4 Tips for Preparing For Competition

The trick to getting on stage is just as much about your preparation, as it is your presentation.

Here are four important tips and tricks to help you get into the mindset of a winner, and hopefully secure yourself a spot on stage to claim a Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference victory this April!

Dress for Success

This is something that you’ve heard over and over again, but that’s because it works! Have you ever heard the phrase, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” It speaks a lot about who you are, and who you want to be, and translates to DECA as well as to your personal and professional life. In competition you always want to be well groomed, hygiene in check, and clothes free of visible stains or wear and tear. This allows for the judge to take the attention off of what you’re wearing, and focus on what you’re saying, which is key to achieving success!

Practice, Practice, Practice

Whether you are competing in a case study, business simulation, or a prepared event, the key to doing well is all in how you practice. Go over class notes to remind yourself of business concepts, work with your advisors and professors to teach you new ways of relaying information, and practice with your partner long before the actual competition. Reciting information helps to engrain those key concepts into your memory, and that will benefit you when competing in front of judges.

Get Your Advisor’s Help

You don’t have to prepare for competition all on your own! You have a whole school full of working professionals that are waiting to help you. In most cases, all it takes is you asking for help. Advisors, professors, teachers, and staff all work in higher education to see students succeed. Ask a professor to listen to your presentation, read over your paper or help you understand some concepts and terms better.

Know Your Partner

In the instance of a team event, the best thing that you can do is to know your partner. Start working with him or her long before the actual competition. You want to be able to tell what their strengths and weaknesses are, and be able to play off of one another in the heat of the moment. Be confident in each other’s abilities and know how to properly transition between speaking portions. You might even want to come up with a few non-verbal clues to get each other’s attention, or to signal hints while competing.

Every one of you will have your own tips and tricks to getting on stage, whether it is at your state CDC or the International Career Development Conference. Whatever they are, I want to hear about them! Tweet me your secrets to preparing for competition with #CDECAICDC and I’ll share those posts.

Good luck at your competition, and I hope to see everyone in Orlando in April!

Follow Matt on Twitter @mattwitz.

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