Woman Hands Over Mouth

4 Worst Ways to End Your Pageant Interview Answer

Sometimes it happens. You’re feeling great. You started off strong. Your content was good, but then you didn’t stick the landing. The end of your answer ruined everything you just said. The judges are not impressed.

Ending your answer can sometimes be a challenge. No worries. I’m here to help. So, let’s chat about the 4 Worst Ways to End Your Pageant Interview Answer and how to avoid them.

1. Drop Your Volume

You’re going along beautifully, and then you suddenly realize you’re not sure how to end it. While your brain is trying to come up with a clever closing, your volume drops to a whisper. You hope that if you trail off quietly, the judges won’t notice that you had a terrible close.

But dropping your volume is so noticeable that it’s like waving a red flag in front of the judges to signal them that you’re giving a weak close. Maintain your volume all the way to the end of your answer – even if you don’t like what you’re saying. Sound confident. If your volume at the end doesn’t change, they might not realize you didn’t close well because they’re too busy thinking about what they’re going to ask next. Sweet.

2. “And So”

In this situation, you’re clipping along at a brisk pace with impressive content, and suddenly you find yourself with nothing more to say. You’re a bit surprised, go blank, and end with “and so.”

A handy trick for creating an ending when you haven’t got one is to repeat the question as your ending statement. If the question is “What leadership role have you learned the most from?” you describe one of your leadership roles and what you learned from it and close with the statement, “And that’s the leadership role I’ve learned the most from.” Easy peasy.

3. You Just Keep Talking

This happens when you’re wandering around in your answer, giving lots of detail, one thing leads to another, and you suddenly realize you’re “rambling.” Rambling happens when you start your answer, and the topic makes you think of three or four sort-of-related things too. And because you’re thinking of these new things, they wind up in your answer too.

Now, you’re talking about something only mildly related to the topic, and you’re not sure what to do. So you just keep talking – not a good solution.

The second the thought that you might be rambling flashes across your brain end the sentence you’re on as quickly as possible. As you’re ending the sentence, raise your volume just a tiny bit and nod you’re head ever so slightly. Odds are, your judges will mirror you, and nod their head too. If they’re nodding their head and thinking of their next question, they’re not thinking about your rambling answer anymore. Well done you.

4. End on a Negative

Ending on a negative happens when the last sentence the judge hears communicates a negative thought or emotion. Judges are people (I know you think they’re not) and if at the end of your answer they’re feeling sad or depressed they’re going to generalize that feeling to you. (Remember Psychology 101?) They may sub-consciously decide they don’t like you because you make them feel bad. And we don’t want that.

Let’s take a peek at an example:

Here’s the question: “What do you feel society should do to reduce bullying in our schools?”

Here’s an answer that ends on a negative: “I think it’s important for teachers and parents to work together to discourage bullying behavior. Bullying has become such a problem that some kids are afraid to go to school each day.” I ended on “kids are afraid to go to school each day.” Not a happy thought.

Here’s an answer with a more positive ending: “I think it’s important for teachers and parents to work together to discourage bullying behavior. Many schools have made progress with anti-bullying programs so that kids feel safe coming to school every day.” The ending is much more positive, isn’t it?

How you end your answer is just as important as how you begin. When you practice, listen for these endings and if you’re doing them, re-do your answer with a better ending.

That could lead to the best ending of all – you walking away with the crown.