Is this your first Model UN conference? Is this your tenth conference? Are you feeling a bit nervous and like you aren’t as prepared as you could be? Do you need some last-minute advice but don’t have enough time to spend 5 minutes reading a wikipedia page? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions then this article is for you!
1. Model UN is all about the Awards
If you are a middle school, high school, or University student your sole focus at a Model UN conference should be to take home the highest possible award in your committee. Climate Change, Terrorism, nuclear security, and the other Sustainable Development Goals are only important to think about if that information will give you a leg-up against the competition! Sure, learning how to think about the world’s most complex issues critically is nice, but does the world need any more youth empowerment? No! What the world really needs is more students with pieces of paper and wooden gavels to signify the importance of being better than other people. Don’t even get me started on those people who tell you that you can meet lots of interesting people in Model UN, how Model UN can help you get into University, or even help you increase your confidence — they just don’t understand how important the awards are. But how can can win award you ask? Let’s take a gander at tip #2!
2. Talk – a lot
Model UN involves lots of words. You need to research words, write with words, give speeches with words, and on very rare occasions even try to understand other people’s words. Even if you don’t know what you’re talking about realize that a moment of silence in any conversation at a Model UN conference is another wasted moment in which other people are not hearing your glorious glorious voice. Did someone else just suggest a unique solution to solve the biggest issue outlined in your committee’s background guide that you only read the first couple pages of? Don’t let them finish their point! You need to redirect the conversation away from their mumbo-jumbo blah-blah talk!
Here are some specific techniques to redirect a conversation:
a. If someone else is speaking then you need to use your words as quickly as possible to redirect anyone listening to them back to your own ideas.
b. Letting another delegate finish saying their thought without cutting them off means you’ve wasted your time on pointless ‘listening’. No delegate ever won gaveled because the chair thought they were a good listener.
c. Everything should be presented in threes. As the quote goes: “It’s better to say many things often than one thing well” (this may be a slight paraphrase). Even if you don’t have a good second or third point, the more things you say the more other people will see you as a Best Delegate. Doing this will make other people will realize you are an experienced delegate.
3. Repeat the simple and easy solutions
If your resolution doesn’t already suggest your topic can be solved with either education, taking money from NGOs, or creating a new organization with the purpose of solving the topic that your background guide is asking the delegates to solve then you are spending too much time thinking complexly! Don’t waste your time on thinking critically when you could instead be talking or thinking about the importance of awards in Model UN! Instead, put yourself on autopilot and just repeat these three simple solutions in every single speech you give. This is an advanced technique you can use to brand yourself and be seen as a thought leader in committee.
Let’s look at a sample conversation applying these very basic principles:
Smart delegate: “The issue of nuclear security can be solved if we just work to educate the general population on the danger of nuclear weapons exploding.”
Other delegate #1 that is preventing you from speaking more: “Don’t most people know that nuclear bombs exploding are bad? How will educating the general population solve the underlying issue of nuclear security?”
Smart delegate: “Obviously we just need to tell NGOs to give their money towards buying more textbooks about nuclear security so that the population can read them and know why this topic is so important.”
Other delegate #2 that doesn’t follow your brilliance: “I’m pretty sure that we don’t have the authority to use funding from NGOs. I think we can only make suggestions and encourage those organizations to use their funding on our solutions.”
Smart delegate: “Exactly! This is why we need to create a new organization of experts from only a few countries here today in our committee that is designed to help us implement these complicated solutions.”
Other delegate #1 continuing to prevent you from speaking again: “It doesn’t sound like your solutions are going to actually solve the problem. It seems like your solution is to just have other people think about how to solve nuclear security.”
Smart delegate: “No, you’re missing my point. See, if we had more education on nuclear security then delegates like you would understand just how important it is to send textbooks to countries that really need to understand the complex issue of nuclear security. Let me explain the organization of experts we’re creating which will help us solve this issue again! You’ll understand after everyone else here listens to my brilliant plan.”
4. Research, be patient, and work hard
I was told that tip #4 was important to include but I think it contradicts tip #1, #2, and #3. Because getting good at Model UN should be quick! Again, that is if you follow the first three tips. If it took lots of research, patience, and hard work then why would people ever choose to go to more than one Model UN conference?
I get a lot of questions from individuals new to MUN or attending a conference where they’re asking for advice. I haven’t been able to respond to each one due to the volume of emails I receive so this article is a way for me to help those individuals out in their on-going efforts to do well in Model UN.
If you did not pick up on the satire in the first three tips then you probably already stopped reading the article by now. If you did pick up on the satire and are actually interested in succeeding in Model UN then we have loads (literally over a thousand posts on this blog and counting) of great content here on the blog that is absolutely free since we less than three MUN!
Here are some for your reference:
A good place to start is MUN Made Easy: How to Get Started with Model United Nations.
You can also find more specific help under our resources page, bestdelegate.com/resources.
Here are some specific topics that are covered on the page:
Delegate Tips & Strategies
Introduction to Model UN
Advanced Strategy Tips
Teachers & Club Leaders
How to teach Model UN
How to lead a competitive Model UN Team
How to run a Model UN Club
How to run a Model UN Conference
How to Chair a Model UN Committee
How to run a Crisis Committee
Model UN Trends & Analysis
You may also use the ‘Search Box’ in the top right hand corner to look for specific topics that may be helpful for you.