The On-Stage Question
If you’re anything like me, the on-stage question is the part of the pageant that you’re dreading the most. I feared this portion because although I watch the news and read the newspaper on a daily basis, it’s impossible to know everything. My fear was that I would pick a question that I was clueless about and look foolish in front of everyone. Thanks to some great pageant coaching, I learned ways to conquer my fear and be set up for success.
Have an answer prepared in case you get a question that you know nothing about.
One of the ways I really calmed my nerves was by having an answer already prepared in case I got a question that I didn’t have an answer to. As I mentioned before, we can’t know everything but we can prepare for that scenario. For example, here is what I had prepared last year in the case that I didn’t know an answer… “Being a business owner, advocate for children in foster care, wife, and mother I try to watch the news and read the newspaper as often as I can. Every now and then I miss something on the news and this is one of those topics. I believe it's important not to share my opinion regarding (insert question topic here) until I am well versed on the subject.” While I understood that it wasn’t a perfect answer, it really calmed my nerves to know that if the worst case scenario happened, I would at least have something prepared for that moment.
Learn to enjoy the stage!
In Suzy Bootz’ book entitled, “Creating Queens - Secrets in Pageantry,” she talks about mastering the art of the on-stage question. She says, “I believe in order to do well with the onstage competition a contestant must love being on stage because confidence and joy is as obvious as fear and intimidation.” I particular love this idea because while we don’t have much control over what question we will be asked, we can control how we look and feel as we enter the stage and answer our question. My thought is that we really have two choices… we can either be excited and be in the moment, or we can be scared and fearful. But one will definitely score better than the other.
Walk off the stage with your head held high and a smile on your face!
This is probably my favorite advice I ever received. And It wasn’t until years later when I began judging pageants that I realized how true it is. After you finish answering your on-stage question, make sure you pose with confidence and give a big smile like you just gave the best answer of your life. I say this because that is the moment the judges look down to give you a score and they can read all over your face if you feel you did poorly or well. At Mrs. International last year, I remember feeling a little disappointed when I finished answering my on-stage question. I felt I could have given more information than I did. But as I stepped off the platform to give my final pose, I told myself, “smile Lauren, smile Lauren. Make them believe you just nailed that question.” I truly believe this makes all the difference as the judges put down their scores.
(Giving my final pose after answering my question)
I hope this advice will help you as you prepare for the on-stage question. Feel free to message me if you ever have any additional questions for me.
Together We Rise,
Your Mrs. International 2018