Role-Play Tips Straight from a DECA Judge

The Competition Ready workshops at the 2014 #DECAPowerTrip provided a wealth of knowledge for the competition-driven DECA members in attendance.

I attended The Judges’ Perspective session, with guest speakers and DECA judges Wendy Williams and Jay Williams. I would say from sitting in on this session that these two judges gave a well-rounded portrayal of what a DECA competitive event judge thinks and does on competition day.

Several components of their perspective of your presentation include your personality, appearance, knowledge, innovation and creativity, and your ability to answer their questions. Lastly, any wow factor you can provide always helps you stick out in their minds.

One crucial tip the speakers provided was that your 10-minute role-play begins the second you make eye contact with your judge. You also need to stick to your role the entire time. This means that prior to starting your role-play, pay close attention to the scenario and make sure you have a game plan for what you will say and do in case the judge throws any specific information at you from the scenario.

Other than your performance indicators, you are also being judged on your appearance and attitude, so make sure to bring your “A-game” with you!

Also when competing, remember that your test score is just as important as how your role-play goes. You have to score well on it to place and win in your event. Your overall score comes from your test and role-play.

Another key to your role-play is time management. Make sure you are using your time wisely and ensure you are covering all essential elements needed to preform well in your role-play.

It is a good idea to brainstorm a few questions just in case your judge asks you if you have any, which they usually do. This way you won’t waste time trying to think of any, and your judge will be impressed with how prepared you are.

Lastly, when choosing your words to close your role-play, it is wise to say, “My recommendation to you is…,”  and end the role-play on your owns terms.

I gained so much insight during this workshop session, and I cannot wait to use the tips I learned to improve my role-play performance this year!

Follow Tanner on Twitter @tanner414207.

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