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Blog Post: The 3 P's of Winning at ICDC!

By Tyler Hurt, Nevada DECA State President

April 26, 2011

Did you think that competitive events were scary at SCDC? Then imagine how much more intense they are on an international level! If this makes you nervous, then your State Officers would like to offer some tips on how to rock your competitive event at ICDC. There are three "P's" to remember when aiming for competitive success: Practice, Personable, and Prepare

[caption id="attachment_243" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="DECA Members Competing at ICDC. Photo: deca.org"][/caption]

As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect” – and it’s a saying that’s exactly true! The more you Practice, the less nervous you will become. Practicing repeatedly will make your competitive event feel like second nature to you as you get comfortable honing your skills. Once that happens, then you can switch it up and practice a different way. For example, you can ask different teachers to help you practice presenting or even ask your peers to help critique your performance.

Another great idea is to film yourself during a presentation so you can see your mannerisms and posture for any improvements you may want to make. This tip applies to series, team and written events! Simply put, if you don’t know your written event by heart or know how to describe a performance indicator when you read one, then you have not practiced enough. Go back and practice more while taking into consideration the comments that were made by the people who judged you. Remember, practicing is your first step to doing well and winning.

For the second tip, consider that you have only seven seconds to make a positive impression at the beginning of your presentation. You may be thinking, “Wow, that’s not long at all” - and it isn’t! Being Personable is a huge part of your presentation. Introduce yourself in a professional yet enthusiastic manner to show your personality and the excitement you have for your event. Most importantly, keep your enthusiasm high throughout your presentation. This will score big points with the judges.

The last tip is to Prepare. Come to ICDC with all of your note cards, display boards and practice tests so that you can cram in some last minute studying. In addition, know the rules and penalty deductions for your competitive event. Remember, every point counts!

Utilizing these three P’s will help you “wow” the judges and edge out your competition. And while it may be scary to think about competing against the best DECA members in the world, the thought of standing on stage being handed a trophy is even more exciting. Let’s bring back those trophies, Nevada DECA!