1. Know your pageant organization: Knowing the history and overall philosophy of your pageant organization is imperative. If you compete in various pageant organizations, resist generalizing and truly get to know the mission and philosophy of the organization you are currently pursuing. Be specific as each organization is slightly different. The pageant's website is a valuable resource. Know their mission statement and charitable partnerships.
2. Study current events: Take the time each day to watch and read the news. Make your time work for you. Time spent driving is a perfect time to catch up on the days events and catch interesting and thoughtful stories on NPR. I recommend reading one news paper per day and investing in magazines like TIME MAGAZINE, NEWSWEEK or THE WEEK.
3. Identify personal experiences that qualify you for the job: Remember, you are the only one who can "sell" you to the judges panel. Learn to relate answers back to personal experiences, but more specifically, experiences that show you are right for and ready for the job. You can turn a seemingly general line of questioning into an interview about your strengths and life experiences. This can include a range of topics such as volunteerism, academics, travel, employment and personal growth. It's up to you to take charge and set the tone.
4. Know the job requirements and expectations of the pageant organization: This includes being a spokesperson for the organization, promoting their charities as well as your personal platform, increasing sponsorship and recruiting contestants. When you know what is expected, you can answer in a way that shows you understand the big picture.
5. Know your pageant news: Everyone loves a little controversy, and pageant news and hot topics are bound to come up. Make sure you are up on the latest hot topics, consider all sides and have a well supported opinion.