Top 5 DECA Role-Play Myths

As a four-time role-play competitor and three-time DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) qualifier, I’ve had my fair share of competitive event experiences, both successful and not.

As the competition season is heating up around the globe for DECA members, I wanted to share with you the top five myths about DECA role-plays and hopefully prepare you with the correct information to rock your role-play this year.

MYTH #1 – You may only use one piece of paper during a role-play.

  • FALSE: You can use as many pieces of paper as you want during your prep time or when you are in your presentation with your judge. You may also use a pen or a pencil.

MYTH #2 – You may not bring a laptop/tablet into your role-play to help with your presentation.

  • TRUE: You may not bring any outside materials into the preparation room or the presentation room to help with your role-play. You can only use the computer, known as your brain, that’s already in your head!

MYTH #3 – Since you do not know what the role-play scenario is until you walk into the room on competition day, there is no way for you to properly prepare for this event.

  • FALSE: I would advise you to use the sample events as well, as the performance indicators for your cluster, to practice and prepare for your role-play competitions. These can all be found on DECA’s new and improved website.

MYTH #4 – Freshmen and first-year DECA members have no chance of successfully competing against members who have been in DECA for years.

  • FALSE: DECA has four competitive events just for first year DECA members: Principles of Business Management and Administration, Principles of Finance, Principles of Hospitality and Tourism, and Principles of Marketing. You are more than welcome to compete outside of the Principles events, but don't sell yourself short! First year members win at ICDC every year – maybe this year it will be you on stage!

MYTH #5 – Judges at ICDC are professionals in the business community.

  • TRUE: Judges at ICDC often are employees at companies from DECA’s National Advisory Board including Men’s Wearhouse, Publix, and Finish Line, just to name a few.  I have even heard stories of judges offering members jobs or internships after hearing their impressive role-plays, so be sure to always bring your A-game with you to your role-play!   

Hopefully some of these busted myths have helped you get the courage you need to tackle a DECA role-play this year and make it all the way to #DECAICDC.

Follow Zack on Twitter @decazack.

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