How to thrive in competition

January 29, 2013

By Lee Xie

Lee Xie Skyline High School

Lee Xie
Skyline High School

This year, the motto for DECA — an international association that prepares students for their futures in the business world — is “THRIVE.”

And on Jan. 11, Skyline High School did just that at Area 4 Competition, qualifying 90 members of the chapter, a new school record, for state competition that is set to begin March 7.

I asked my fellow executive board members on what they thought set our chapter apart from the others at area, and received the following tips on how one can thrive in competition:

Grace Wan, vice president of chapter development, shared: “If your eyes are set upon the medals, then I have one word of advice for you: confidence. That’s the key to preparing, presenting and winning. Even before competition, there are so many things that you can do to prepare. Everyone has different strategies so find the one that works best for you. Practice your presentation, or if you’re competing in a role-play, study the performance indicators and conduct research. Preparation in itself will make you confident, so don’t think you can slack here. DECA-cation will pay off. Make a positive impression with your judges through professional attire, a firm handshake and a winning smile. Stand out from the rest of the crowd by engaging and interesting your judges. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to be a member of Skyline High School DECA. We have the best advisers and the best executive board so that you’ll be sure to thrive.”

Jessica Guo, vice president of communications, added: “Know what works for you. Emphasis on the ‘for you’ part. We’re sure you’ve heard this so many times that it’s become cliché, but trust us: everyone is different. Everyone is unique. There is no one path to success. So try different methods based on your own skills and strengths. Are you an easy talker? Prepare talking points. Are you a good memorizer? Prepare a speech. Are you artistically talented? Work on that visual or poster. Don’t forget to sleep. Trust us when we say that one’s ability to respond and function effectively is suspended after an all-nighter. We don’t recommend it.”

As for my own advice, I believe that choosing events that you feel a passion for is very important. You don’t want to be stuck working on a paper or presentation all year that you aren’t interested in, so whether you are a car enthusiast (automotive services role-play?) or a fashion addict (fashion promotion plan?), pick events that make you excited about going to competition. Then, you’ll be sure to thrive.

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