The short answer is yes, if you don't have one you should, and here is why.
If your child sings, dances or plays and instrument you probably have someone helping her train for the talent portion of pageant competition, so why are you not putting that same consideration into a coach/teacher to help her learn to present her gown on stage, how to walk and pose, and how to interview well? A pageant coach plays the same role in pageantry as a dance teacher does to a dancer. They help make sure your daughters performance is her best on stage. But in today’s saturated coaching market how do you decide which one (or ones) to use?
First, I will say that not all great queens (or queen Mom’s) make great teachers (just like not all math genius’s make great math teachers). The ability for one to perform on stage doesn’t necessarily equate to someone that will be able to help get your daughter ready to perform her best. Why? There isn’t a set formula for winning. The way one girl walks might not work for another. A super serious girl can’t pretend to have a cheerleaders personality (or vis versa) and each outfit (fun fashion, or evening gown for example) has it’s own unique way to be presented on stage. Therefore, to be an effective coach you need to be able to work with each girl with her own unique personality and style and help bring out the best version of Herself.
So how do you know who to work with? Just like you wouldn’t bring your daughter to a dance teacher without doing some research on the school you shouldn’t bring your daughter to someone just because they say they can help. Do your homework. What is their track record for winners? It’s important to look at this from a couple of different angles. Someone who has coached 10 consecutive Miss winners might not be great at producing a pre-teen winner for example. Also, what systems have they had success in? If they have only coached winners in the America system and you are getting ready for USA you might want to ask some questions. Some coaches know one or two systems very well but aren’t familiar with all of them and knowing the ins and outs of a system is critical to producing the best results.
It would not be out of line for you to conduct a phone or in person interview or to ask for referrals. You are hiring this person to do a job for you. Just like you would for any other job, making sure that this person is the right fit for your child and your unique situations is perfectly justified. Talk to some of their previous clients. If they love their coach they will be happy to let you know why and what they have done to help them in their preparation. Perhaps you find that you really like someone’s walking technique and someone else’s interview prep. It is perfectly fine to hire your coach (or coaches) to do specific work for you. Please just be perfectly clear as to your expectations up front so they know what you are expecting (or not expecting) from them.
At the end of the day, help from the right coach (who is right for you may not be right for someone else) can be an invaluable resource in your child’s pageant preparation and your investment will be clearly visible on stage.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!