What I Learned At Michigan DECA Fall Leadership Conference

Sara Sherazi | Taylor Truman DECA

The 2017 Michigan DECA Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., was an experience full of learning and networking.

From mock competitions to engaging workshops, I learned some helpful tips on how to become a better competitor, test-taker and networker.

Here are just a few of the pieces of advice I gained while there:


The first workshop that I attended was about competition. Real DECA judges from our mock competition shared feedback with us from our role-plays, and brought up some key components of a great role play that many members tend to miss.

  1. Have a strong introduction. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so make to leave one that’ll make your judges remember you.
  2. Lead your judge into the question portion. It’s very important to conclude your presentation when you’re done and to make it apparent. Judges need to know when you’re finished so they can ask questions afterwards.
  3. Don’t read off your paper without looking up. Eye contact is another indication that can either make or break your presentation. Reading off from your paper shows that you are not fully prepared or confident.

Check out some of my own tips and tricks for a great role-play here.

Test-Taking Strategies

Let’s face it – we sometimes dread the word “test” and can be intimidating at times. At the test-taking workshop, I learned some tips that can help me cope with test anxiety.

  1. Instead of taking the time to stress about your DECA test, take the time to strengthen your test-taking skills. Remember to practice, practice, practice!
  2. Your mind is typically the most focused immediately after you have read the question and digested its contents. At this point, try to predict what the correct answer will be. Scan the answers to see if your prediction is one of the choice. If it is, you can be quite confident that you have the right answers
  3. Some answers that tend to have words such as “always,” “never,” “all,” and “must,” are usually incorrect. Words such as “generally” and “probably” are usually correct.


With DECA comes the beauty of networking! Throughout the SLC, I met Michigan DECA association officers, old and new DECA friends, and college representatives. Creating memories together and building connections is one of the best parts of being a DECA member.

Overall, I was able to learn a lot at Michigan DECA’s leadership conference and brought all the information I gained to not only my chapter, but to the rest of the DECA world too!

This article was written by Taylor Truman DECA President, Sara Sherazi. You can follow Sara on Twitter @sara_sherazi and @TrumanDECA.

Categories: Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Leadership