There are many things that intimidate new delegates – knowing what to say in a speech or during caucus, making points or motions for the first time, understanding what a new term means, etc.
Learn how to face your fear in Model UN by following these tips:
1. Prepare a research binder. You’ll feel better in committee knowing that your research is at your fingertips. A ready-to-access research binder is a life-saver in case you get lost when different topics, acronyms, agencies, and previous solutions are mentioned. See 15 Things Every Delegate Should Have in their Research Binder.
2. Frame your topics and speeches. In MUN, you have 72 hours or less to solve the world’s most important and complicated problems. This is a challenge, but don’t let it overwhelm you; instead, make it manageable. Break down your topic into smaller issues. Choose the ones that matter most to your country or position. Match solutions to those issues. Learn how to frame your topic.
3. Write out your first speech. Your first speech is the committee’s first impression of you. It’s scary because you’re getting up in front of people you’ve never met who are going to judge you. But the first speech is the easiest to prepare for because you can write it out ahead of time. Try it – you’ll find that it’s easier to speak again after you’ve made a strong first speech. And once you’ve learned how to frame your topic, you will easily learn how to frame your speech.
4. Focus on one idea at a time. Over the course of a conference, your committee will discuss many different problems and solutions. Speeches that try to cover too many ideas at the same time are incoherent. Don’t be confused by the vast number of things to talk about in a speech; instead, focus on one idea at a time. This makes it easier for you to make speeches and for your audience to understand you. You’ll also be faster at crafting comments and more active in moderated caucus. Focusing on one idea helps you overcome an important public speaking fear – knowing what to say in a speech.
5. Learn the different stages of committee. When you’re starting out, committee seems like chaos. There’s so much going on and things seem to happen randomly, which might make you feel anxious or uncertain. But you can overcome these feelings by learning the different stages of committee. It’s more than knowing the rules or motions – it’s about knowing what to do and when to do it. Be aware of what stage the committee is in, whether it’s making speeches, forming alliances, or writing resolutions. Once you realize that there’s a certain flow to committee, the chaos you felt at first will turn into order. Learn more about the five stages of committee.
Most importantly, ask questions when you don’t understand something – don’t be shy. If you’re unsure of what’s going on in committee or a word that someone used, raise a Point of Inquiry and ask your question. It’s a simple thing to do yet so hard – most people don’t want to admit that they don’t know something. But asking questions is the first step to facing your fear in MUN and becoming a better delegate.
How did you face your fears in MUN? Let us know in the comments!
For more tips and strategies including our How to Win Best Delegate series, take a look at our Resources page.