Last Minute Competition Tips to Help You BE EPIC

There’s nothing better than hearing your name called to the stage at the Grand Awards Session.

Here are some last minute tips for your role-play to help you be EPIC at #DECAinDC and make the stage Tuesday night!

Start with a firm handshake and strong introduction.
You want to make a good first impression on your judge. Walk into the room with a smile on your face and introduce yourself with a firm handshake. Begin your presentation by thanking the judge for meeting with you, and explaining your purpose. By making a great first impression you set the tone for your entire presentation, and if the judge already has a positive image of you they will be more likely to score you higher.

Speak with confidence.
Your ideas are so much less powerful if you sound like you're second guessing yourself. Avoid using phrases like, "I think," or, "I believe," as they make you sound like you're unsure of your ideas. Take a deep breath and think about your answers before you speak. It’s okay if you need to pause slightly before answering the judge’s questions. On the other hand, there is a fine line between speaking confidently and being cocky, it's all about finding the perfect balance.

Prepare two solutions and make your recommendation.
This is a tip that I saw for the first time on Twitter during a DECA Q&A event and I can't wait to try it out myself. Instead of preparing one answer to your role-play, briefly describe two solutions and make your recommendation for a plan moving forward. Then you can walk through the performance indicators when explaining why you made the decision you did. Preparing two answers for your judge shows a more in-depth 

End with a call to action.
After answering your judges questions it's time to leave the room, but doing so awkwardly can leave a bad impression on your judge. The conclusion of your presentation is the last impression your judge has before filling out your score card and obviously you want that image to be positive. One thing we learned last year in our chapter was to end with a call to action, ask your judge when they can meet again, or tell them you're excited to move forward on the project with them. Finally, thank your judge for their time, and shake their hand again.

Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyHendley22.

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