5 Ways to Get a Head Start in Competition This Year

With students returning to school as summer draws to a close, it’s time for a new DECA season to begin.

Every year, students across the globe join DECA to expand their business knowledge, meet new people, and of course, travel and compete at conferences in hopes of making it on stage at the pinnacle event of the DECA year: #DECAICDC.

Every single member aspires to end up on the international stage, but unfortunately, there is no secret recipe to success. So how can members boost their competitive experience this year? This answer is simple – it’s never too early to begin preparing!

1. Research your written or role-play event.

If you are doing a Professional Selling or Operations Research Event, start by researching the 2016-2017 draft topics, and if you are doing a role-play event, keep up with current news and identify some market trends that can help you stand out.

For those who feel especially ambitious, such as chapter event competitors, you can begin planning your activities and writing the written report now, so you have time later on to perfect it!

2. Host a mini-conference.

A tradition between Amador Valley DECA and Foothill DECA is an annual mock conference for new members. Here, the rookies compete with actual core exams and role-plays, and are judged by experienced members, allowing new competitors to get a taste of DECA and enabling the judges (experienced members) to refresh themselves with competition tips.

These mock competitions greatly enhance individual confidence and provide competitors with valuable constructive criticism to apply in the future.

3. Take practice tests.

Often overlooked, tests can either make or break your composite competitive event score. That being said, taking practice tests will hone your ability to achieve higher scores and increase your general business knowledge, as many cluster exams draw questions from previous tests or topics that should be studied in any given business area. You can check out practice tests at shopdeca.org or on the DECA Compete app.

4. Polish your public speaking skills.

Practically all of DECA’s competitive events involve some sort of vocal interaction with a judge. The best way to leave the judge with a good impression is to perfect your performance, so remember to practice often with a teacher or friend! Vocal variety, enthusiasm, gestures, and flow are all key skills that can help you score higher in competitive presentations.

5. Find a partner.

Deciding early on if you are competing individually or with a team can help guide your plans as competitor. Whether in a team role-play or for a written project, remember that while friends can be fun to work with, they may not match your work style! Before solidifying your partnership, take into account their knowledge, skillset, work ethic, strengths, and availability, to name a few.

DECA is truly an organization in which you receive what you put in. By putting in the proper focus and dedication and giving 100% effort, there isn’t anything stopping you from winning glass at Anaheim in 2017!

Follow Amador Valley on Twitter @AVHSDECA.

Categories: Compete, Exam Prep, Home Page Compete, HS Competitive Events, Presentation Prep, Role-Play, Strategies, Written, Written Prep