Questions to Ask Yourself When Participating in a Written Event

Many of DECA’s association conferences are right around the corner, but is your written project ready to take you on stage and qualify for #DECAICDC in April?

The key to any DECA competitive event is to be prepared to deliver your presentation. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when preparing to take your project to an association conference.

How many people have read your manual or watched your presentation?

It’s very easy to look over minor typos or grammar problems in your manual when you have been working on it for months. Therefore, it is very beneficial for new people (such as your school administrators, English teacher, parents, etc.) to read through your hard work to catch these minor infractions while giving you their advice. You never know what a fresh pair of eyes can detect!

Allowing people to watch you and your team practice your presentation can also save you from minor mistakes when presenting in front of a judge. Plus, it never hurts to get additional practice reciting your presentation in front of someone. 

Tell your practice judge to watch out for the following items when you are presenting:

  • Eye contact
  • How fast you are speaking
  • Whether you sound natural or nervous (it’s better to sound natural!)  
  • Hand fidgeting (this is distracting)
  • Smooth transitions between topics

How will your presentation set you apart from your competition?

Winning projects always have some sort of creative aspect. Judges love to see new and creative ways that set you apart from the other projects in the event. Something to set you apart could be as simple as videos throughout your presentation, or as complex as a skit to introduce your project to the judge.

Are you prepared to answer your judge’s tricky questions?

Each DECA competitive event contains a question and answer session, and believe it or not, these five minutes of your presentation are crucial! Questions allow the judge to see how much you really know about your project. In addition, you and your team can use this time to increase your points in the overall performance section if you deliver a stellar response!

Make sure each member in your team is prepared to answer a question, as the judge will make sure each team member responds to at least one question.

What will you do if your presentation materials break or malfunction?

It happens to the best of us – not every presentation will go smooth. However, that’s not to say that preparation will ensure a clean presentation!

Be prepared for anything to happen when it comes to your presentation. Put together a small kit of potential items that could fall off of your presentation boards. If you’re using a laptop with your presentation, double check that you have packed your charger and an additional flash drive loaded with your presentation.

Asking yourself these questions will no doubt ensure success in DECA’s competitive events. When delivering your presentation this year, be prepared, have fun, and remember, YOU ARE DECA!

Follow Nick on Twitter @nickolasbaldwin.

Categories: Compete, HS Competitive Events, Presentation Prep, Strategies, Written