5 Advanced Competition Tips for Collegiate Members
Veronica Volk | Arizona Collegiate DECA
How do you stand out among the crowd? Go get ready for this competition season with some new tips and tricks to incorporate into your next case study or role-play.
1. Use Visuals Rather Than Bullets Points
Bullet points on PowerPoint slides can become repetitive, especially from a judge’s perspective. Rather than using bullet points, try to create realistic visuals that reinforce performance indicators and promote your solution.
Visuals can include:
- SWOT analysis
- Pie graph of current market share
- Bar chart to compare various products’ revenue
- Line graph of sales over time
If you need bullet points to be able to present your ideas clearly, consider writing them on a piece of paper next to your presentation.
2. I “B.E.T.” With These Tips You Are Going to Sweep the Judge Off Their Feet
B.E.T. stands for Budget, Evaluation and Timeline. Although all three may not apply to all case studies, if you can wrap them into your presentation, they can add some extra pizzazz – and maybe answer some of the judge’s questions.
Budget: Although you can use actual dollar amounts, percentages are usually the way to go unless you really know a lot about the topic.
Evaluation: How are you going to measure if your plan was successful? Examples include customer surveys, secret shopper experiences or analyzing sales revenue increase.
Timeline: It can be as simple as “6 months”, or you can break the project down by major milestones or project phases.
3. Have a Conversation With Your Judge
Having judged several high school events, I understand how monotonous it can be listening to presentation after presentation. Stand out by engaging your judge during your presentation and turning the presentation into more of a conversation. Start off by asking them about their day to break the ice. Additionally, if you have the opportunity to involve your judge in your presentation, you should. For example, if you are creating a marketing plan, ask the judge which social media platform they use the most. Be sure that whatever they answer with, you are able to positively incorporate their answer into the presentation. Paper props are also encouraged!
4. Learn Your Industry
Before going into your role-play, you should have a good knowledge of current industry trends and jargon. Be sure to use the information during your presentation. It is the best way to impress a judge that knows the field well.
5. Become the Manager of Your Role-play
One of the major elements that collegiate judges are looking at is your ability to make management-like decisions. One of the ways you do this is by looking at a problem from the view of all stakeholders and departments. How does the situation impact customers, employees and investors? Does the risk of the project outweigh the potential reward? Are there any legal concerns? Thinking about the situation through multiple lenses will help you come up with creative ideas and solutions to difficult problems. Additionally, if the situation requires you to pick among a number of alternatives, make sure that you address why you did not pick the other options.
I hope you found these competition tips helpful. Be sure to practice these new concepts before your next district, region or association conference. Good luck with this competition season!
Follow Veronica on Instagram @azcdeca_veronica