Five Tips for Competition Success

As the competition season heats up around the country, many Collegiate DECA members are starting to feel the pressure.

Relax! You’ve prepared, practiced and perfected your competitive event project. Just in case you need a little extra boost of confidence though, check out these five tips for competition success below:

#1 Create an Agenda

The judges will be scoring you on the performance indicators listed in your case study. Their rubric is made up of that list with a scale next to it where they will note how well you addressed it. You may have plenty of great ideas, but if you do not touch on those performance indicators, you cannot score well. Making an agenda will ensure you hit those critical points.

#2 Use Numbers and Create Graphs

Even if you are not doing an accounting or finance related event, your judges will need to hear some numbers to back up what you are saying. They can be made up if there is not enough information in the case study to calculate anything, but just make sure it is realistic. For example, instead of saying, “We’re going to increase sales,” you could say, “Based on the data we have collected, we expect sales to increase by 10%.” If you want to go the extra mile, find a way to display your numbers visually. Your graphs don’t have to be perfect, but just drawing out a little line graph and saying, “This is from the study we did last week showing that sales are supposed to increase over time,” can make a difference between just using the statements.

#3 Cite Studies from Reputable Sources

Spitting out facts is not as impressive if you can’t explain where you found them. Your statements should sound like: “According to a study I read about in the Wall Street Journal, 1 out of every 5 people ages 18-24 are on Instagram. With this being our target market, we should in4orporate Instagram into our social media strategy.”

#5 Avoid Verbal Fillers

Nothing will ruin your credibility as a presenter as much as constant use of the words like, “umm,” or “and.” You may not be aware how often you say these things, so have your friends point it out every time you say it and slowly you will improve. The last thing you want is to sound something like this.

#5 Be Creative

Last but not least, DECA should be fun! Come up with a solution that you think will be different from your competitors. As long as you can back up your ideas with some logic, you can let your imagination run wild. If your idea really is different, it will help you stand out in the eyes of your judges.

Follow University of Central Florida Collegiate DECA @ucfdeca.

Categories: Business Simulations, Case Studies, Collegiate Competitive Events, Compete, Presentation Prep, Strategies