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Don’t Panic: Start by Improving Yourself

Written by AlexNehrbass

July 27, 2015

Don’t Panic: Start by Improving Yourself

So you’re really interested in Model UN, but your school either doesn’t offer a Model UN program/club or isn’t very good at it. Fear not. There is a great deal you can do to pursue Model UN and thrive on the circuit regardless of the support of your school. Take it from me: I won eight awards in the eleven conferences that I attended during high school. What’s more, only three of those awards where won in the five conferences that I competed at with my school.

The other five awards came either at conferences I went to independently or were with a larger, or even national team. My school team competes at two local conferences a year, yet my Model UN journey has taken me to nine cities, four countries and three continents. And I’m not alone. It is entirely possible to succeed at Model UN, even if that success doesn’t come through a school team, and here is how.

Succeed at Conferences You Do Attend

If your school goes to a few conferences a year, dominate those conferences. Try your hardest to separate yourself from the other delegates from your school who may not care as much as you do. You cannot improve if you’re only focused on independent competition or keep thinking about being accepted into a larger, more competitive team.  You have to grind your teeth to begin with.

While that could be difficult if your team’s training is not where it should be, try to make the most of what is available to you. Do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you feel you need to. Probe your advisor and older delegates for tricks and tips that go beyond the basics of Model UN. Show initiative and passion. There is no doubt that getting involved in your club and working hard for each conference it attends will make you a better delegate in the long run.

Look Beyond Your School for Training

If you are going above and beyond and still feel you aren’t being prepared well, there are also many online resources at your fingertips. O-Mun can help you learn how to write a resolution. Carthage College has tips on improving your public speaking and how to master the all-important opening speech. The United Nations Association of the USA has a page full of good resources to aid in the research process. All-American Model UN also provide resources that range from articles, editorials, and free online courses.

If you know where to look, you should be able to find ample training resources to get a head start in becoming a competitive MUN delegate. If you take full advantage of these online materials, your first committee should go well. If it doesn’t, keep practicing and gain experience.

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