Here’s the pep talk we wish we would’ve had at our first conference…
Nothing beats the nervousness and exhilaration of a delegate’s first MUN conference. Eyes wide, heart racing, asking a million questions… trust me, we have all felt it before. No matter how many times the experienced delegates from the your MUN team say “don’t be nervous, you’ll be fine,” we were still internally freaking out. There is a lot of advice we wish we were given before being thrown into the mass of teenagers in Western Business Attire, quickly typing away their resolution papers. This is why we decided to provide new delegates with the pep talk we all wish we would’ve had at our first conference. Enjoy!
Dear new delegates,
It doesn’t matter how you got here, the point is that you *are* here. You are sitting in a room full of people dressed in professional clothing, talking using strange words (caucus?), and doing over-the-top hand movements. Trust me when I tell you this: you’ll get used to it. You may be second-guessing yourself and worried about whether or not your position paper fits into the guidelines. You may be flinching at the thought of speaking in front of a hundred people.
That’s okay, we all get nervous. Just breathe.
Let me tell you a secret:
You know that delegate with the big voice you can’t help but admire with awe? He froze during his opening speech at his first conference. That girl who is always quick to find new solutions and you keep asking yourself how she comes up with those plans? She didn’t even raise her placard at all during her first year. All those delegates you see delivering a speech worthy of a standing ovation? Public speaking used to be their greatest fear. We were all awkward and we all stuttered every now and then. We may have had an embarrassing story and thought every once in a while “what is happening?”.
I could offer you the most standard MUN advice ever: raise your placard, speak clearly, and follow parliamentary procedure. However, as someone who went completely blank the second the chair banged their gavel and opened the session, I know you will most probably forget all of that. The best advice I could ever give you is this: learn as much as you can and have fun doing it. Don’t just sit there in the committee hoping the chair won’t catch you off-guard. Try to gather as much information as you can! It’s important to pay attention to the way delegates make their speeches, build their blocs, and write their resolutions. Most importantly: have fun! Since you have the opportunity to be at a conference, make the best of it.
Model UN is not about what you are, but about what you can be. You can be a world leader, you can change the world, and you can definitely rock your first conference.
PS: we’re rooting for you!