Using KICC to Rock Your Role-Play

Erin O'Hara | Apex DECA

A role-play is hard to prepare for because of the nature of the event. You as the competitor won’t know the specifics of the topic until your time starts and you are sitting at a seat going through performance indicators.

To help combat the nerves and uncertainty of the role play I came up with the KICC method to make sure I ‘KICC’ butt on my role-play every time.


It is often said that knowledge is power and in the case of the role-play this is true. Before you go into your role-play make sure you have background information on the topic. If your role-play is on marketing for example know the difference between the different ways to segment customers.

You should also know your performance indicators up, down, left, and right but make sure that you write them down! It doesn’t matter if you think you have them memorized you should always write them down just in case.


This is the most important part because it sets the tone for the rest of your role-play. Your judge will be judging you from the moment you walk into the judging area, so make sure you look confident and have good posture walking in.

When you first meet your judge shake their hand and look them in the eyes while stating to them your name, your position in your company, your company, and a pleasantry. For example if my role-play said I was the head of human resources at DECA Inc. and I was meeting with my boss to discuss employee moral I would say, “Hi my name is Erin O’Hara and as you know I’m the head of HR here at DECA Inc. It’s a pleasure to meet with you today.”

This not only serves as a good ice breaker but also shows the judge you at least read the first few sentences of the prompt.


As I said before you need to walk into the room with confidence, but it doesn’t stop there. When you are talking to the judge, you need to have confidence as well. You might have read your role-play and had absolutely no idea what it was asking you to do. I know that you are probably thinking that it is the end of the world but that doesn’t have to be the case, go to your judge and convince them that what you are saying is correct, even though you know that might not be the case.


Your closing is if not the most, one of the most important parts of your role-play. This is the last time your judge is going to talk to you before they decide who the winner will be so you want to leave them with a positive lasting impression. Ask if they have any further questions and once you have answered all of those ask them a question pertaining to your plan that makes them want to choose you.

Going along with the same example from earlier you might ask, “So when can we start to build the team to put this new plan into action?” You’re making the judge believe they have a choice in the decision but at the same time you’re assuring them that your plan is the correct one. Also always remember to shake your judge’s hand again before you leave and thank them for their time. Manners go along way!

You now have all of the information you need to ‘KICC’ your role-play in the butt!

This article was written by Apex DECA officer, Erin O’Hara. You can follow Erin on Twitter @eohara15.