In one debate, you could barely hear a solid point of view without interruption. In another, you heard a lot of "dodging the question". Regardless of your political views, there are many lessons that contestants can take away from the recent Presidential and Vice-President debates...here are our TOP 10:
- Avoiding the question is obvious and it is rude to the person asking the question (and to those hearing it). Answer the question to the best of your ability and tie it to something relevant that you can talk about. Do not be random. Do not go rogue and say whatever you want. Stick to what was asked.
- Do not jump to answer the question right away. Rushing may cause you to fluster, use filler words, and sometimes even forget your words or train of thought. Take a moment, breathe, then respond.
- You are allowed to use your face, hands, vocal expression, and body language. Do not sit or stand frozen. Oh and your "listening face" counts too - what does your face look like while a question is being asked OR while someone is speaking. Record yourself doing an interview and watch your listening face - it tells more than you think!
- Use facts, data, and history. Have facts about your platform? Important details about your state? Use the information so you sound informed, educated, and have support for your statements and claims. Be sure to research your facts BEFORE the interview to ensure that they are indeed correct. Do not just make things up. Someone on the panel may be an expert in this topic and may call you out on it.
- Use your opening and closing statements wisely. For example, if your pageant allows for a closing statement, you could use it to convince the judges or the audience of why you are the best choice.
- PREPARE. If you do not know what you are talking about, it will be obvious. Do not be afraid to ask for clarifications, when necessary.
- Respect the time limit. If a judge has to shut you down (ask you stop talking) several times after the time limit expires, not only are you being rude, but you can also kiss the crown goodbye.
- Know why you are qualified and do not be afraid to talk about it. You should know your resume top to bottom, left to right, inside and out. When asked a question, you should be able to quickly recall items from your resume and insert them into your answer to demonstrate that you are experienced, qualified, and capable of handling the job. Doing so is not bragging, but instead, demonstrating that you are qualified for the job.
- Decorum counts. Do not insult another person. Hold your tongue. If you cannot think of something good to say about someone, something, an organization, etc, do not say anything at all. Instead, keep the interview positive and upbeat, always. Negativity has a nasty taste and trust that it will stay with a judge forever.
- They are watching your family too (i.e. the media watched who hugged whom, whom was wearing a mask or not, etc). The people who come with you to the pageant are a reflection of you. Everyone should dress AND act the part. For example, your guests should not be walking around the hotel with you in rollers, booty shorts, and their favorite gorilla tee shirt. Look the part! Also, disrespect, from anyone, will not be tolerated. This includes rude behavior to the pageant staff. Remind your family: they do not just crown the girl, they also crown the family.
These are just a few, of the many, lessons that we can take away from the recent debates. Keep an eye on the upcoming debates and see what you can notice - send us a message about what you noticed in the next one!