California DECA’s 2014 District Career Development Conferences are approaching fast! As we enter the height of competition, now is the time to make sure you are primed to do your best and make it onstage! Here are five key tips to assist you as you make your final preparations:
- Practice. Before the conference, practice over and over again. Try to do as many practice role-plays as you can, so that you can get experience in a role-play situation. DECA.org has sample role-plays, and more scenarios are available for purchase through DECA Images. For written events, you have the chance to prepare everything beforehand. Take full advantage of that opportunity and polish your presentation so that you know what you’re saying from beginning to end. Don’t forget to prepare for your tests, which make up a significant portion of your overall score. Taking tests over and over will allow you to be more familiar with types of questions that you may be asked.
- Be confident and professional. First impressions are everything. Before your competitions, be sure that you’re looking your best. Comb your hair, straighten up your clothes, and ensure that you’re looking your business best. Show up early and when you meet your judge, exude confidence. Have a firm opening handshake and show the judge that you know what you’re talking about. No matter what may be running through your head, a smile and confident speaking tone will certainly impress your judge and make him/her more receptive to your points.
- Be unique. Each judge will hear many presentations throughout the day, often about similar things. It is important that you are able to differentiate yourself from everyone else so that the judge remembers you specifically. What’s different about your presentation? How will you stand out? Are your ideas dazzling and creative, or are you introducing a brand new concept? Make a positive impression on your judge, and it will definitely reflect in your scores.
- Close the sale. At the end of your presentation, whether it be a role-play or written event, make sure you close the sale. Re-emphasize your main points and ask the judge to take an action. Request your plan to be enacted, or say that you’ll be following up soon. End with a firm handshake, thank the judge for their time, and finish out strong.
- Trust yourself! After all of your practice and preparation, believe in your own abilities. Go into competition confident that you know what you’re doing. You’re ready! Take a deep breath, relax, and just enjoy yourself. You’ll do a fantastic job!
Best of luck to you at your District CDC! Whether it’s your first DECA conference or your tenth, you’re sure to have a spectacular time. See you onstage!