How many times has this happened to you? You pull up to the hotel, drag all your stuff into your room, chat with friends, run around like crazy people, and then you start to unpack, and realize you forgot your toothbrush or your bathing suit or that shirt you wanted… You get the idea. With the excitement of the day and the stress that comes with competing, it’s easy to forget the little things, or sometimes even the not-so-little things! Illinois DECA is here to help. Whether it’s state, ICDC, or any trip, this list should help you remember everything you’ll need to not only survive, but to thrive.
There I was, sitting on the bus, on the way to sectionals. A friend of mine casually asked “are you ready for your role play” to which I answered “what’s a role play?” I want to say that I made up this story for the sake of this blog post as an example of what not to do, but that was me my freshman year. In the year’s since I have learned more about role play’s and come to love them. Even though we only have a week left until state, don’t fret, simply by reading this post you will be well ahead of where I was before sectionals.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
First off there is no replacement for mastery. You NEED to know about the event you are in. If you are in Automotive Services you should know how dealers operate and how manufacturer incentives work. If you are in Food Marketing you should know what slotting fee’s are. You may have been able to do without at sectionals and you may get lucky at state, but especially at the national level there is no substitute for having the right knowledge. I would strongly recommend heading over to Hulu and checking out some of CNBC’s documentaries. They often feature an inside look into the industries that you are competing in.
When you are actually competing, use your prep time wisely. Remember that you are being judged on the performance indicators, so be sure to address each one directly. This is where the freedom comes in. Be sure to be creative while being realistic. This is what set’s you apart, so put some thought into it.
Now that you know your content, think about delivery. I’ve had a few people ask me to share the format I use for role plays, so here is the format I use. Keep in mind that this is just a starting point and you can tweak it as you see fit.
|20 Seconds||Introduce Yourself||Hi my name is _________, and I am the ______ of ______ company.|
|40 Seconds||Introduce the Situation||Recently we had this opportunity, I am excited to….|
|5 Seconds||Introduce Performance Indicators||Before we come to a solution, there are a few concepts that you need to understand…|
|30 Seconds||Performance Indicator One + Example||One thing to consider is the nature of product positioning, which is…..|
|30 Seconds||Performance Indicator Two + Example|
|30 Seconds||Performance Indicator Three + Example|
|30 Seconds||Performance Indicator Four + Example|
|30 Seconds||Performance Indicator Five + Example|
|15 Seconds||Segue to Solution||Considering these facts, I believe that we should…|
|3 Minutes||Discuss Solution + Real World Example|
|1 Minute||Recap+ Call To Action|
|30 Second||Thank You/Conclusion|
The last thing to remember is that you need to have a call to action. Now that you’ve taken 10 minutes of the judges time, what should they do next? Directly say something along the lines of “now that we have thought about the situation, I would advise that you stop selling the product (or whatever solution you came up with)”
Ultimately mastery comes from practice, so find a friend or advisor who can help you practice and you will be golden.
I wish you the best of luck as you compete and feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
This year, the State Action Team has been meeting with our elected officials to raise awareness and support for Illinois DECA. State and National Congresspeople have been open to hearing about DECA and helping however they can.
As active citizens, we have both the right and responsibility of talking with and sharing our ideas with our elected officials. You could discuss your cause, express your thoughts and concerns, or even ask for help. But how do you do that?