3 Ways to Own Your District Competition
It’s been 250 days since #DECAICDC 2016, and probably close to 250 days since you stood or sat in front of a DECA judge and presented your written project or role-play.
I bet each and every DECA member has been itching at the opportunity to get back into competition hall, and the good news is, the time has finally arrived!
It is officially competition season and that means restless nights, multiple coffees a day and the pure excitement DECA brings to our lives.
All DECA members share the same goal: to hear their name be called and to receive a medallion or trophy on the international stage. There is truly no better feeling, so here are three tips and tricks to help you achieve this feeling and Own Your Districts!
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
This is definitely the most important thing you can do to help prepare yourself for competition. Whether you are competing in role-plays or written events, you must practice and study constantly.
For those who like to be put on the spot to test their knowledge and compete in role-play categories, go out to DECA.org or shopdeca.org to check out all of the helpful resources DECA has. There are litters of mock role-plays and past years’ exams for you to study from. My suggestion is to do one mock role-play, that you can present to your advisor, parents, or friends, and 25 multiple choice questions each day during the week leading up to your district conference.
As for my written event competitors, you must know your presentation in and out. Make sure you are not the one who walks into the room and has nothing to say. Write a script, make bullet points, whatever you have to do to remember all of your points, do it. Then practice, practice, practice. You should be practicing in your head and out loud to your peers as much as possible.
My favorite time to practice is while I am driving. I turn off the radio and run through my script as if the judge was right in front of me. There is always time to practice, you just have to go out and find it.
2. Confidence is Key
In order to Own Your Districts, you must be confident – confident in your project, confident in what you are saying, and most importantly confident in yourself. If you believe in all of that, so will the judge.
DECA is all about portraying your message and explaining to the judge that you have worked hard, created an amazing plan and are truly passionate about it. To do this, you must be confident in what you are saying, especially when answering the judge’s questions. If you do not believe in your answers, how is the judge going to? You must answer them with confidence so that the judge believes you and your answers.
Confidence is what will separate you from all of your competitors and will be a leading factor as for why you make it up on stage.
3. Just Have Fun
At the end of the day, DECA is fun. It is an organization that brings members together, teaches them business and life skills, and allows them to just have fun. Whether you earn that medallion or not, go give it your best shot and have fun and you can call it a success.
If you are able to follow these quick tips, then you will be well on your way to Owning Your Districts and making it to your association conference, or even #DECAICDC in Anaheim. Good luck everyone!
This article was written by Massachusetts DECA Association Officer, Jaron May. You can follow Jaron on Twitter @DECA_Jaron.