126: Pageant Interview Tips: What Not to SAY

Your pageant interview is going to fly by. Not only is it fast, but interview is like living in a time-warp where every minute feels like 5 seconds. So, you have to be sure you maximize every moment and communicate like a pro.

Today, we’re going to cover the things that many women accidentally or nervously say that stand to waste your time and annoy your judges.

Here are 5 tips on what not to say in your pageant interview:


1 – Do not say great question.

It wastes time and adds no value.

2 – Do not repeat the question.

It wastes time and slows the energy and flow of the interview.

3 – Do not share gossip – not about you, your family, your friends, nor celebrities.

If you find yourself saying, I heard that she… or They say she… stop yourself and start again with something about you.

4 – Do not tell lies. Even if you wish they were true.

If you hate pancakes, don’t say you’ll eat them on the iHop fundraiser day. If you plan on changing your platform for the state pageant, don’t act like you won’t. If you aren’t a huge fan of small children, you don’t have to say you hate them, just focus on how you love to interact with adults.

5 – Do not give cliche answers.

Most cliche answers are built around stereotypes, which lump people together. You need to stand out, so if a cliche comes into your head, make sure you explain it from your own personal perspective.

Bonus Tips!

6 – Do not say you’ll get back to them about something you don’t know.

That is one of the most annoying answers of all because the likelihood of that actually happening is 1% and even if you did get back to them, the judge won’t care about your answer after the pageant. Instead, just say you don’t know.

7 – Do not compromise your values.

If you end up losing because of your personal values, be grateful that you didn’t win. If you win based on a compromise, you’ll have a horrible year. If someone asks about your stance on the Bible, tell them honestly with love and compassion. Don’t give up what is precious to you to please a bunch of strangers.

Don’t forget to share this with a friend who could use some encouragement and I’ll see you on the next Win A Pageant Wednesday. Love ya lots! kiss

Connect with Alycia:

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

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


Connect with Alycia:

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

92: How to Become a Pageant Star


One thing that is obvious to most pageant women is that in order to win your pageant, you have to truly be a star. When you meet a star, you’ll know it, but it’s hard to explain what it really means to be a star. It’s also evident when it’s not there – when something is missing even if you can’t quite put your finger on what exactly is missing.

The Miss Universe pageant was this past weekend and what an incredible pageant that is! Every single one of the 86 women from around the world is a celebrity. They are stunningly beautiful models. They have bright smiles, graceful walks, and incredible hair. But, not all of them are stars.

In an interview after the pageant, one judge was asked why a certain contestant (who seemingly had the whole package) didn’t make it into the finals. The judge simply said that something was missing. The host asked what was missing. The judge said, well I don’t know, but something just wasn’t there.

That something, I believe, is the star quality.

Just as tough as it is to explain the star quality, it’s even harder to know whether or not you have it. Although it’s noticeable to everyone else, it may not be to you. Do you truly have the star quality necessary to win your pageant and take your message to the top? I have great news: 

Everyone has the potential to exude this star quality.

Today, we’re going to unpack exactly what this star quality looks like through the analogy of a real star in the galaxy. Then, I’m going to explain how being a star gets you to the top. Finally, I’m going to break down how you can exude that star quality to get to the top! 

First, let me compare for you a star in outer space with a woman who is a true pageant start. For the sake of this analogy, let’s use a star from far off in our galaxy.


– A star in the galaxy is a bright beam of natural burning gas that radiates light that can be seen from a far distance. A pageant star is someone who radiates light from a far distance. It can be seen from miles away. She simply walks into a room and brightens it up. People notice her.

– A star in the galaxy is always there, shining brightly not matter who is looking because someone is always looking. The best time to see it is when your side of the world is covered in darkness and when the sun is gone. When the sun comes up for you, the other part of the world is in darkness and that star is shining there for those people. In the pageant world, presence is vital. A pageant star is a woman who is ready to say yes to travel wherever she is needed most. From early morning hours to late nights, the pageant star has to be ready to serve the world around her.

– A star in the galaxy burns from natural energy and doesn’t turn off until they die.
Pageant stars are the same! These women are the type that have a natural fuel keeping them passionate, serving, and forward-moving. A true pageant star needs this natural fuel otherwise she’d be exhausted trying to fake it. 

A true pageant star is a woman who’s light shines brightly, not from her own power, but a natural source within her, and is able to be seen even in the darkest situation.

So, to recap, Stars do 3 things: it can be seen from a far distance, it is always there, it is fueled by a natural energy.

Think of a lamp. No one turns on a lamp and then puts it under a basket. They light the lamp and put it on a table so it will light the whole house. The Bible points this out in Matthew 5:15, right after it says that YOU are the light of the world.

Did you hear that? You. Sitting where you are right now at your computer, at the gym, in your home, in your car You, my dear, ARE the light of the world.

God wants you to shine! Why? Because, He knows that if you are shining, people will put you up on a freakin’ table, girl! Haha! No one will hide you in a basket.

THIS is why people elevate star quality. They can’t help but put the lamp on the table to light the whole house.

I promise you this: If you let your light shine, you will be placed on top.
You are designed to be the head and not the tail. Above and not beneath. God said You are the light of the world. Let it shine, sister!

How? You ask. Simple: Shine light. Light is basically everything that is positive: Whatever is true, noble, whatever is right, pure, lovely, admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things (Philippians 4:8).

Do not let negative, fear-based, anxious, nasty, condescending, or untrue lies leave your lips. That is darkness. You are called to be the light.

Do the right thing. Help people in need. Say nice things that lift people up and light up their spirits. Be lovely, and pure. Think about excellent things. Think, act, and speak things that are worthy of praise.

Imagine that every time you do something that is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, a handful of sparkling glitter falls from the sky and sticks to you, following you around everywhere you go. The more glitter you throw around the brighter your light shines.

Now, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s not. You have an adversary working against you. Always coming at you with evil, unkind, nasty thoughts about you, your circumstances, and others around you. These nasty thoughts make you wanna act nasty and then create more nasty-ness around you.

You have to throw glitter around from a source that is not your own. This is where you’re gonna need God’s grace. When those nasty thoughts come into your mind, you need to refuel with God. The best way to do this is to repeat the mantra, “I am the light of the world. I am the light of the world.” This is in Matthew 5:14 if you want to look it up. When you anchor back to this manta, it acts as a sword to cut out the evil thoughts and replace it with noble, pure, positive thoughts.

This is why not everyone is a star. Because, although it is a simple concept it is not so easy to implement.

Still, you are called to do this. And, I sincerely hope you will accept this challenge. I want you to be a pageant star! I want you to be the woman that lights up a room, that everyone is drawn to, and when a judge asks why you, she says, I don’t know, she just had this certain quality about her. I want glitter to stick to your whole entire body and shine light around the entire world!

I know God wants this for you too. You have a call on your life to be great and you need to get people to put you up on the table.

Let your light shine so the whole world will see.

Remember, that song from when you were a kid, This Little Light of Mine? This is a great one to get stuck in your head every morning.

Here’s a great rendition of this song. Pay attention to what the judges say at the end about how they felt and how they struggle to even describe it… star quality:

Shine your light, my dear. Shine it brightly, all the time, no matter where you are or who you are with, fueled on God’s promises. You are the light of the world.

And, that, my dear, is how you win a pageant. 

Contact Information:

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

91: 3 Steps to Turn Your Fears Into Strengths



Today, I’m going to give you 3 steps to figure out the deepest fears holding you back and turn them into your advantage to win.


Before we dive in, I want to share with you some updates. My signature program, The Pageant Interview Game Plan is open for enrollment. This program is an online video training course to nail your pageant interview in just 4 weeks. It walks you through everything you need for pageant branding, platform, legacy project, communication, confidence, how to prepare, what to wear and even how to walk in your interview. The best part of the course is that it is heavily supported by a Private Facebook Group. Members of the Game Plan get into the group and can ask questions and get answers on everything! Like, what the other girls think about a certain pageant system, or which headshot is the best one, or how to fill out their paperwork. It’s a thriving group that I’m coaching in almost every day. We have a blast and it’s fun to see how each woman is growing her platform, changing her community, and becoming truly beautiful.


You can get the scoop on that by going to Interview.WinAPageant.com.


The next cool news… In recent years, I have not been doing 1-hour sessions because I found that many women would show up with no information, no clue, and no idea what they were doing. They’d spend $300 on a coaching session and it would be me giving them a list of basics to start with. Now, however, I realize that if you’ve listened to the podcast and doing the work long enough, you’ve got the basics down. Maybe you just need help organizing your thoughts or you’re hung up on one area of the pageant that you just can’t seem to master. For you, I want to offer private coaching. I have set up a few different options.

**First, I should say that my VIP coaching program, that’s the $900 program that you get 4 coaching sessions among other things, is currently closed. I’ll let you know when I’m accepting new clients for that program.**

So, the options that are currently available are:


a 1-hour coaching session, which we do over the phone.

You’ll fill out a form beforehand so I know what pageant you’re doing, how old you are, that sorta thing.


a mock interview.

This is a 45-minute session that happens on Skype. We do several mock interviews back to back and you’ll get to practice the feedback in between.


These sessions are not cheap-o. Okay, this isn’t Pageant 101. It’s not for girls under 13. This is advanced stuff. If it’s your first pageant, listen to some of the podcasts, get a head-start so you aren’t showing up green. These are best for women who feel like they’ve put in some practice already, done some research online a bit, but are still not fully ready for stage. Like, you know in your heart you could win this thing, but you know you need to improve. I’m your girl. We’re gonna get to the bottom of it and shape you up so you are ready for the stage.


So, 3 ways we can work together:


1. The Pageant Interview Game Plan — this is the best bang for your buck


2. a 1-hour phone coaching session — this is for the woman ready to dive deep


3. a 45-minute mock interview Skype session — this is for the woman needing personal interview attention


To explore each of these options, go to WinAPageant.com and click on Work With Me



Ok…. Now, let’s bust off your fear and show you how to win!!


When you first sign up for a pageant, you’re all excited, fearless, and secure in your ability to win. As the pageant gets closer and closer, fear starts to creep in. It shows up in many ways, today we are going to look at fear manifesting as the Impostor Syndrome and the Skeletons in Your Closet.


Impostor Syndrome comes from focusing on your flaws.

It’s when you start to believe that despite all the great things weighing in your favor, you don’t belong in this place, with this title. Fear forces you to look at your lack of experience, your flaws, your insecurities, and your shortcomings to tell you that you are an impostor! You aren’t a true queen.
God would tell you otherwise. He would say, You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.


To advance to a new level, you have to do something you’ve never done before.

If you’ve done it then it wouldn’t be so impressive. If you were Miss Utah USA last year, and you’re competing against the same girls this year with that year of experience, it’s not fair and it’s not going to help you reach any higher goals.


God wants you to do things outside of your strength, so that He will SHINE.


The second way that fear manifests is with the Skeletons in Your Closet.

These are all the yucky things that this world did to you that you’ve shoved into the back of your mind and heart into the depths of the closet. You haven’t taken the effort to clean out the closet so the skeletons are still lurking there haunting you.


The Skeletons in Your Closet are the things you hope no one ever knows about you.

Your past, your upbringing, your misfortunes, your mistakes, your bad choices. Fear wants you to focus on the guilt, confusion and shame of your past and uncontrollable circumstances. Fear, guilt, shame, confusion — those things didn’t come from God. He can’t give you those things because God is love! God wants to restore your joy, hope, peace, and your drive to seize what He has claimed for you.


Listen, we all have all of these things. That is the nature of the world. It’s a constant battle to overcome these thoughts and rise above. And, you have the responsibility to do so.


I’m gonna teach you 3 steps to fight off the Imposter Syndrome and clear out the Skeletons. This episode is based on the Romans 8 Principle.


In the bible, Romans 8:28 says,

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

I love how it says, His purpose for them, meaning, what God wants for us. I believe that God put a dream on the inside of your heart to win this pageant. He gave you a vision to become someone great and you achieving it will bring glory to Him.


If this is truly His purpose for you, then He’s going to work together all things for good for you. How cool is that?


So, you don’t have to do this step, because God will do this naturally. However, this exercise will strengthen your faith that even the worst things can be made good.


Let’s do this!


Step 1: Get a piece of paper and make two columns.

In the left column, make a list of all the things that you see as a disadvantage. What disqualifies you from winning? Your short hair, your job, your small town, whatever it is that you think could be a good excuse for you to not win. This should be easy, because we are trained by society to compare our shortcomings to other’s best features. Still, dig deep. Consider what you hope no one will ever find out about you. What skeletons are you hiding? Do this in a private place because it’s likely that these fears will carry emotions with them. Especially if they are things you haven’t considered before.


For example, you may write down that you are embarrassed that you are an animal rights activist, but you ran over your cat 2 years ago and didn’t realize until you came home to it’s lifeless body.


Step 2: In the right column next to each line item, I want you to get creative.

Think about how this item could be used for the greater good of your family, your community, your city, your office, your school, your state, your nation when you win this pageant. What impact will this line item have on your reign for the better? This will not be easy. I’m asking you to function outside of the norm, to turn your perspective from fear to love. This is hard for most humans, but it is wildly transformative.


Using the previous example, you may actually be able to share this story and how even a person with the best intentions could have an accident, which is why everyone needs to take necessary precautions to protect their pets.


Take your time on this step. There may be some item that you struggle to find the good. Let God reveal it to you, or trust that He will handle that one. If you can create a list of reasons to choose love, how much more will God use your shortcomings to show off His strength?! So much more!


Step 3: The final step is to start believing it.

To truly believe something is to act as though it is truth. Believing in something is more than just knowing it exists, it’s behaving and living as though it is the highest truth. If you ran your cat over and you can use that story for a greater good, start doing it now.


God promises that He causes ALL things (even the things you think are ugly, even the things your embarrassed by, even the things you wish weren’t true) to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.


Don’t let fear bully you into losing your pageant. Look it in the face and scream Romans 8:28 at it!


And that, my dear, is how you win a pageant.


Thank you so much for joining me today. If you’re ready to take your pageant coaching to the next-level, I’d love to work with you get the scoop on how you can work with me at WinAPageant.com. I’ll see you on the next Win A Pageant Wednesday!


Contact Information:

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

88: Writing Your Pageant Answers Is A Huge Mistake (here’s what to do instead)

Episode 88 - WinAPageant.com

Hey, girl! Welcome to the Win A Pageant podcast, I’m your coach, Alycia Darby. There are plenty of opportunities for you to answer questions during your pageant interview, on-stage question, introduction, pre-pageant media it can get overwhelming to prepare if you have no specific plan.

Most women want to be so perfect, so they craft these elaborate answers to every question under the sun.


“Ok, if they ask me why I chose to study science, I’ll say…”

“If they ask me what my favorite subject is, I’ll say…”


It seems like a great idea. Especially if they give you the questions in advance like many pageants do. I was working with a client in Pennsylvania who was given all 50 possible questions that could be asked on stage. Before our coaching call, she started writing different answers (all truly wonderful) to each question. It took her forever and when I asked her one of them she would scroll through her long word doc to find her answer and ….. it was awful.


Don’t do that. Writing Your pageant answers is a huge mistake! Instead, I’m gonna teach you what I taught her to help you overcome this crazy desire to be overly (and obnoxiously) prepared.


Writing out answers to possible questions will inevitably confuse you, force you to stay within a box you created for yourself, hinder your personality, and drive you crazy! Ha!


Instead, I want you to plan your answers.


Lump them into categories

If you get a pile of possible questions, like my client did, first lump them into categories. It’s likely they are asking the same thing in many different ways. Make big categories like education, platform, passions, family, memories, etc. I did this for my client and the questions fit into three main categories:

1. why did you choose your platform
2. What have you done with your platform
3. What are your platform goals.


Of course the questions were all different like “If you win, what will you want to accomplish?” and “If you had $5,000 to spend on your platform, what you would do with it?” One solid answer will fit both of these questions… see what I mean?


Analogy for Planning Answers

When you plan your answers, it’s like spilling a box of Legos onto the floor in front of you. If a judge asks you for a blue one, you can quickly grab a blue one. If you don’t have the Legos in front of you when you’re asked for a blue one, you gotta walk to your kid brother’s toy chest, dig out the Legos box and then spill it on the floor. Or worse you gotta drive to Target to buy Legos! That’s how it feels when you get asked a question and you haven’t planned an answer for it. Or you are asked for a blue and you only have red and yellow.


This analogy is sorta silly, but I think you get what I mean.


You need to plan a story to share for a variety of life categories, not specific answers.


Lemme give you an example. Let’s say that I want to communicate that I raised $25,000 for my platform in a week with a kick-starter campaign. That’s the answer. It will work with many different questions like:

Q: “If you won, what would you do first for your platform?”
A: I would launch another campaign! Last year I launched a kick-starter campaign that raised $25,000 for my platform. I’d plan another launch for 6 months from now and use every appearance and social media opportunity to get people excited about it so when it launches it would quadruple the success!


Q: “How would you spend $5,000 toward your platform?”
A: I’d hire a kick-starter expert. Last year I launched a kick-starter campaign that raised $25,000 for my platform. I did it all from my own skill set, but with the help of an expert, it’s likely I’d be able to 10x that result!


Q: “What is your biggest accomplishment?”
A: My kick-starter campaign


Q: “What legacy do you want to leave?”
A: Kick-starter fundraising success!


See what’s happening here? I’m using the same planned answer – not memorized or written out – to respond to similar questions.


Most women want to say more, but the key here is to only have a few Legos on the floor in front of you and each one of them is excellent. When you plan your answers you prepare enough Legos to respond with excellence and not be overwhelmed.


This is a Game Changer! When you unlock this strategy, you unlock a whole lot of space in your brain and you streamline your message to make sense to the judges in a very short amount of time.
And that, my dear, is how you win a pageant.
I’m honored that you’d join me on the Win A Pageant podcast. If this podcast has been a blessing to you this year, then I’d love for you to share it with someone. This time of year is a great opportunity to catch up on old podcast trainings and if you shared it with someone else they may enjoy listening during holiday travels or while you’re on break from school and work. You can text it or email a link to someone straight from the podcast app, or send them to WinAPageant.com/Podcast.


It’d also be a beautiful gift to me! I put a lot of work into bringing you these podcasts each week and it would mean the world to me if you would share it with some of your pageant sisters. God blesses you so you are able to bless others!


This holiday season I’m traveling with my husband and our friends to explore Vietnam and Cambodia. I’ll be back on January 9th, so the next podcast will be on Win-A-Pageant Wednesday, January 11th.

Have a blessed holiday season and be sure to bless everyone around you!


Thank you so much for listening. Talk to you in the new year!


Contact Information:

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

87: 3 Types of Pageant Interview Practice


Episode 87 - WinAPageant.com

Hey, girl! Today is the day! If you are joining me on the day this podcast is live December 14th then you are in luck, chica! Today is the final 2016 Pageant Interview Master Class – “The 4 Steps to Gain Confidence in Your Pageant Interview”. This is the last time I’ll be teaching this exact material for free.


Join me Live on Facebook today at 3:00pm San Diego time (that’s 6:00pm ET) on the WinAPageant Facebook page. We’re talking about how to connect with the judges, and the 4 steps that HAVE to be a part of your pageant interview preparation strategy. If you are serious about winning your pageant this year, you need to be a part of this free training to get your ducks all lined up, girl!


If you’re the type of girl that won’t remember, tell Siri to remind you right now or go to Facebook.com/WinAPageant and like the page so you’ll get a notification when we go live later today. See you this afternoon!


Ok.. let’s dive into today’s episode of the Win A Pageant Podcast. I’m your coach Alycia Darby. Most women know they need to practice for their interview, but it tends to get confusing on exactly HOW to practice. Today, I’m going to break down the 3 ways of practicing for your pageant and give you some examples of how you can do each one.


Self Practice

This is practice that doesn’t require much effort. It’s Googling around for questions online and then thinking in your mind how you may answer them. Or, flipping through pageant flash cards asking yourself questions. It’s low effort because it doesn’t require anyone else be a part of it. I believe this type of practice is important. So much so that I actually give all my VIP clients custom Flash Cards they can use to practice. But, this alone isn’t going to win you the pageant it’s easy to do, but doesn’t have much reward.


Real Life Practice

It requires far more effort. This is when you are interviewed by a media station or share a q-and-a from stage as visiting royalty at an appearance. It’s real life practice that requires some effort because it involves more than just you sitting at your desk. It requires a plan, an outfit, a microphone, a whole set of circumstances to support the practice. It pays off, too! But, still not as much as the third form of practice.


Mock Interview Practice

Ya can’t beat it! It takes a ton of effort, but has the greatest reward for your success in your pageant because it is a simulation of the actual experience. It gives you the best opportunity to feel the true emotions of the interview process and practice your skills in the exact environment. It takes some effort to set up because there are lots of other people involved, you are responsible to find a location, invite the right people, lead the process, explain it to the mock judges, film it, thank everyone… it’s not easy, but then if it were, everyone would be doing it.


If you want to win your pageant, you have to out-practice to out-perform the competition. A good rule-of-thumb is to plan a mock interview once a month. After monthly interviews, you’ll have the process down, you’ll know how to distinguish valuable verses silly feedback that you’ll get, and you’ll be practiced, but not rehearsed.


Mock Interview practice gives you the best opportunity to feel the true emotions of the interview process.


Not all practice is created equal. It is not enough to scroll through questions online and think you are prepared. Schedule a mock interview to get some experience to increase your confidence.

That my dear, is how you win a pageant!

Thank you so much for joining me today. I’ll see you this afternoon at Facebook.com/WinAPageant for our final Master Class of the year!


Contact Information:

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