5 Basic Tips to Participating in a Large Committee

by KFC on January 19, 2012

Standing out is a challenge

The peak of the Model UN season is approaching and almost every delegate will face the challenge of standing out in a large committee with hundreds of their peers. Large committees can feel daunting, overwhelming, or frustrating for delegates who are unsure how to manage their participation in a large committee. We included several tips on this topic already in the How to Win Awards in Model United Nations guide already but I’ll share five basic tips on how to participate in a large committee below.

1. Project a clearly framed first speech. Attention spans are short in large committees, so it is very important that your country gains name recognition and stands out from hundreds of delegates. If you have an opportunity to make a first speech, make sure to project your voice so that other delegates can hear you, and make sure that your speech is clearly framed so that delegates can easily catch what your country’s policies or main ideas are. Make it easy for others to remember who you are.

2. Use moderated caucuses to get speaking opportunities. The biggest mistake delegates make when participating in large committees is treating them like the smaller committees when it comes to speaking opportunities. Delegates should not rely on the Speaker’s List for their speaking opportunities. Use moderated caucuses or time yielded from another delegate instead to get speaking opportunities if you’re really far down the Speaker’s List.

3. Split up during unmoderated caucuses. This assumes that you’ll have a co-delegate to work with in a large committee. Make sure you split up during unmoderated caucuses so your team can work the room faster. During later sessions, we also recommend having the co-delegates specialize functionally. For example, one focuses on drafting the resolution with the core caucus bloc while the other either lobbies for votes or debates with rival blocs elsewhere.

4. Pass more notes. It may be difficult to get to speak with a delegate you really want to speak with during unmoderated caucus in a large room. Fortunately, most committees allow note-passing to address this. Pass notes to those who you want to meet with beforehand to make the meeting more efficient, and pass notes with other delegates to keep communication flowing at all times. For those who are introverted, note-passing may be your diplomatic strength as you can engage others into a conversation without having to make a loud speech or be overly assertive during unmoderated caucus.

5. Empower your allies. It’s almost impossible to get everything you want to get done on your own and in a timely manner in a large committee. You need to have a team of leaders in your caucus bloc that can help you with the core tasks: writing the resolution, recruiting votes, and countering other caucus blocs. Agree as a group to divide up some tasks and empower others to help you.

Hope these five basic tips will help make your experience in a large committee more enjoyable. If these tips are too basic for you, I recommend getting the How to Win Awards in Model United Nations guide.


  • http://twitter.com/THSMUN THS Model UN

    Perfect timing as we head to YMUN in an hour!

  • Anonymous

    Another tip related to #4: Pass notes to delegates right after they speak. Let them know what you think about their speech, specifically whether you agree or disagree with their country’s position on the topic and possible solutions. For the ones you agree with, suggest meeting with them during the next unmoderated caucus. By then, you’ll already have a group of delegates to meet with, instead of wandering around during caucus to find potential allies, and you’ll be well on your way to forming a caucus bloc and writing a resolution.

    Doing this helps you build alliances with other delegates and start forming potential caucus blocs. This is particularly helpful during the first session, when everyone is making their opening speeches, and before the first unmoderated caucus. This also keeps you productive and engaged in committee instead of becoming bored while you wait for your turn to speak. If you’re a co-delegation, have each delegate take turns writing notes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001203938612 Tim Kim

    You mentioned getting a chance to speak through another delegates yield of time, when your still far down the speakers list. I assume this would mean that you would have to arrange this before hand strategically?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2505945 Kevin Felix Chan

      Yes you’d have to ask someone beforehand to yield time to you. Many larger conferences also require that speaker to pass a note to the Chair or mention to the Chair that they will be yielding their time. Ideally yielding is best used during the latter sessions of the conference when countries have already formed a solid draft resolution but know that certain delegates within their bloc can explain the most salient ideas better and therefore the delegates in the bloc amy yield their time to the expert within it.

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