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The Amazing Shake is an etiquette and social competency competition that was created by the Ron Clark Academy and has been challenging students in unique social situations over the past five years. The program focuses on manners, discipline, respect, and professional conduct. In preparation for this competition your students will learn the nuances of professional interaction as they are taught skills such as how to network, how to give a successful interview, how to hold an authentic conversation, and how to remain composed under pressure. The goal is to prepare our students so that they are able to present themselves exceptionally well for opportunities today as well as those that will come in the future.

Students are challenged daily to greet adults and peers with proper introductions and hold meaningful, authentic conversation. In addition to these daily practices students receive weekly lessons in

  • Proper handshakes
  • Eye contact
  • Cultural greetings
  • Active listening
  • Poise and Confidence
  • Adaptability
  • Je ne sais quoi

In November our students display these skills in a practice competition where they must work a room full of past teachers to obtain predetermined information. Feedback from that competition helps them prepare for the final competition where they go through various challenges with community leaders.

Challenges may include

  • Interviewing for a job with an imaginary company
  • Covering an unusual news story….
  • Selling a product Shark Tank style
  • Firing an underperforming employee
  • Holding a presidential debate in front of a room of upset protesters

This Amazing Shake gives our students the confidence, poise and adaptability to thrive in all aspects of life and fulfills our goal of creating thoughtful, confident and respectful young adults ready to lead our global community.


It was an incredible experience. It challenged me to improve my manners, my confidence and my ability to network. I know these skills will help me in the future so I’m really glad that I had this opportunity.
Benjamin (Class of 2022)

It was an amazing experience from beginning to end. As soon as I heard about the competition I started practicing. I worked on my mannerisms, expressions and body language. When the competition started I was nervous to speak with professionals that I had never met before but it was all worth it as I was one of the finalists that earned the chance to compete in Atlanta. The Ron Clark school was incredible and it was and it was something that I will never forget.
David (Class of 2022)

Category 1 —– 2 —– 3 — 4 —– 5 — — 6 —– 7 — 8 —– 9 —– 10
Appearance Unprofessional. Did not dress in proper interview attire or was messy and wrinkled. Wore: shorts, flip flops, hat, t-shirt, etc. Unpolished. Wore casual khakis or jeans with a semi-casual shirt. May not have worn a tie or professional shoes. Good. Almost perfect appearance but had one or two items that stood out to be less professional; ex. Skirt is too short. Exceptional. Wore proper attire: conservative suit, slacks, tie, proper length skirt, pressed garment and well-groomed overall.
Je Ne Sais Quoi Poor Impression. Student left a negative impression or would be easily forgotten. Unpolished. Student was pleasant in conversation, but did not leave a very memorable impression. Good. Student left a strong positive impression. More memorable than most. Exceptional. There is something about the student that stands out, unforgettable.
Handshake Noodle-like. Limp handshake. Avoids eye contact. Mumbles during meeting. Unpolished. Handshake left something to be desired. Lacks confidence in greeting and eye contact. Good. Student makes eye contact but doesn’t shake well or needed to be more confident in greeting. Exceptional. Firm but not overpowering. Did not hold on too long. Maintain eye contact after grip.
Confidence Timid. Lacks confidence while speaking and seems to want to exit conversation quickly. Unpolished. Showed confidence at times but was generally shy. Had difficulty with conversation. Good. Generally sure of themselves. Had one or two glimpses of uncertainty. Exceptional. Exudes confidence, boldly chooses topics of conversation and responds strongly.
Verbal Poise Poor. May have organized thoughts in an unclear way, used slang, too short or brief with answers. Unpolished. Needs work with organizing thoughts and using examples to strengthen issues. Good. Had distracting hand gestures, poor posture but overall had eye contact and communicated interest. Exceptional. Gave solid introduction and conclusion of thoughts, proper grammar, used examples.
Non-Verbal Behavior Poor. Distracting hand gestures, no eye contact. Appeared uninterested or had poor posture. Unpolished. Distracting hand gestures or little eye contact. Exhibited poor posture. Good. Some distracting hand gestures or poor posture but had good eye contact and interest. Exceptional. Appropriate hand gestures, good posture and eye contact. Communicated interest.
Adaptability Poor. Repeatedly got stuck in conversation, struggled in responses and developing new topics. Unpolished. Awkward pauses while considering questions to ask or responses and transitions. Good. Adjusted well to conversation. One or two pauses with quick recovery. Struggled slightly. Exceptional. Displayed flawless adjustments. Questions flow: not scripted.