- an individual who uses a methodically crafted plan to achieve an end; a tactician
What sets Model UN apart from other public speaking activities is the ample time delegates have to research one’s country, topic, and the policies of other countries in the same council. Introverted delegates must take advantage of this. In a typical background guide, delegates are given a ten to a twenty-page summary about the issue at hand with graphs, timelines, and other forms of media embedded. While relying on the background guide and a few simple google searches may be standard procedure for some delegates, I highly discourage it.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the history of the conflict and the previous and contemporary actions of your country and others in your council. An adversarial delegate is pressing the worst situation a delegate can be in as to why your country supports an objective and does not know why. Still, a debacle like this can be prevented through comprehensive research. Fundamentally, it is our core mission to accurately represent the views of our nations, doing so with confidence and poise.
A well-researched position paper and comprehensive knowledge of the topic are the first steps to success.
As introverts, we may not be the best at thinking and speaking on our feet. While the writing and distribution of pre-written position papers are strictly forbidden, anticipating the possible course of events is fair game. Of course, we delegates cannot plan for every hiccup; after all, we have all been there when a P5 delegate proposes an idea that is opposed to their country’s actual policy and changes the trajectory of the entire council. I recently was in an advanced security council on the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal where the delegate representing the United States used the previous administration’s attitude toward the deal. I know, right? Awkward. Inevitably, country positions will be misrepresented, though this will become exceedingly rare as you become more advanced.
While their misrepresentation of their country’s policy will cost them come award ceremonies, do not let it affect your chances of getting on stage.
Pro Tips! The following are a couple of things you can do to anticipate what will transpire in the committee.
- Make a list of countries with similar stances and countries with different stances as your own regarding the topic. Should this list be accurate, even if one or two countries skew their position, you should still be left with enough states to form a solid bloc.
- Brainstorm some possible speeches to give after your initial remarks. As most position papers serve as opening speeches, far too many delegates find themselves saying, “what’s next?” to themselves as they return to their desks. As introverts, we cannot fall into this demographic. Make modifiable statements that you can give to the committee should specific negotiations succeed or fail. If your delegation can convince an adversarial state to compromise, have a template prepared laced with an optimistic tone that you can fill with achievements and other consensus reached between your two nations.
Research and anticipation are all pointless if you do not execute. For some introverts, including me, preparation is only 10% of the battle, while execution is 90%. It’s important to remember that execution gets easier the more you research and anticipate.