Top Notch Competition & Conference Tips

Qualifying for DECA’s International Career Development Conference is an amazing opportunity for many DECA members. Let’s be honest; seeing amazing competitors like yourself may be bit intimidating, regardless of how much you’ve prepared for your competition.

So to ease your mind, I’ve compiled a few tips to help you get through your competition, as well as your traveling:

Don't (Over) Practice

You’ll constantly hear the preparation is a major key and that practice makes perfect. Although this is true, you may not want to over do it. Maria J. believes over rehearsing can lead to you sounding like a robot. “Judges should feel like you're talking with them, not at them,” Maria said.

Know Your Material

Although, you shouldn’t over rehearse, practicing helps a lot. International Business Plan competitors, Alex A. and Zach B., both agree knowing your material and being passionate during your presentation is a huge factor.

Surf the WWW

For those who compete in individual events, it can be confusing on how to study. DECA member Jenna W. suggested that online role-plays. At her first #DECAICDC, online role-plays were a huge help when prepping, as well as stress reliever.

Although competing is a major key to ICDC, not everyone is there to compete. From leadership academy attendees, to voting delegates and more, everyone will be arriving to same destination.

Here are some EPIC travel and general conference tips to keep in mind:

Meet Everyone and Anyone

Team competitors Maggie Jo U. and Kaitlyn W. said that networking is the best opportunity next to competing at #DECAICDC. “You never know who you’re going to meet. Why confine yourself when you can meet new people?”

Pin Trading

Members of Cypress Bay DECA (Florida) were very vocal about the topic of pin trading. “China pins are a must!” said one member. Pin trading is something that only occurs at #DECAICDC, so take advantage of it!

Don’t Be Intimidated

If you’re competing at #DECAICDC, you’ve obviously took the time and effort to do your best. Even if you’re name isn't called at the awards, you’re still a part of a truly epic experience.

Pack What You Think You’ll Need

Although you hear packing light is an essential, it’s never a requirement. Be sure you have everything you need. If you’re traveling by bus, you’ll be fine no matter what. If you’re going by plane, do some research and make sure it’s within the weight limit.

Pay Attention in Class

“Whether you plan to be a leader inside or outside of DECA, the lessons taught in DECA’s leadership academies will be useful for your entire life.”

If you’re still nervous about your ICDC trip, here are some thoughtful tips by former Southern Region Vice President, Tyler McBee:

“Competitive event judges are instructed not to ask any questions until the end. Rather than keeping the conversation one sided, make it a two-way conversation.”

However, since most competitions don’t typically take up your entire day, be sure you enjoy your trip. “Creating a daily schedule will help manage your time, while also getting the full #DECAICDC experience.”

Follow Adriana on Twitter @adrianagaricaa.

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