With a written event, one of the hardest parts is getting over your anxiety about it. I remember my freshman year I looked at events and thought, “whoa that is WAY too many pages.” That’s the reason I didn’t do a written event, and I don’t regret it, but I definitely know now that I was wrong. 5, 11, or even 30 page written entries aren’t nearly as daunting as they seem.
Realistically, finding relevant information to add to your written entry is pretty easy. Once you get started, you realize you have a lot more to say than you think. If you are having some trouble filling the pages, adding informational graphs, charts, and other graphics are a great way to do it. Keep in mind that those page numbers are maximums, not requirements, and it’s better to have 2/3 of the pages done with quality content, than to have all of them done with useless information. Quality over Quantity.
Probably the biggest mistake people make in a written entry is getting penalty points. AVOID PENALTY POINTS. They really do make the difference between an incredible performance and an average one. Read through the Written Event Checklist and MAKE SURE that you won’t get any penalty points. It seems really picky but it makes all the difference in the world.
The best thing you can do to prepare for you presentation is to practice. In front of your chapter members, in front of your advisor, in front of professional members, in front of you parents, in front of anyone who will listen. Everyone has a different perspective and will give you different ways you can improve on your presentation. Not only that, but presenting so many times will make the day you compete much less stressful. Over prepare so that you don’t get any jitters.
My final tip is to improve your presentation between competitions. If you compete at districts and get any constructive criticism: use it, it’ll help you at CDC. If you compete at CDC and get any constructive criticism: use it, it’ll help you at ICDC. Even if you don’t get any constructive criticism, you’ll know what you liked and didn’t like about your presentation and what you have to improve about it.
Doing a written event can seem difficult, but if you thoroughly explain everything, prepare for your presentation and are confident in what you’re saying, you’ll do just fine. After all of that, the only thing left to do is to get ready to Own your Awards.