The Effective One Hour MUN Meeting

by prathmj on March 18, 2014

A typical national conference contains over twenty hours of debate, and for those of us who don’t attend schools that have MUN as a course, we are typically left with one hour weekly meetings to prepare our delegates for something that is ten times the scale of a club. It is important to develop a proper and effective schedule in order to reach the pinnacle of productivity. Here are a few tips that will help you do so:

Pick one topic per meeting (20 Minutes)

Generally, it is important to focus on one specific topic per meeting in order to make the best use of the short time available. Position papers, resolution writing, speaking practice, and even simple rules of procedure are all good examples of topics. There are a plethora of ideas you can choose from, but it is always important to focus on the basics first; you want your delegates to learn how to write resolutions before they can write directives.

To teach the topic, explain the basics first, and then explain how the “Best Delegate” approaches the topic, not how an ordinary delegate does. For example, while many delegates will spend a few minutes on meaningless operative clauses, teach your fellow delegates how to write substantive clauses that carry relevance to the committee.

Supplement the teaching (10 Minutes & Out of meeting):

While we can talk for hours about our MUN experiences, it’s important to use other sources that provide concise summaries for the covered material. Generally, a supplemental presentation such as a PowerPoint will allow you to focus on the more important points by highlighting them for everyone to see. Also, there is a surplus of articles on this very website that are great teaching tools written by some of the best delegates on the circuit, and it is a good idea to give your delegates a few links that summarize the material they learned at the meeting. Briefly summarize the article, have a short discussion about it, and then assign your delegates to read it at home. Some links that associate with common topics are included below:
Position Papers, Research Binders, Note Writing, and Resolution Writing. For more great articles, check out the resources section of this website!

Simulate (10-15 minutes):

Sure, lecturing is an effective way of getting your points across, but your delegates will not learn anything for real until they try it out in an actual Model UN environment.

Simulating is the easiest way for delegates to practice and refine their skills.

Simulating is the easiest way for delegates to practice and refine their skills.

For this reason, it is important to have a brief simulation every meeting that reinforces the topics that were taught. Having small mock one hour committee sessions every few weeks is also a great way to make certain delegates are prepared for committee.

Motivate (5 Minutes):

 The most important characteristic for successful Model UN delegates is the confidence they carry. The easiest thing you can do for your delegates is motivate them to work harder, learn more, and want to truly participate in the club. The best way to do this is through your own Model UN experiences; ending meetings with inspirational anecdotes or committee summaries will give new delegates the will to find true success.

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