122: Answer Pageant Questions in Interview and On Stage (a how-to guide)

Today, I want to break down how to answer questions during your pageant interview and also during your on stage question. These are both wildly important phases of competition and allow you to showcase your greatest qualities – if you prepare correctly. I’m going to give you 3 tips to be a pageant professional so you can start to incorporate these elements into your question-answering process in your pageant.




Get Organized

You heard women talk in circles as they answer an on stage question. They have no organization to their response and it ends up all over the place. Don’t do that. Instead, visualize your thoughts organized with a beginning, middle and end. I like to answer the question head-on, then use a story to explain my answer. So, my organization is Answer-Story-Smile. No matter what question you’re given, you can give an answer, tie it to something personal, then close with a smile.


For example: What is your biggest dream?


To be interviewed by Oprah. As a kid, I wanted to host a tv show. As I’ve grown up, I’ve paid such attention to the hosting style of the greats like Oprah. I’d love to experience her work sitting on the other side of the end table.


Be Real

So many women fake their answers in effort to sound poised, put-together, sweet, or compassionate. If those aren’t your star qualities, don’t try to fake them. Instead, be real! Talk about the things that no one else would talk about, but everyone is thinking. You’ll be much more relatable as a real human than as a pretend Barbie doll.


Know Yourself to Show Yourself (check yo’self before you wreck yo’self)

Pageants are all about sharing who YOU are in a way that people feel like they know you. You can’t do that if you don’t know yourself. Contestants wreck their interviews when they answer a question about themselves in a way that isn’t truly authentic – the judges see it, you feel it, and it’s not your truth. In order to really share who you are, you have to know yourself deeply. You coach can help with this a lot. The good ones are trained to point out your greatest qualities, even when you can’t see them for yourself. This level of awareness is vital in your pageant.


I’ll see you on the next Win A Pageant Wednesday. Love ya lots! kiss


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For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course

84: How to Humble Brag in Your Pageant Interview

episode-84-featured-image One of the main concerns of some of the loveliest contestants is that they feel they are talking about themselves too much. It makes them uncomfortable, like they are bragging. They say they are just too humble to talk about themselves.
This is a lovely quality…and professional suicide.
They wish they didn’t have to share anything about themselves, but then, how would anyone get to know you? Sharing your own accolades and being proud of your progress is an important skill in life.
Just last month, I took my niece college searching – we visited some of the most prestigious universities in San Diego, including UCSD. The admissions counselors reinforced what we already know in pageantry: Your application and essays have to be more about you than your dog, your grandma, and your mom.
You’ll attend networking events and people will ask about you, what you do for work, and what you’re into for fun. Believe it or not: people want to know you! They do! To be an exceptional pageant woman, you have to be able to speak about yourself in a positive light.

The most beautiful way to share an accomplishment: Share credit with others in the form of gratitude.

YOU didn’t make this happen. You were surrounded by people that got you here. Trace your success backwards to all the people that helped you along the way. YOUR success puts a feather in their cap, makes them proud. Sharing credit with others when you talk about your positive points is a great way to humbly brag about your successes.
Here are a few examples:
“Publishing a book at age 16 isn’t common, but most 16 year olds don’t have the parental support that I do. My parents have encouraged my new initiatives all my life. They certainly are to thank for giving me the confidence to publish at such a young age.”
“My volleyball coach has had a reputation for championships. She has taken many teams to states, so when she started to push me my freshman year, I trusted her enough to go all in. I’m glad I did because leading my team to state championships as the captain my senior year is an experience I’ll never forget.”
“Fortunately, I discovered a program that walks you through all the details of what you need to do to be successful in this area. I just followed the steps with dedication and when you follow a system that works, you see success.”
“Everyone has self-control, but not everyone exercises it. I’ve found that having a personal trainer is what helps me to exercise my self-control. I’m able to ditch the cookies and reach for a salad because I have that added support that keeps me accountable.”
“It takes a team to have any victory. Winning Miss World was really a win for my nation. They have supported my progress, forgiven my shortcomings, and cheered me along the whole way. It feels great to stand on this stage with the power of a nation behind you. It helps me know that I don’t have to do it alone.”
Do you see how each of these examples shares the credit of their success? You aren’t fooling anyone when you take all the credit. No massively accomplished person gets to the top on their own. You have to have help from people that care and programs that work.
Don’t shy away from sharing your successes. Give credit where credit is due so you’ll inspire others to get a support system that can help them achieve their goals.
Because, that my dear is how you win a pageant.
This weekend, I’m opening enrollment for the Pageant Interview Game Plan. This will be the final enrollment period until sometime in the new year. I would really love for you to join me for the Pageant interview Master Class this Saturday. Get the all the details at Interview.WinAPageant.com/MasterClass. I’ll be delivering the class live on Facebook. I’m teaching how you can gain Confidence in pageant interview. It’s a simple but mysterious four steps. They don’t teach you this stuff in school. The Master Class is this Saturday – Ill see you then!

Contact Information

For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course

82: These Women Are Ready for Their Pageant Interview

episode-82-featured-imageI’m gushing at the seams from how proud I am of the women in the Pageant Interview Game Plan. They are so dedicated to their success and by their ‘success’ I don’t just mean them winning the pageant, but influencing their community in such a powerful way.
The Pageant Interview Game Plan is an online course that consists of 4 modules: Set Your Foundation, Plan Your Answers, Prepare to Dazzle, and Game Day: Showtime! These are the four steps that must be followed to nail your pageant interview. Each module is broken up into individual lessons that have homework for each one to get you further down the path to success. It’s designed to allow you to finish one module every week.
Some of the women are flying through it much faster and others are taking their time to allow it to soak in a little deeper. Either way is fine because when you join, you have on-going access to it, so there’s really no time limit except for when you have to compete, of course!
It comes with a Play Book that serves as a guide to get to know yourself, clarify your mission, research what the pageant is looking for, determine your stance on controversial issues, and tons of stuff that will transport you easily from confusion to clarity.
It also comes with access to a private group on Facebook that is only open to members of the course. This is where I get to see all the magic happening! Every week day, I jump into the Facebook Group and get to answer questions to help my students excel in the program. And, boy-oh-boy are they taking advantage of this personal coaching opportunity!
I wanted to share with you some of what is happening in there so you could see if this is a community that may help you with your pageant interview.

Samantha said, “I’m competing in Miss Arizona USA this weekend! Soooo thankful for this coaching. I feel so prepared and confident.” I love the emoji she used it’s the cha-cha gal in the red dress, you know which one I mean. That’s one of my favorite emoji’s! haha
Courtney competed just 3 weeks after she got into the program and she was sharing gratitude for her supporters and said:”To my coach, Alycia Darby, without her services I would have walked into that interview still and awkward. You let me be myself and I can’t wait to train even harder this year so we bring that crown home! Thank you for believing in me.” Courtney is a model and rockstar with her platform. She’s providing so much nourishment to the other women in the group. Everyone knows her by now!
Rita is a computer science major and recently interviewed with Microsoft. She said, “Who would’ve thought that pageant interview prep would have helped me with my first round of interview with Microsoft?!” It was all about personality and she knew herself well enough that she could confidently speak about herself even to a Microsoft rep!
Caitlen competed 2 weeks into the course and finished as first runner-up! Afterward, she posted a picture of her stunning interview outfit and willingly shared all the details of where she got it all. She wrote, “I placed 1st Runner up at the Miss Oregon USA pageant. Alycia’s interview game plan works! I felt so confident going into my interview. Thank you again.”
Angie and her daughter Emily are in the Game Plan. When Emily was competing this weekend, her mom was posting photos for us to be able to cheer her on! Her mom wrote, “Emily had an outstanding interview! She said the judges were sad that the time was up and she made them laugh. I think that’s a good sign!”
You’re right, Angie that is a great sign!!


You’ve heard me say before that with me, you always get more than you pay for. I love presents, surprises, and treats so I promise to over-deliver every time. In the case of the Pageant Interview Game Plan, I have a ton of bonus trainings to help with other areas of competition as well.
Like the wardrobe style guide – This training breaks down how to define your personal style and what to wear in the interview room.
There’s also a training that shows you how to stand, pose, and move on stage to model your gown, active-wear, and swimsuit, and how to walk in general.
When you join the Pageant Interview Game Plan, you have the option to get a Mock Interview with me over Skype. I record the interviews so you can watch them back and give yourself feedback. At the end of the mock interview, I always give an assignment and Amanda literally finished her assignment within 30 minutes and posted it in the group for immediate feedback. With that speed of implementation, she’s gonna be a huge success!
She came to her interview completely prepared in hair and makeup and accessories! I wouldn’t have been surprised if she was wearing her heels, too! She’s an A-player, for sure.
I learned so much from speaking with Samantha. She is extremely well-read and experienced in a variety of areas of human behavior. She’s a true leader.
I’d like to invite you to join us in the Pageant Interview Game Plan.
We are right in the middle of the enrollment period for the Game Plan, so you can join now (unless you’re listening to this podcast a month after it launched, then you may have to wait until sometime in the new year when enrollment opens again).
But as the time of this podcast airing, it’s open for you to join! Private Coaching like this would usually cost you $900 every time you wanted the support. This program is less than $300, and since our group is relatively small still, you’ll be able to get lots of personal attention.


You can get all the details about the program at Interview.WinAPageant.com

I know the women in our group would love to welcome you and support your training. Plus, they would so appreciate your support, too!
I’d love to be your teacher, mentor, and coach to guide you toward a successful pageant interview.
If you have questions about whether or not it’s right for you, please email me at [email protected] and I’ll be able to advise one way or the other.
If you know you’re ready to grab the bull by the horns and make it happen, join us! Go to Interview.WinAPageant.com
I’ll see you in the Game Plan!

Contact Information:

For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course

81: How to Respond When Your Pageant Judge Asks a Political Question

episode-81-featured-image Politics are a scary topic in pageantry, mostly because we don’t know exactly how we should be responding to these questions.
Scan the room and tell them what you think they believe?
Bluntly give your honest opinion and risk offending others and creating a great divide?
Gracefully evade the question all together and attempt to change the topic?
The two most recent and memorable political questions came from the Miss USA pageant in the final question phase of competition.
Carrie Prejean in 2009 gave her blunt opinion about same-sex marriage in her Top 5 Question and ended up as first runner-up.
Chelsea Hardin in 2016 gracefully danced around the question of who she’d vote for in the upcoming election. She, too, was first runner-up.
I wish I could tell you there were a sure-fire way to answer ANY question and win. There’s not. It’s all a delicate dance.
What I can tell you is that no matter what, you have to deliver your answer with certainty in what you’re saying.
Your pageant interview is not a quiz. They aren’t so much judging what you say as how you say it.
I tell all my clients, “You don’t have to answer, you just have to respond.”
Isn’t that freeing?!
Suddenly, you realize, you aren’t a presidential candidate, governor, or lobbying activist. You’re a student, a teacher, a nurse, a pageant woman – you don’t have the answers, so don’t try to be ‘right.’ Just be ‘lovely.’
First, it begins with knowing yourself deeply and in the context of the greater community.
Then, recognize you are a spokesperson for a larger cause. Your voice carries weight because of your association.
Finally, know the hill you’re prepared to die on. Meaning, what are you willing to stand for even if it means you’ll lose the title. These values are the ones that make you a powerful woman.
Remember, life goes on after the pageant. You’ll give up the title in a year, start a new career and the words you spoke back then, when you had the platform to stand for something will still echo.

Start with knowing yourself deeply so you know where you stand.

Then, answer with confidence. Don’t shrivel up in the corner. Come with your full understanding of yourself, your community, and your values.
You may get an “unlucky question” – that’s what the owner of the pageant said about Carrie Prejean’s final question in 2009 – but 7 years after the pageant, whether you win or lose, you’ll be able to sleep at night that you answered with confidence and ease.
That, my dear, is how you win in life.

Contact Information

For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course

80: Where to Start to Answer Controversial Pageant Questions

Controversial questions are the most dreaded of all, sometimes pageant contestants tend to believe that the judges are looking for you to answer the way they would answer so you share their opinion.
Not true.
But honestly, I already know you know that isn’t true. You’ve been listening to my sermons long enough to know that this is crazy.
Yet, I’d bet you still pray to God that you are never publicly asked how you feel about gay marriage or abortion especially in the case of rape.
That’s not how I want you to be: hoping you aren’t asked difficult questions.
Instead, my goal for you is that you WILL be asked these types of questions so that you are given the power to impact people and speak hope, joy, and life into everyone you meet! Today, I’m going to give you the simple elixir to these worries of public humiliation and the catch-22 of controversy.
Values. That’s the remedy to confusion.

Core values draw a line in the sand. They separate the high from the low; the big from the small; the right from the wrong.

A value is something that you believe is worth something… it’s valuable.
Values are our decision-making guides. They help us choose between left and right, good and bad, up and down. They don’t always juxtapose a good and a bad. Sometimes it’s two goods that you have to choose between and your values are what guide you.
If you value time with your family more than you value rugged independence, then you’ll go home a few weekends from college. If you value traveling the world more than financial security, then you’ll blow your savings on a Grecian cruise with your friends.
Sometimes we battle who’s values are more valuable than the others…. Silly, I know.
Like if you value work and I value education – how can we say one is better than the other, right? It depends on what you value more.

Controversial questions are controversial because there are a million ways to look at it and a bunch of lenses that can shape what we see. When you answer a question that is controversial, you are putting your values on display. It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase who you are at a soul level and stand up for your beliefs.
When you say something or do something that goes against your values you usually feel bad about it. The same can happen when you’re living outside of your values.
My senior year in college, I was dating a guy who was into hobbies and people that I wasn’t into and I was noticing that it was changing me in a way I didn’t like. We’d been together for over a year so it was a shock to him when I did a values list and he wasn’t in my top 5. I broke up with him and when he asked why, I was like “you aren’t in my top 5.”
I want you to make a list of things that are important to you. That you’d pay a lot of money to maintain or give up whatever is necessary to keep. Don’t just put “Family” cuz you think you should. Drill down to understand what that really means.
Usually, our circle of friends tell us where our values are. How you spend your time and money is also an indicator of your values system. The bible says, “Where a man’s treasure lies so too is his heart” which is a fancy way of saying if you spend money on stuff, it must be important to you. Maybe look at what your last big purchases were for a hint at what you value.
It could help to start with a broad list of like 20 things then circle and prioritize the top 5 – that’s how I got rid of the college boyfriend.
Once you know your values, practice expressing them throughout your life.
My husband and I have our relationship values posted on our living room wall and every month we talk about how they’ve shown up in our lives. I know these values and I live them daily, so when a question arises I can anchor back to these.
You’ll do the same in your pageant. If you know your values and live them daily, then when you get a question that threatens them, you’ll be able to stand up for your beliefs with respect and truth.
And that, my dear is how you win a pageant.
***The Pageant Interview Master Class is this weekend – Saturday morning on Facebook Live. Get all the details at Interview.WinAPageant.com and I’ll see you Saturday!***


Contact Information

For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course