As anyone who’s been in a General Assembly (GA) committee can tell you, the challenge of standing out in a sea of 200+ delegates is a daunting task to say the least. Between giving formal speeches, leading un-moderated caucuses, and leading resolution blocs, finding success in large GAs can be a struggle for even the most experienced of delegates. With this in mind, here are ten tried and tested tips to help you find success in committees of this size:
1. Get to Committee Early
It’s important to attempt to get to committee 25-30 minutes before the first session. This is a great opportunity to show the chair that you are prompt, punctual, and prepared for committee.
2. Try to Get a Good Seat
Perhaps one of the most overlooked ways to find success in committee is choosing a good seat. In a committee of over 200 delegates, having a well position seat can be the difference between being called on a few extra times by the chair, which is invaluable in committees of this size. Typically, most delegates find that sitting in the aisle seats of the first 3-5 rows puts them in the “sweet spot” for getting called on the most.
3. Introduce Yourself to As Many Other Delegates as Possible
Though it’s unreasonable to attempt to be on a first-name basis with every delegate in a large GA, introducing yourself and making connections with as many delegates in your committee as possible can give you a huge advantage before committee even starts. Exchange policy ideas, find common ground, and create potential solutions with a plethora of delegates in order to start creating a bloc.
4. Use Parliamentary Procedure to Your Advantage
Knowing how to use Parliamentary Procedure to your advantage can give you a huge edge in committee over those who don’t. By proposing Moderated Caucuses of certain lengths, reserving the right to speak first or last in a caucus you proposed, or proposing Un-Moderated Caucuses to override other caucuses in precedence, you can manipulate the flow of committee to go your way.
5. Use All of Your Speaking Time Wisely
In large GAs, you might not find yourself speaking in front of the committee as often as you’d like. It’s imperative that you raise your placard as often as possible to speak, and be recognized formally by the committee. Since speaking time will be limited, try to make the most out of each speech by planning out what you’re going to say ahead of time. Also, try to refer to your country by name fairly often while speaking in front of the committee. By doing this, delegates will begin to put a name to your face, and you will begin to have more of a presence in committee
(Raising your placard as often as possible is a great way to speak more!)
6. Maintain a Good Relationship with Your Chair.
At the end of the day, it’s your Dais who decides whether or not you’ll be winning an award. Though winning an award should be a result of your hard work as a delegate, it certainly can’t hurt to create a friendly relationship with your chair. Introduce yourself at the beginning of the first committee session, and thank your chair after ever subsequent session. Also, try to ask your chair if they like the direction committee is taking every once and a while. Your chair will be pleased to see that you are trying to increase the quality of debate.
7. Lead Un-Moderated Caucuses Diplomatically
Because Un-Mods are the most common form of debate in committees of this size, it’s important to be an active part of this informal debate. Attempt to be the leader of an Un-Mod circle, while still letting as many people share ideas as possible. Try to be as diplomatic as possible, and avoid serious confrontations and vicious debate in these circles. Compromise is the name of the game in MUN, so try to incorporate everyone into the Un-Mod circle.
(Try to be a physical presence in Un-Mods and get your voice heard!)
8. Have Creative Plan Points
Having diverse plan points is a great way to stand out in committee and get noticed by other delegates. By incorporating creative points and ideas, clever acronyms, and unorthodox styles of dealing with the problems at hand into your plan you will garner the attention of many more delegates, and more importantly, your chair.
9. Be the Face of Your Bloc’s Resolution
When it comes time for the introduction of Draft Resolutions, make your best effort to be one of the delegates who presents the Resolution in front of the committee. Speak about your Resolution as much as possible and make it known that you were one of the key sponsors. By the end of committee people should be calling it “*your country’s* Resolution”. In doing this, the chair will be able to see that you were a leader in the Resolution writing process.
10. Know the Policies of As Many Countries as Possible
Though it should go without saying that you should be very well-versed in your own county’s policies, taking the extra step and researching the policies of other countries can be extremely helpful in committee. Other delegates will always gravitate towards working with delegates who seem very knowledgeable, and by knowing the policies of many nations you can help them out, while simultaneously showing your leadership skills to your chair.