What You Need For A Successful Roleplay

Collegiate DECA provides its members with various opportunities to enhance their college experience. One method is through the competitive events programs.  These experiential learning activities are designed to enhance essential business skills.

Why should students participate in competitive events? These events allow students to demonstrate their ability to apply various principles (marketing, management, finance, etc.) learned in the classroom to solve real-world case situations. This area of competitive event is known as Business Simulations, which includes roles-plays in any of the following areas:  Accounting, Banking Financial Services, Corporate Finance, Fashion Merchandising and Marketing, Hotel and Lodging, Restaurant and Food Service, Retail Management or Travel and Tourism. The Business Simulation format includes a written 100 question (multiple choice) exam and a 15-minute role-play with the judge.

Participating in a role-play provides an opportunity for students to develop decision-making and critical thinking skills. Students are given a real-world case situation to analyze; their task is to develop a plan of action to solve the problem/situation. They then participate in a role-play with a business/industry professional (judge) with experience in this particular field. As a result, students enhance their presentation skills and improve their self-confidence.

What do you need for a successful role-play?

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare! Practice using sample cases on the DECA website.
  • Read the entire situation once and then quickly once again. Make sure that you understand the situation.
  • Identify the problem you are being asked to solve and prepare an opening statement highlighting the problem and issues to be addressed.
  • Identify the facts presented and any assumptions you are making about the situation.
  • Check the bottom left corner of the front page of your Business Simulation for a list of “Performance Indicators”. This is what the judge will be looking for in your presentation.
  • Address each indicator point-by-point.
  • Prepare an outline of your analysis, organizing your ideas.
  • Prepare a strong conclusion that summarizes your recommendations/actions taken. Make sure you have covered every performance indicator.

When making your presentation, look the part! You are playing the role of a professional business person, so make sure to dress like one. Professional business attire is mandatory. Greet the judge with a firm handshake, introduce yourself and smile. Relax; be confident and clear and concise in your statements. Maintain appropriate eye contact with the judge and listen carefully when the judge asks you a question. Thank the judge for their time and shake their hand when leaving. The idea is to role-play what you would be doing in an actual business situation.

Article written by Joanne Orabone, Community College of Rhode Island Providence, 2012