Competition Tips from ICDC Qualifiers

Ever wondered how students who compete at ICDC do so well and make it to the international conference? We took to the halls of the Orlando City Convention Center to find out! Here are some inside tips from competitors on how to best prepare for competition and make it to ICDC!

1. Practice often for your event.

Many of the people we talked to said they spent time each day prepping for their event, anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. Practice is crucial to being successful in any undertaking, so be sure to put in as much practice time as you can if you want to do your absolute best!

2. Get enough sleep before competition.

It can be tempting to stay up late the night before a test or role play studying, but it's crucial to get at least 8 hours of sleep to make sure you're fully awake when you take the real test the next day. No amount of prep can make up for a lost night's sleep!

3. Make your presentation personal.

As one competitor said, don't just memorize lines to recite for your role play or written event; rather, own your presentation and engage your judges! Be passionate about your event, and let that passion shine through in your presentation.

4. Genuinely care for your team members.

This one may seem like a given, but as one team of three said, their secret to success is that they care about each other as friends rather than just as partners in a project. Have compassion for your teammates: You're all in this together, for better or for worse!

5. Don't let anything discourage you.

Everyone has wins and losses; it's a part of life! Instead of letting your losses drag you down, use them as motivation to do better next time. As cliché as it sounds, you only really ever lose when you stop trying. So don't stop!

And finally… have fun!

It can be easy to get caught up in the competitive atmosphere that is prevalent at DECA events, but don't forget, being in DECA is a lot of fun! You get to meet new people and network with other students and adults from around the world, as well as travel across states and countries with some of your closest friends. These are some of the best years of your life; don't forget to enjoy them!

Follow Dylan on Twitter @dpgreen0311.

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