Miss New YorkSelecting a platform is an important process that’s usually driven by some personal experience or investment on your part. While you may be passionate about your cause, certain platforms can bring up some really complex questions in the interview room. Preparing for those questions and considering your potential response (both verbally and non-verbally) can reduce your anxiety and help you nail the interview. Controversial Topics Although every platform can be connected to difficult questions, there are certain topics that can immediately up the ante in the interview room. While promoting volunteerism is generally positive, addressing LGBTQ rights may require contestants to take more of a stand on a political issue. Many previous contestants have taken on controversial platform topics, like Miss New York, Claire Buffie, and Miss America, Mallory Hagan. Genocide awareness and sexual violence platforms, among others, will take a contestant who can handle questions across the spectrum. Composure and Communication One of the biggest challenges about these types of platforms is conveying what Don Baker refers to as the “open and outward” method of communication. It’s not exactly easy to smile through your interview question when a judge asks you to comment on ethnic cleansing in Darfur or what you might include in a one-act play about sexual violence. Maintaining composure and demonstrating your knowledge on the issues, however, can put judges at ease and lead them to ask you other questions about yourself. Some judges just want to “test” if you really understand what you’re talking about, so one or two questions would satisfy that need and lead them to learn more about you instead of your platform. Other judges really might not be familiar with the mechanics of your platform, so use this as an opportunity to share your commitment to your platform while speaking intelligently on the topic.
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