How to Rule the Magic Kingdom

So you’ve qualified for ICDC, what are you going to do next? Go to Disney World of course! And when you’re in Disney World, your one stop shop for all things magical is The Magic Kingdom, but with so much to do and so little time, how will you get the most of your adventure? Luckily, I happened to be good friends with Goofy, and he gave me the inside scoop of all there is to see and do in the wonderful world of Disney.

Continue reading

I Know I Put That in My Bag…

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.

Continue reading

How to Rock Your Role Play

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.


Role-Play Format:


Time: Example
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
1 Minute Questions
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 if you have any questions.

Good Luck!


How to get Involved with Advocacy Month


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?

Continue reading

The Presentation Part of the “Written Event”

It seems like every year we leave the presentation part of the event till the very end. We practice till 3am Thursday night before competition begins on Friday to perfect the presentation, however this year, we want you to be participating in karaoke and having a good time Thursday night. So, here are a few tips that’ll make your presentation stand out based on what you’re using.

Continue reading

The 30 Day #ILCDC Countdown Has Begun!

Wow, look how quickly the time has passed! In exactly one month we will all be having the time of our lives at ILCDC 2015. This one month countdown may be a reminder to start working on your presentations for your written events, or it may encourage you to start looking over those cluster and economics tests. In one month you will be introduced to new experiences that you will never forget. Not only will you make connections with members as passionate as you, you will also be able to display your DECA talents on a whole new level.

DECA pic 1 DECA pic 2

In one month you will be one step closer to ICDC in Orlando, Florida. In one month you will be able to celebrate your accomplishments while having fun with your friends at the DECA dance or while singing karaoke. You have come so far. As long as you keep working hard and having fun doing it along the way, you will enjoy your time not only at ILCDC, but also at ICDC. Illinois DECA members are you ready to get connected, get involved, and get competitive at #ILCDC? Let the countdown begin!

Blazers, and Dress Pants, and Shoes… Oh My!!!

First impressions can be tough. Everything on competition day has to be just right. You’re already worried about making sure your handshake is perfect, your flip book is in the right order, your posters didn’t get squished on the bus, and trying to think of every possible detail you could have forgotten; you shouldn’t have to worry about what you’re wearing. So, how do you decide what to wear to a competition? Once you’ve decided, how do you avoid becoming depressed by the price tag? We learned a lot from trying to find coordinating outfits for an entire weekend, and we want to help you avoid the frustration and sore feet we had to endure. Here are some helpful hints we learned along the way.

Continue reading