As a pageant director I am often surprised at the paperwork I receive back from my pageant contestants. The amount of time and effort you put into your paperwork says a lot about you and the time and effort you will put into your year as a titleholder.
When I am coaching girls I compare the “Judges Information Sheet” to a resume. After all, you are applying for the job to hold that particular title for the next year.
If you are competing for one of our pageants or any other, here are some tips/tricks to keep in mind:
· TYPE your judge’s information sheet! You will not believe how many times I’ve received hand-written forms, some in pencil others with mistakes crossed-out and even forms that look like they have been folded up and put into someone’s pocket. This looks incredibly sloppy and can make it hard for the judges to read the information about you. You should always TYPE your information into the word document, use spell check and have someone read over everything to check for grammatical errors.
· Use bullet points. When providing a list of hobbies, achievements, etc. it is best to use bullet points rather than sentence format. This makes the form clean and easy to read. Feel free to adjust the lines/spacing to fit the information you want to include, just be cautious of page limits. Many pageants require your Judges Information Sheet to fit on 1-page.
· Put just enough information. The purpose of the Judge’s Information Sheet is to give the judges a brief overview about you and strike their curiosity so that they ask you about the facts you list. For example, if you were to list that you enjoy baking a judge may find that interesting and ask you things like: “How did you learn to bake?”, “What is your favorite thing to bake?”, “Why do you like baking and what have you learned from it?” etc. However, if you were to say “I enjoy baking and my favorite thing to make is my famous pineapple upside-down cake because it reminds me of my mom, since we used to make it together every year.” The judges might find this interesting or endearing but now you’ve already told them everything they need to know about your love for baking.
· Make sure the information is correct. Many times teen contestants will have their mom complete their pageant paperwork for them. This can cause problems. For example, a mom may write that her daughter wants to be a doctor when she really wants to be a teacher. Then the judges ask the girl why she wants to be a doctor and the contestant is forced to lie or awkwardly change her answer mid-interview. Do NOT do this! Other times contestants will say they speak a foreign language, like to sing, dance or tell jokes. If you include something like this you need to be prepared to speak in the language listed, sing, dance or tell the judges a joke! In conclusion, know what is on your Judges Information Sheet and feel confident talking about it.
· Less is more. I think girls sometimes feel like they have to provide a long list of information under each section (especially when asked about awards, scholarships & honors). Because of this girls often include things from their childhood or that they don’t feel is very important to who they are. Don’t do it! It’s better to have a couple strong bullet points that you can speak confidently about. If you include too much, you risk having the judges ask you about something you don’t really want to talk about.
· Sign and date the bottom. Girls will often type their Judges Information Sheet, print it out and leave the signature and date lines blank. Again pay attention to detail, fill out the entire form.
I hope this information is helpful. Should you have additional questions about completing pageant paperwork, please feel free to contact me at Sierra@4pointsevents.com.