for a pageant is only 2 to 3 hours, longer than these would make the show boring and tedious.

  1. It is nice to have a good sleep before the pre judging day. This is to make sure that you look fresh since most pre judging in pageants do not allow the candidates to wear make-ups.
  2. A good pedicure and manicure will save you. Some judges are particular down to your nails.
  3. Most candidates who make up to the semi-final round are the ones who know and can express themselves.
  4. A down-to-earth personality will find a slot for the semi-final round.
  5. A show of interest and determination to win will convince the committee or the judges to let you join the semi-final candidates.

Pageant tips during the pageant night

Tips on Production number & self-introduction

If I would be asked, “What is the most important part of the competition aside from the question and answer portion?” it would be the very first part where the candidate would show up themselves and oftentimes, that is the production number and self-introduction.

This is the part where everyone is very attentive including the judges. It is just natural that all are excited to see the participants or candidates on the first part of the program. One technique is to dominate the production number by being the best dancer. This is when the judges would choose among the candidates who would their bets be. Judges are humans, they too have their bets. But whoever their bets may be, are determined during that night since the judges are invited from other places and this would be the first time for them to see the candidates.

Once the production is over, they have already chosen their bets and are somewhat affected by this. In short, bias among the judges has grown a little. It is not that they are not professionals, but what I am trying to point out here is that they, too, are humans. My pageant tips? First impression lasts and hardly there is for second impression.

  1. Dance very well.
  2. Master your tone, accent and rhythm for your self-introduction.
  3. Never look at the other candidates while performing.
  4. Yes, you look at the audience, but after looking at them, you stick your attention to the judges.
  5. Practice the production segment at home to ensure mastery.

Tips on how to pass the casual interview

Most pageants nowadays do not include the casual wear competition with casual interview segment. However in rare cases, we have this part. The purpose of this segment is for the judges to select the top 8 or the top 5 candidates out of the 20 or 15 delegates. This is a qualifying round to assure the committee and the judges that they would have the best set of choices for the top 5 or 3 winners. So, if you have this one in your pageant, then it is the most important part before the final question and answer portion comes. The pageant tip is, you must master your bio-data you have passed during the screening day since this would be the primary basis of the question that would be asked to you by the emcee. If you are not able to give an impressive and confident answer in this portion, you cannot join the final interview nor expect to be in the list of the top 8 or 5 candidates for the selection of winners.

  1. Photocopy the bio-data or screening form you are going to submit to the committee as a pageant material for your preparation for casual interview.
  2. Based on your bio-data, list all the possible questions that you can relate to the information you have provided about yourself; favorite color, song, hobbies, ambition, course and their why’s. How can you describe your place and the people there?
  3. Make sure you have enough session for your own practice so that you wouldn’t sound rehearsed.
  4. Grab the microphone if you know you can answer the question and you are confident. Leave the microphone to the emcee or host if not so that he can rephrase the question for you to give you time to compose your answer. The same applies during the final question and answer portion.
  5. Never call the emcee Sir. Do not stutter and stammer, these two do not have a place in beauty pageants.

Tips for swimwear competition segment

The swimsuit competition segment is where “figure” and “complexion” are being judged. Likewise, this is the time you show your ramp skills and that perfect catwalk you have practice for months especially if you feel that you have not performed well during the production number. For many candidates, they regard this segment as one of the determining factor on winning a pageant by qualifying to the semi-final round.

Yes it is true, one can hardly topped the score sheet when there are plenty of girls who deserve a higher score than you. Your performance during the self-introduction and production number will give you a better standing than what you deserve here as long as you have gotten what I call it as “judges’ bet”.

  1. Don’t get nervous, once you did, your ramp speed is affected and you will tend to ramp faster than the beat of the music making you unnoticed by the judges since you will be staying on the stage shorter than the suggested time for swimsuit exposure.
  2. Apply the 1 second composure in every routine, post, or pivots to make sure you don’t get out of balance.
  3. If you intend to put a body-make-up, make it sure it is light. Once it gets heavy, the judges will already notice it. I still do not suggest lotion to make your skin shining.
  4. Do not go to salon for body bleaching. It wouldn’t work; it should be at least five days or more to give you a good skin tone.
  5. Flowing hair during swimwear competition. Up-dos hair styling are for the gown segment. It’s not fitted for swimsuit competition.

What to do when called during the awarding of minor awards

One of the first anticipated part of a pageant is the awarding of the minor and corporate awards. This serves as the basis of most of the audience “feel” of who would be the top 5 winners. Although candidates are reminded that it has no bearing on the actual scoring to have the set of final candidates, it is somewhat intimidating and scary not to have even just single minor award.

Candidates who are awarded on this part are actually highlighted and this will leave an influence to the judges.

  1. When called to receive an award, do not forget to clap for yourself and put your right hand on your heart and bow slightly.
  2. Do not hesitate to offer a shake hand. It does not matter who would initiate it. Do not forget to say a line of gratitude like “I really appreciate this.”
  3. Help or guide the awarding figure that is the sponsor or judge on how to put your sash. Some are not knowledgeable on where to put the sash on you. You can help them get through their dilemma.
  4. If you receive several awards, do not hesitate to turn it over to the pageant staff. However, be safe to leave checks and certificates in your hand.
  5. Make it sure you fix the sash or sashes on you. That is one way of giving respect and high regard to what you have received.

Tips for gown competition segment

Candidates perceive the swimwear competition and the gown competition as equal in bearing when it comes to winning the contest. Figure and complexion which are being judged during the swimsuit competition are usually heavier or have bigger points to the total score of the candidate to qualify for the semi-final round than poise, elegance, and personality which are being judged during the gown competition.

However, despite the difference, the gown competition can never be underestimated because this is the time when judges are ready to forget about their biases and become more observant, objective and fair to finally decide who really are fitting to be the top finalists.

Gown ramp is not just pose and poise but it is all about easiness and comfort while you walk your gown. Head movement and simple but elegant routines are suggested to ramp trainers.

  1. Never hold your gown unless there is something there that is really meant to be held by your hand.
  2. Do not presume that judges don’t see you when you look down to see what you’re walking through but keep up your jaw and your whole face upright.
  3. Gown walk is not always slow; it will always depend on the chosen piece by the pageant director.
  4. When you practice ramp with your trainer, make sure there is balance of learning. Oftentimes, swimsuit walk is given priority than the gown walk. Swimsuit walk is much more difficult to perfect because of the catwalk. The candidate during the gown walk should however concentrate to make sure that she walks with ease and comfort. The sound created by the contact of the high heels and the floor should be minimized if it cannot be totally avoided.
  5. When doing the gown walk, pretend that you are wearing the crown. It is effective according to most trainers.

Tips for question and answer portion

The pageant questions and answers segment is one of the two determining factors for the top 5 candidates and their ranking. This is the portion with the highest pressure though this would only be experienced by the top 5 or 8 candidates. There are ways on how to answer pageant questions and impress the judges by knowing what is in common to pageant answers that have won the crown.

  1. Answer from the heart. You cannot give a better answer to pageant questions than what comes from your heart.
  2. Stay focused and listen to the question very well.
  3. Do not grab the microphone from the host if you think you do not have a good idea of the question being asked or else the host cannot rephrase the question for you to have some time to think and compose your answer.
  4. Speak using the language you are comfortable in moments that you are very nervous.
  5. Wait for the host to say “Thank you” before leaving.

Announcement of winners

This part is knowing if it’s your night or not if you are still in the competition. Though oftentimes, top 5 candidates are already winners but have to be arranged according to their scores’ position in the tally sheet.

  1. No matter what, do not leave the stage if you did not make it to the semi-final round or to the top 5 candidates. Give due respect to the decision of the judges, to your pageant sponsors, organizers, audience, and to your fellow candidates especially to those who won. Execute sportsmanship.
  2. Remember the saying, “Different judges; different girls.” Do not be bitter. It just happens.
  3. Hold hands with the other top finalists. It’s a sign of professionalism in pageantry.
  4. If you won the crown, do not leave the stage right away, be accommodating to those who would love to take a picture of you. Do not forget to thank the judges, the organizers, and the people.
  5. Of all the people, your make-up artists or your trainer deserves the highest recognition and your gratitude. Share the light.

You have just read the different pageant tips in every part of the pageant. Aside from the pageant tips above, the next are tips too that you have to follow which I have learned from being a beauty queen maker for almost a decade here in the Philippines.

Other pageant tips

  1. Ramp time is every time.
  2. Never look down.
  3. Don’t mind the other candidates.
  4. You shouldn’t go “battery empty.”
  5. You won’t lose anything believing in superstitions:
  6. Your tag number should not touch the ground.
  7. Wake up facing the right side of your bed.
  8. Don’t break anything. d. Never go back and forth when you leave.
  9. A beauty pageant is a competition, not a show.
  10. Expect cold shoulders.
  11. Dance and spread your hands.
  12. Focus on the judges.
  13. Use the bathroom before the pageant.
  14. Know how to win a pageant.
  15. Move once in a while.
  16. Know your sponsors.
  17. Some pageants start from the screening.
  18. Practice right.
  19. Wear heels a day before the pageant.

Pageant secrets

  1. The crown looks for a naturally elegant girl to fit into.
  2. Beauty, Movement, Intelligence, and Confidence will mean crown.
  3. The stage is not a place to perform. It is a place where awarding is being done.
  4. The Title “Best in Gown” is given to the girl who walks with most ease.
  5. The Title “Best in Swimwear” is given to the hottest girl who is most “comfortable” to look at.
  6. The girl who answers questions on the tenth-time gets the “Best in Casual Interview”.
  7. A candy may cost a vote for “Miss Congeniality”.
  8. Being early means “Miss Personality”.

Pageant reminders

  1. Never call the emcee “sir.”
  2. Know all When to say “That’s all. Thank you.”
  3. You answer right away by repeating the question in declarative form.
  4. You answer in complete sentence.
  5. If the emcee asked you a “yes-or-no question,” he also would like to ask “Why?”
  6. If you were asked, “how are you doing?” do not return the question.

Read more now on pageant interview questions  to make you more confident and comfortable during your pageant night.

Do not let these opportunities of learning the art of pageantry pass by without you knowing.

Gain advantages by being knowledgeable about the advantages and strategies offered here.

By now, it is needed that you follow these pageant tips in order for you to have a good fight for the crown.

Author: gaucallantajr

Gau Callanta Jr. is a beauty pageant walk and talk trainer. He teaches proper walking posture, speed & ambiance, head & eye movements, stage strategies, and on how to answer pageant questions. Contact him for training (Dagupan City, Pangasinan, Philippines.) or purchase his PDF pageant question and answer reviewer and manual by texting at (+63) 920 236 7033 or at (+63) 956 864 3925