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!