Francie Scott is helping a contestant prepare for her upcoming pageant"Setting goals is easy. It's not nearly as easy to achieve those goals," said winning pageant coach Valerie Hayes. This could not be more true than in the month leading up to your pageant. The month before your pageant is crunch time, especially for interview preparation. You've already been working on your interview preparation for a while now, but what you do to prepare in the month leading up to pageant day is critically important to being in the right mental state for your pageant. You want to maximize the remaining weeks before the pageant to get ready to nail the pageant interview. Here are three important steps to take. 1. Don't switch it up now To nail your pageant interview, you need to be emotionally and mentally at your maximum capacity. Try not to change up your routine too much in the last month before your pageant. You'll want to have the extra interview coaching sessions to get into gear for the interview and to keep up with current events, but as far as the preparation routine that you've developed at this point, try to stick to it. Changing up your pageant preparation schedule in the last month could throw you off and potentially hurt your mental rigor and confidence going into the pageant. Taking a weekend get-away in the month before your pageant could be a good way to relax, but it could also throw off your schedule. Before doing something demanding and out-of-the-ordinary in the month leading up to your pageant, consider what the implications for your pageant preparation. (Read: How to Prepare For Interview the Week Before Your Pageant) 2. Continue incremental improvements You can accomplish a lot in the month leading up to your pageant, but you shouldn't bank on that progress to get you to the place that you want to be for your pageant. Your plan for preparing the month before your pageant should continue with the incremental improvements that you've been working on since you decided to compete in this pageant. It is this incremental change over time that will make a big difference in the long run, and will develop traits that will stick with you after the pageant is over. Maintain the progress that you've made in the previous months and don't second guess yourself. The increased stress and nerves of the approaching pageant date can get to you if you let it, so it is key to remind yourself of how far you've come and all the progress that you've made already. Keep in mind that if you've made it this far, the last month is the home stretch and sticking it out through the last month will be very rewarding on pageant weekend. (Read: Why Your Interview is Not All About You, But What You Can Do) 3. Practice, practice, practice! In the month leading up to your interview, you want to be thinking on your toes and responding without delay. These should both become second nature. The best way to do this is to read the news and to answer practice questions everyday. Make sure that you're reading a reliable news source each day and talking it out to know where you stand. Ideally, this is something that you should be doing with your interview coach, but if you don't have one, find a friend or family member to talk through current events with. Making it a habit to keep up with what's going on in the world each day and talking about it regularly will give you major confidence in the interview room, because tackling conversation about big issues will be second nature. In addition to current events, doing practice pageant questions each day is also critically important (The Pageant Planet has a compiled list of practice questions here). If you've taken the SAT or ACT you know that practice makes perfect and doing more practice questions than you probably ever wanted to do gave you an idea of what to expect and how to perform when test day came around. In the same way, practice pageant questions give you a good idea of what to expect in your pageant interview and will help you know how to perform in the interview room. (Read: Should I Practice Questions the Day of My Pageant Interview) Follow these tips leading up to your pageant and you will go into your interview confident and ready to answer any and all questions that come your way!
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