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10 Ways to Not Embarrass Yourself

Camy - Proper Preparation

When participating in performance events, there are a number of ways to mess up and embarrass not only yourself, but any teammates you may have. Here are a few ways to avoid this embarrassment:

1. Dress for success.

Camy - National Dress CodeLook over FBLA’s dress code for performance events and be sure to follow it. A dress code penalty deducts 5 points from your overall score. Here is a glance at the dress code, the full dress code can be found at http://www.fbla-pbl.org/about-fbla/.

2. Practice makes perfect!

Camy - Practice Makes PerfectDuring your performance event, part of your score is based on your delivery, so it’s important that you make sure you have practiced your speech until you are fully confident in your presentation. Reading your speech aloud can also help you catch any errors or awkward sentences that you may not catch otherwise.

3. Know your stuff.

Camy - Know Your StuffPart of your score comes from the content you deliver. It’s important that you do research prior to your event so that you are able to provide accurate and complete information. Judges will be able to spot someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about!

4. Be early.

Camy - Be EarlyIn business time, if you are on time, you’re late. Show up earlier than the scheduled time for your event so that you have time to practice, prepare, and get your head in the zone for your speech. Giving yourself this extra time is also a good idea if you are unfamiliar with the location of your event, because you don’t want to get lost and miss the event you’ve spent so much time preparing for.

5. Don’t eat gas inducing foods.

Camy - Don't eat Gas Inducing FoodsThis is a tip many people don’t even consider when going into a performance event, but it is still very important. If soda makes you burp and burritos often cause you to stink up a room, don’t risk it! Passing gas can be disruptive to a performance and will likely detract from your level of professionalism.

6. Don’t forget your materials!

Camy - Don't Forget Your MaterialsIf you need notes for your speech, need visual aids, or need a projector to show your presentation, it can be detrimental to the success of your event if you forget to bring these necessary materials. Pause before you take off for your event and double check your list of supplies.

7. Greet the judges appropriately.

Camy - Greet the JudgesMake eye contact and smile politely. This will make you look confident (even if you’re not). A proper handshake helps you make a good first impression. Offer your right hand, even if you are left handed. Most people are right handed so this will likely be most comfortable for your judges. When you have their hand, grip firmly but not aggressively. At this point you should introduce yourself then release their hand. Be sure not to hold on for too long because they may feel you are holding their hand captive. Alternatively, if you rush to abandon the handshake they may be offended or think you want to get away from them. Once you have finished this greeting you may regroup and begin your presentation.

8. Don’t call out a mistake.

Camy - Don't Call Out a MistakeEverybody makes mistakes, it’s natural. What’s important is that you don’t draw attention to a mistake by calling yourself out on it with phrases like: dang it, I mean, oops, etc. Judges don’t know what you’re planning to say; so if you ad lib a bit, they’re not going to know the difference.

9. Slow down.

Camy - Slow DownSpeak slowly, enunciate, and stay calm. The more quickly you speak, the more likely you are to make a mistake and the less likely the judges will be able to understand you. If you rush, it may also show that you are not confident in yourself or what you are saying.

10. Thank the judges for their time.

Camy - Thank the JudgesShake their hands and thank them for their time. It’s the polite thing to do!