Overcoming Failures in Committee

by bassimfaizal on December 21, 2014


It happens to the best of us; not winning that coveted gavel can sometimes lessen our motivation¬†or even turn us away from Model UN. It may be owed to several reasons, but the end result almost always leaves us with lowered self esteem, lowered self respect and what not. But as the cliche goes, failure is success in disguise. Don’t get me wrong, to become an MUN exemplar, failure is not the end of a Model UN career. Bouncing back from losses is what truly decides the fate of your future MUN success.

To get back in the game, you need to undergo a thorough process of self reflection. This process will reflect the specific skills you need to improve. This article aims to make this process a lot easier and convenient to follow.

You can divide your analysis into four quadrants:
1. Research and Position Papers:
Did you spend enough time on research?
Was your approach right/ Did you frame the topic correctly?
Were you familiar with your country’s foreign policy?
Did your research binder have all the necessary components?
Were you familiar with your background guide?
Were you thorough with your committee’s powers and responsibilities?
Did you research for solutions? Did you come up with your own unique solutions?
Was your position paper substantive enough? Did it include the key components?

2. Resolutions and Unmoderated Caucuses:
Did you lead your bloc in making resolutions? Did you lead through collaboration; did you empower the delegates in your bloc?
Were you able to communicate effectively with your bloc members? Were you able to suppress group conflicts?
Did you employ the right methods to improve rapport among team mates?
Did you make operative clauses before the conference began?
Did you have unique solutions that made you stand out? Did they make your resolution pass?
Did your clauses answer the questions ‘what’ and ‘how’?
Did your solutions have backed sources of finance?
Did you include relevant NGOs and organizations to your resolution?
Is your resolution inclusive of most of the committee members needs?
Did your clauses address the specific issues mentioned in your background guide?
Did you sell a brand while discussing your resolution? Were you the main sales person?

3. Speeches and Moderated Caucuses:
Were you a powerful speaker? Did you make use of hand gestures and eye contact?
Was your opening speech impactful?
Did you have a flow in your speech? Were you CCC (Calm Composed & Confident)?
Did you frame your speeches effectively?
Did you refer to other delegates and their points in your speeches?
Did you bring new ideas onto the floor with your speeches?
Did you instigate debate by passing motions and use them tactically? Did you participate actively?
Did you actively listen to other delegates and comment on their ideas or solutions?

4. Miscellaneous:
Did you arrive to committee sessions early?
How did you greet the other delegates? Did you make friendly relations before debate?
Did you get a good seat in the committee?
Did you maintain friendly relations with your chair?
Did you utilize notes to your advantage during the sessions?
Were you smartly dressed at all times?
Did you maintain communication with your bloc members outside committee sessions?
Was your bloc the first to submit the resolution?
Were you professional while speaking? Did you use the right technical terms at the right time?
Did you achieve what is best for your country? Did you achieve what is best for your bloc’s countries?

Answering these questions will point out to both your strong and weak areas. They’ll answer “what” you need to focus on, but not “how” you can improve upon your shortcomings because the “how” part of it is not a one size fits all model; Every individual will have their own way of improving their abilities. You may use the countless resources on this website to assist you in becoming a better delegate. Good luck with your Model UN endeavors!

  • Lad Delegate

    This entire notion of “I didn’t gavel in MUN, I HAVE to gavel” is very very disturbing and takes away what should be the main focus of Model UN which is NOT AWARDS. Model UN should be about education, meeting new people and having fun. Not once in this article is it mentioned that you should consider MUN worthwhile even if you don’t win/gavel. As someone who has won awards in MUN and also someone who has determined awards for a committee, asking the questions you ask delegates to ask themselves and forgo fun, education and meeting new people is not just wrong, its plain simple disturbing.

    • Elx

      Agreed 100%

      It weirds me out how thoroughly some people focus on the competitive aspects of what should be a primarily collaborative experience.

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