Sheryl Sandberg in her book Lean In emphasizes the importance of sitting at the table. In the context that Sheryl describes many women in their workplaces are reluctant to contribute with their ideas as the environment seems daunting to them because of the fierce competition and they lack confidence whether ideas have adequate quality.
In the MUN context ‘‘sitting at the table’’ means that you as the aspiring MUN delegate will have to contribute once you raised the placard no matter how hard it seems. Being at the most high-level MUN conference in the world, Davos World Economic Forum, Youth Summit, The Olympic Games or any other world event, you name it, has zero value if you do not do your homework:
1) get prepared for the event and
2) actively and appropriately participate.
What you want to achieve from the conference should be on your agenda even before you send your application form, not enter the plane so that you arrive in the event. Why would you invest your time, money, knowledge and other resources if you do not know what result you want from the event? And how would you ever fully commit to the event unless you know what you want to achieve? Let’s get clear right now about one thing, I am not advocating that you should be 100% sure about your desirable outcome at the moment when you hit the ‘‘send the application’’ button, but having the clearest idea possible will benefit you enormously.
Once you approximately know why you go to the desirable Model UN Conference and once you got notified that you are selected as the participant, you should start the preparation part. The adequate and extensive preparation will boost your confidence, make your opening speech memorable, and expand new opportunities for you, even beyond what you thought was possible.
But in order for these three benefits to happen you must raise your placard. If you did enough of preparation, reading, talking to experts, reaching out to the program alumni, practising in front of the mirror and visualizing your participation at the conference, the actual raising of the placard will not be that hard, right? And once you raise your placard, do so in such a way that you show confidence, knowledge, relevance, team work and no arrogance. Shine with your acumen for business, cultural heritage, international relations or something else that is your field of expertise.
Image: Earth Cartoon
I do not want to elaborate on the process of raising the placard any longer. Because the raising of the placard happens in a split second and if you did enough of preparation there is not a reason for you not to feel confident and to speak your mind. You quickly react, you sharply choose your words, you lead by example. Besides, MUN is a lot more supportive learning environment than the corporate wheel, you better put your skills in practice as soon as possible.
Now, let’s focus on the preparation.
Our Model United Nations University Calendar can help you decide where in this globe you will arrive next. But, even before you embark on your plane, bus, or train make sure you have devotedly decided to raise your placard and sit at the table.
Cover Image: WM Club