3 Ways to Succeed at Your Association Conference

Almost everyone going to their association/state Career Development Conference (CDC_ has the same goals:

  • Do well on your role-play so you place for ICDC
  • Meet other DECA members and gain more DECA friends
  • Have an experience to remember

A big goal of mine at CDC was to become my region’s association vice president, and running for VP has allowed me to realize how important it is to study and practice as much as possible to achieve my goals.

While many people have different tips and tricks for doing well at their CDC and advancing to the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), these are the methods I’ve seen help many members thrive during competition:

1. Doing Practice Role-Plays Within Your Chapter


There are many methods to study, but the method I’ve seen help the most is doing practice role-plays with fellow members and advisors. Each chapter can download practice role-plays and prompts off of deca.org to get started. All you have to do is assign one member, or even your advisor, as a judge and allow another member to be the one acting out the role-play. Give them ten minutes to read over and write notes about the prompt, then once they have used up the ten minutes, give them another ten minutes to reenact the prompt in front of your chosen judge.

This gives your chapter members more experience with role-plays and will let them be more comfortable during the real competition.

2. Proper Mindset

Joel Beckwith and I were talking about DECA competitions one day, and we both came to the conclusion that being in the right mindset for competition is essential to succeed.

If you come at your role-play, presentation, etc., as a school assignment or tedious task, then you are already setting yourself up for failure. You need to fall into the role you are reenacting, whether you are acting out a business proposition, or giving design ideas for a new fashion line, you need to fully take on the role. This will allow you to give a more believable presentation, along with making it a more enjoyable and fun experience for you.

3. Stand Out

Judges are going to be seeing many members who want the same thing as you, which is to win a DECA medal and go to #DECAICDC in Anaheim, which means you are going to need to stand out amongst the crowd.

You can do this by presenting your notes in a very professional way, such as in a brochure, or business card. This shows you are creative and dedicated. If you are doing a partner role-play, wear complimentary colors, and both of you should talk an equal amount. Be confident and bold! These traits stand out to judges, and will allow you to score higher on your competition.
There are many ways to study, prepare, and thrive during competition, but overall remember that DECA is meant for showing your potential and expanding your social network, so go out and meet new people along with giving it all you have. Good luck, and hope to see you in Anaheim!

This article was written by South Granville DECA Community Service Officer, Tony Lehman. You can follow Tony on Twitter @tonylpepperoni.

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