How to handle a tough judge with grace and confidence

How to handle a tough judge

Tough judges happen. You have spent months preparing your stage work and interview skills. The gown fits perfectly and your hair and makeup are spot on. Then you walk into interview and are asked some tough questions by a judge with a frown on their face and arms crossed across their chest. Suddenly, all that training goes out the window and you feel defeated. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Check your perception

Some people just look mean all the time. At one point, I decided to get botox to help with those annoying lines between my eyebrows also called “11s”. Within a few days, my kids were commenting on how nice I had become. When I asked them to elaborate, they explained that I wasn’t frowning all the time any more. Some people just frown a lot. It doesn’t mean they are mad.

Question your own reaction

Boom! Out of no where, a judge asks you a highly political or controversial question. Your first reaction is to panic and become defensive. Oh no! It’s a tough judge! Perhaps the judge isn’t being mean. You are simply perceiving this as a personal attack. I had a judge ask a highly political question once. I quickly realized that she was told to ask that question. When I exited the interview, I told the director that I loved her “mean” judge. She was appalled that I had figured it out. She explained that the purpose of the “mean” judge was to see how each contestant would react under pressure.

You can only control yourself

Interviews and stage competitions are all about you. You are the one answering questions and doing those perfect circle turns. Maybe the tough judge had a bad day. Perhaps you remind them of their third grade teacher who gave them detention. Maybe they are distracted by a friend who is in need. You just can’t control what a judge will think or do. Stay focused on yourself.

Know your stuff

Read up on current affairs. Watch the news. Know possible questions that may be political. By studying and forming an opinion on current events, you can handle any question that may be thrown at you. Be ready for anything by practicing interview with a set of questions. Practice out loud in front of a camera so you can see and hear how you sound. The extra time spent building your confidence will pay off in the long run and will certainly impress that tough judge.

Watch your own body language and tone

Relax your shoulders, breathe deeply and maintain that fabulous eye contact. Watch your posture. Keep your voice even and steady. Make sure you are ending your sentences with a downward tone and a little louder. This will make you sound confident. In the words of an old deodorant commercial, “never let them see you sweat.” Finally, keep smiling!!!

I hope you never face a tough judge. If you do, remember these pointers. You’ll walk off the stage or out of interview feeling you have done your best. Even if you don’t win the crown, you will have walked away with grace and confidence.

Private coaching can help you be confident at your next pageant. Sign up now for one of my private coaching packages. I can work with anyone anywhere in the world who has internet access. Stop making excuses and start making a lasting impression!





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