2 Model UN Tactics for Short Delegates

by KFC on February 22, 2016

I was a short Model UN delegate. In high school, I stood 5’3″ (160cm) and I only grew a few inches taller by the time I got to college. I was shorter than most male delegates and some female delegates in natural height, and then I became shorter than most female delegates once they put their heels on. As a short delegate, I knew I had to counter the advantage that taller delegates had in various aspects of Model UN, particularly in public speaking and social dynamics.

Here are two quick tactics that shorter and fun-sized delegates can use to help level the playing field in those two aspects:

1. Bring your placard up when making a speech.


A delegate from Mount Holyoke College showing how it’s done on her way to winning an award at Harvard National Model United Nations.

Tall people are obviously easier to see during a speech, and this advantage becomes even more valuable in a large GA ballroom. For shorter delegates, one tactic they could use is to bring their placard up with them. For newer delegates, just holding the placard up in front of you is good enough because it serves as a visual anchor for the audience to look at and resets their frame of reference to your height. For more advanced delegates, the placard could be integrated into arm gestures in order to create visuals that give you a bigger physical presence on stage (see example in photo above).

2. Get the group to sit down during unmoderated caucus.

Groups sitting down in a circle literally level the playing field and make discussion more well-rounded

Groups sitting down in a circle literally level the playing field and make discussion more well-rounded

Tall people tower over the unmoderated caucus bloc — people have to look up when speaking to them — and this advantage becomes even more valuable when it’s crowded in a large GA bloc. For shorter delegates, the key is to get the entire unmoderated caucus bloc to sit down on the floor (preferably in a circle which facilitates the most fair discussion). Sitting down neutralizes the height advantage of the taller delegates. If you’re negotiating one-on-one with a taller delegate, then the variation is to have both of you sit in chairs instead of the floor which creates a similar effect.


Interested in learning more MUN strategies and tactics? Check out the free Ambassador Guide for Advanced Model UN Delegates!

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