Even though it's often only a small portion of your overall score, onstage question is also frequently the last chance for the judges to see you and make their decision. In many pageants with an onstage question component, this phase of competition happens while the judges are ranking their winners on the final ballot. It's important, even though it's weight is small. Here are some of the biggest mistakes made in the onstage question.
Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013
Your answer should be twenty seconds or less. No more. Some pageants use a dinging bell to tell the judges and contestant that she has spoken too long, and this can be jarring if it interrupts you. Keep it brief and practice timing yourself at home.
2. Not answering the question
This isn't a fatal flaw because we have all seen contestants win major pageants without really answering the question. Sometimes your adrenaline is pumping or there is music playing and it's hard to hear what's being asked of you. Listen carefully. Use mock interviews to get feedback on how well you address the questions being sent your way.
3. Not watching posture
It can be nerve-wracking to be standing on stage, trying to predict what question you might get, speaking eloquently, and doing so while looking perfect. Make sure you don't slump and that you keep your professional posture the entire time.
4. Grabbing the microphone or awkward hand gestures
Since so many girls get nervous about onstage question, sometimes they grab the microphone too roughly or take it from the emcee when they are not supposed to. Make sure you're clear in rehearsal what's the norm and make sure you always look polished while doing it.
5. Looking at the emcee
Make eye contact with the judges and then sweep out over the audience, too. Even though the emcee is asking you the question, he or she is not deciding what score you will get. Mock interviews and mock pageant practice can really help you nail these finer points of onstage question so that you are prepared to walk away a winner. It's important to know common mistakes so you can prepare for them. Take these mistakes into consideration when preparing for your next pageant. Stay calm and poised knowing that you've prepared for this moment. Here's to your future title!
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