3 Tips on Answering Your Onstage Questions

If you’re like me, one of the scariest part of the competition is the onstage question. You can eat right and exercise and rock your fitness wear. You can practice your walk with your heeled shoes everyday until every turn and every pose is a part of you that you can do it in your sleep. But the onstage question is scary because you don’t know what question you’ll get out of that fishbowl.

Of course there are ways you can improve your chances in answering the questions. Try to answer as many pageanty questions as you can. There are a number of samples online. Have an opinion, but remember that you will be representing people from both sides of the argument so whatever the issue is know how you will show that you respect all opinions.

Nevertheless, when you get on that stage and all you hear is blood pounding in your ears, answering that question may not come easy. Here are 3 simple tips to keep in mind:

1. Ummmm. I think….

I will not say do not say “Ummm” when answering the question. What I will say is do not start with “Ummm.” Starting your answer with Ummm makes the listeners begin to doubt how well you will answer. Also, do not start with other “buying time” phrases such as repeating the question or “I think” or “I feel that.” However, it is normal to briefly say “Umm” in the middle of a sentence as you elaborate your answer. For example, “Which Disney Princess is most like you and why?” Which sounds better -

“Ummm, I think Sleeping Beauty is most like me because we have similar taste in clothes and I like to sleep.”

“Sleeping Beauty is most like me because we have similar taste in clothes and, umm, I like to sleep.”

2. Look at the emcee.

When listening to the question, look at the emcee and listen for the whole question before turning to the audience and giving your answer. By putting your attention on the emcee, you can take a moment to breathe, calm your nerves and focus on the question as opposed to getting more nervous looking at the number of people staring at you. You will also get the chance to hear the actual question, because sometimes they start out with a mini scenario and end with the question. If you structured your answer based on the scenario, your response may not actually answer the question.

3. How to end - answer the question again.

One of the biggest challenges with the onstage question is to not ramble. The best way not to do this is have a template on your response. Mine goes like this -

Answer the question

Give one or two examples

Repeat your answer


By repeating your answer you end on a strong note, reminding the audience and the judges that you answered the question. I also say “FULL STOP” because after you give or restate your answer you should stop talking, fighting that urge to ramble.

Carly Peeters
Miss Teen International 2017


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