You’ve heard it over and over again: the title is won in the pageant interview room. So you decide to work on improving your pageant interview, but you aren’t sure where to start. No need to spend hours and hours trying to figure out the best way to boost your scores. Here are 4 keys to unlocking your full interview potential.
1. Simplify. It’s only natural to try and cram lots of information into your few pageant interview answers. You won’t get top scores if you ramble and include every single detail about that particular topic in one answer. Your first few answers should be an overview, and then you go into detail in follow-up questions. Keep your answers simple and to the point so that the judges want to hear more and will ask those valuable follow-up questions. Remember it’s simple to improve your pageant interview.
2. Connect. As a pageant coach, I’ve said it over and over again, “If you impress the judges you’ll place or Runner Up, but if they fall in love with you, you can win.” You want to captivate your judges by using speaking techniques that enable you to connect with them at a personal level. I know that you don’t think that your judges are human beings, but they are. And just like every other human being on the earth, they’re more likely to give you a great interview score – and to continue scoring you “up” on stage – if they feel a personal connection with you. It’s up to you to stop focusing on impressing the judges and work to connect with them instead.
3. Listen In the interview, the judge wants to get to know you, to get a feel for who you are and for what you think. One of the best ways for you to connect with your judge is to listen closely to the question. Sounds so simple, right? But many contestants listen to the first couple of words of the question, decide they know what the question will be, stop listening, and start mentally queuing up their answer. What you may not realize is that your body language signals the judge that you are no longer listening and you can’t connect with a judge who thinks you’re not listening to them. Think about it: how do you feel about someone who doesn’t seem to be listening to you? Remember, active listening is an important part of connecting during your interview.
4. Smile The judges are looking for a contestant who knows how to handle a pageant interview question with ease. You must demonstrate your ability to handle an interview in a press conference following your win or on a talk show during your reign. You need to seem comfortable and relaxed. Notice I didn’t say “you need to be comfortable and relaxed,” I said, “you need to seem comfortable and relaxed.” And the quickest way to give the judges the impression that you’re relaxed is to smile. No one wants to crown a titleholder who looks miserable during her pageant interview. Remember, a smile is the quickest way to connect with your judges!miss america, Miss America's Outstanding Teen, Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, pageant coaches, pageant coaching, pageant interview, pageant interview coach, pageant interview questions, pageant questions, the pageant coach, Valerie Hayes