DECA Districts: Tips and advice for new student participants to gain advantage, ease competition
By Rebecca Lynch
Districts are fast approaching, and for first-year DECA students, the first competition can be very intimidating. The anticipation is worse than actually competing, but certain tips will benefit performance.
DECA competition is comprised of two areas: the written exam and the roleplay. At the District Competition students only need to take one exam and perform one roleplay.
On the written exam, the questions can address a variety of topics concerning marketing, but most will be concentrated to the specific cluster. Random questions are difficult to prepare for, but researching general information pertaining to the industry will help.
Taking the test is exhausting and maintaining concentration is difficult. Take a break, relax for a minute, and skip over tricky questions. Partners should read the questions to themselves and select their answer before conferring with each other.
For the roleplay, students who seriously place themselves in their roles will be more successful. Transforming oneself into an actual consultant or manager helps calm nerves and is more convincing for the judge.
Single competitors must be conscious of the 10-minute time limit and work efficiently in addressing the performance indicators while understanding the role they are assuming. Pairs are expected to give a more thorough and detailed presentation with a 30-minute preparation time limit.
Pairs should also note that they are being evaluated on the “Specific Performance Indicators,” not the general ones.
When creating a response to a roleplay, a unique idea could make the difference between first or sixth place. The best ideas are not hunted for. Increased relaxation allows different ideas to flow while preparing.
In the final minutes of preparation, organize the papers in the order the performance indicators will be addressed. These need not be in the same order as on the roleplay, and the more fluid the presentation the easier it will be for the judge to evaluate it.
Judges greatly appreciate enthusiasm from presenters. A relaxed and composed demeanor will contrast with other nervous competitors being evaluated by the same judge.