At a national level, most events contain over 100 teams, meaning that in order to earn a spot as a finalist, you must polish, practice and prepare your presentation to the utmost level. Below are some tips you can use to succeed.
1. Exceed the rubric's requirements. At a state level, you may have been able to qualify for nationals by simply following the rubric's requirements, but at a national level, you need to incorporate elements that make your presentation unique from all the rest. For example, in web design, you could talk about cybersecurity.
2. Get the community involved. If you apply your presentation to a real world scenario (especially if you are doing Community Service Project), the judges will love it. Try having real people beta test your app, get friends to give an opinion on your graphic design products and quote them, or create an online survey about your website's performance. These are all some ideas that can put you on the path to success at the NLC.
3. Practice, practice, practice. The importance of rehearsal cannot be stressed enough, especially for RI. In other larger states, they have to get through regionals, sectionals, divisional etc. to get to states. It is much more competitive so they have rehearsed an innumerable amount! Your team can do the same to produce an exceptional product at NLC. Practice in front of your class or advisor. It may make you nervous, but it will improve your public speaking skills so you are less anxious around the judges.
4. Be courteous to the judges. Shake their hands at the beginning and address them by their titles.
5. Be memorable. As I stated earlier, when judges are sorting through 100+ presentations, it may get tiresome for them to see the same thing again and again. Therefore, be sure to stand out during your presentation.
6. Make sure you know how to use the technology provided, and/or bring your own.
7. If you do not know the answer to a question, do not say "I don't know" because, to the judges, it signifies a lack of research on your part. Improvise!