How to Set Your Competitive Event Project Apart

Making it all the way to DECA’s International Career Development Conference requires a unique set of skills and a stand-out project!

Below are some key elements that competitors at the 2016 #DECAICDC believed to help them stand out from their competitors:

Hand in Hand Experience & Interaction
Will Dunn & Nick Marsteller | Pennsylvania
Event: Public Relations Project
“For our project, we worked closely with local animal shelters to raise awareness about the option to adopt animals through a local shelter, instead of buying from a breeder. We think we stood out from our competition due to the fact we had first-hand experience with volunteering in an animal shelter and interacting with the business, our community, and our school. With all our efforts to raise awareness it resulted in animal adoption rates increasing at the animal shelters we publicized.” 

Unique Competition Props
Emily Barlow, Aditi Bhatia, and Fatima Latipova | Georgia
Event: Finance Operations Research
“Our project covered finance. We incorporated board game money to further engage judges while presenting. Using the board game money, we listed some of our strategies we were implementing on the back of each bill and handed it to the judges so, it kept them fully engaged with our presentation.”

Collaboration & Teamwork
Sidney Smestad and RJ Kersten | Wisconsin
Event: Financial Services Team Decision Making
“I think we stood out due to the fact that we were well prepared with our verbal presentation, We used non-verbal queues during the presentation to keep our speaking transitions smooth. We also have a strong friendship bond which showed when presenting.”

Professional Visual Aids
Laura Hancher, Ari Vlajk, and Taylor Ford | Georgia
Event: Independent Business Plan
“We believe that we stood out from our competition due our high end visual aids. We mounted a interactive tablet in the center of our main presentation board. Our boards were custom made just for the state and national competitions, so they had strong visual appeal. The level of professionalism kept the judges engaged with our whole presentation.”

Unique Concept
Irene Kowalski | New York
Event: Start-Up Business Plan
“I believe my unique scientific concept really stood out to the judges, since most people don’t think of science and business together. My project was for a genetic tracking, which I was well informed in and could speak to the judges with both a scientific background and marketing background.”

So, there you have it. The keys to success from some of the more interesting presentations at the EPIC 2016 ICDC.

If you plan on competing next year, try following some of the thought processes from our contributors. To compete at all takes is hard work and courage, but you’ll stand out, thanks to these key factors.

Follow Natalie on Twitter @nataliedeca.

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