Nine minutes and thirty seconds into the interview and the head judge thanks you for your time and asks if you have anything else you’d like to say. You have 30 seconds to summarize everything- your marketing plan, your goals, your platform, your talent. What sets you apart? Why should they choose you?
A strong closing statement is the secret to sealing the deal in the interview room. It is the last thing the judges hear before they move on to the next girl. You have 30 seconds to make a lasting impression. There is plenty of advice for a strong closing statement, but sometimes you just need a few more tips to bump it up a level and seal the deal.
- Reiterate Who You Are. Don’t let the judges question who you are, what you stand for, and what sets you apart from the other girls. Just saying your name will trigger an extra memory censor in their mind that will help them remember you.
- Set Yourself Up for the Title. They already think you’re a great person. Go the extra step by expressing your impact as a titleholder, not just a contestant. “As Miss Local/State, I will…(ex: bring in new sponsors, raise the scholarship funds, connect with civic organizations that will stick with the org in future years).” Show them your value as a titleholder.
- Use Sound Bites. We all know not to ramble. Keep your response short and sweet, and filled with intention. But going the next step and using sound bites or action words will make sure the judges do not forget you. A soundbite is a quick quip that sticks in a person’s mind. Using Jamie Lynn Macchia‘s platform, an example of a soundbite she uses is more than four. She can say “Only 4% of cancer research funding goes to pediatric cancer. Kids deserve more than four,” during her interview then reiterate the more than four soundbite in her closing statement. After she leaves the interview room the judges will remember kids deserve more than four.
- Use Action Words. Anyone can tell the judges what they want to do, what they can do, what they’d like to do. Set yourself apart and use action words. With or without the crown what are you going to do? Use words like I will or I am. In the interview you will give examples of actual events you have lined up, and the goals you have for them- to fundraise, educate, raise awareness. When giving a closing statement, tie it all together. “As Miss Local/State I will (action verb).”
- Consider a Personal Slogan. Before you ever step foot in the interview room you should have something that helps them remember you. Whether it is about you, your platform, or your plan as a titleholder, use a soundbite so they remember. This could eventually because a hashtag for your titleholder branding campaign! Think about your favorite company or organization. What makes you remember their commercials over their competitors?
Some people think that the first impression is the most important. The interview is 10 minutes of first impressions that impact your entire night. It is so important that the last impression, that closing statement, is strong and solid and seals the deal.