Persuasion: Bring the Game to Your Side

by daniel.schulman on December 28, 2014

Persuasion is in the essence of Model UN. In this perspective, it is fundamental to bring the committee to your side to reach interests and to have an effective speech. Experienced delegates use practices, even unconsciously, to drive the discussions, assuming a leadership role. So, how can YOU take the wheel of the committee?

  1. Know the topic in a way no other delegate knows

Preparation is the key. When studying, delegates should always keep in mind the possibilities of the debates, evaluating all the decisions already taken in the topic discussed, bringing up new solutions, analyzing the actors involved, seeking for the specificities, reading official reports, studying the capacities of the council, knowing the bureaucracy… And this goes on. For more information about how to prepare for Model UN, you can search in other amazing articles here at You are prepared! Now what? Show to other delegates you are an expert. Talk about the important topics you took notes while studying, don’t be afraid to bring statistics, evaluate the international law in the circumstance, quote reports, analyze past actions, react to proposals that go beyond the committee capacities, call attention for important specificities… There are many ways to put the knowledge in practice. When studying, keep in mind that you have an objective and you will perceive the many other ways available. This action will make others delegates see your work, recognizing that you are ready to take the committee wisely. Knowledge and experience build confidence, a fundamental tool to act as a leader. Soon, you will see how delegates ask your opinion in every topic discussed.

  1. Speak confidently

Don’t be afraid to speak. Everyone is there to debate and negotiate. However, don’t think that it is because you speak a lot that you will get to the points you want. This may cause the impression that you are a boring delegate, principally if you keep repeating the same speech over and over again. Know when you have to speak. Don’t recluse, but avoid exaggerating. And above all, when speaking, show confidence in your words. You must believe in what you are talking for others to believe in it too. An effective speech is capable of convincing others about your argument, and this requires that you express yourself in a proper way. The capacity of debating is valuable to make the committee agree with your proposals. Also, look out for the formal language; it is extremely valuable and shows that you are a serious person.

A good oratory is very helpful in this sense. Don’t worry if your oratory is not that good, keep practicing and you will definitively improve; it is not the end of the world. I know many cases of people that couldn’t express themselves before Model UN and that after some experience had almost perfect oratories. Here at you will also find tips to help you improve in this skill.

  1. Respect other delegates’ speeches

To be respected, you must first respect the other delegates. Look to them when they are speaking and show that you are interested in listening. Avoid parallel talks and distractions. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t take the eyes out of the speaker; Model UN requires parallel decisions, negotiations and documents. The important here is to show the delegate you respect him and that you deserve him to respect you in the same way. If someone has the floor, it is because they have something to say to the committee. Generally, the majority of parallel discussions occur from the middle to the end of the committee, so this practice is important mainly in the beginning, when the delegates are still knowing each other. Make an effort to look in the eyes of the person who is speaking. You will perceive how other delegates will pay more attention to your speech.

  1. Build allies

I had a history teacher that always said: “the true negotiations are made in the corridors”. Nobody drives the committee without the support of other delegates. In this sense, it is fundamental to consolidate international allies and to make new ones. When studying the topic, you should always keep the eye in your allies involved in the issue being discussed. This way, when you get to the conference room, you already know their exact position and importance for your strategy. After consolidating relations with your allies, you should seek to expand your network inside the committee. Talk to many delegates as you can outside the conference room; this serves not only to build allies, but to have a social relation that is not retained in the discussions. During these talks, find the points you have in common and try to bring as many delegates as possible to your side. Remember, in the voting process, you do not vote alone.

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