A Model of United Nations simulation might be nerve wrecking to some. It requires great confidence on your public speaking abilities, leadership qualities, and most of all information. One cannot arrive to a debate or meeting to represent a country, an ambassador, or a judge while barely knowing the topic. Most experienced MUNers agree with the fact that confidence does not equal ability or intelligence, but most of the time it is overconfident MUNers who end up winning debates. In your first MUN (and on every single one after that) the key to confidence is information.
Countless of times great speakers have been shot down with basic facts about their country or topic. Issues such as culture, religion, and history are important to make relevant, note worthy and confident solutions and comments. Find something that you are passionate about that has to do with the topic or country, and hold on to it. Investigation will become easier and your mind will be racing for solutions, comments and possible backlash.
The best way to organize your information and ideas is to make a position paper. Formats may vary from simulation to simulation but there is a formula one can use. A three-paragraph document is more than enough to participate on the speaker’s list. The first paragraph most have general information of the topic, what is being discussed, and why. The second paragraph will include your country’s position, what you will be defending and why, as well as some historical background. Finally, your third paragraph will include your solutions, and a small thank you note to invite other delegates to participate and join in with your ideas. If you are able to get to the speaker’s list and stand before the rest of the delegates, you will get your first confidence boost, since focus will be centered on you, and all questions and comments will be directed to what you say. If you dominate that, you can get through the rest of the debate.
Information at the time of the debate is also valuable. Listen to other participants. Having a notebook with you will be the best thing you can do. Through trial and error I have found that writing the country and what they said is the best way to keep tabs on ideas, what each individual country agrees with and what they are not willing to work with. This will help you develop confidence at the moment of negotiating and working on diplomacy to keep all the delegates in line, and attentive to what you are going to say. If you address some delegates individually, they will most likely get back to you, and help you have an active participation throughout the debate.
One must never forget that information will always be your best friend on every MUN you attend. It will help you gain confidence and lead through the event. Other participants won’t be able to tackle you down or discredit anything you say. And you won’t loose the flow of the debate. So have fun, investigate, and trust in yourself and your own abilities.