Public Speaking

  • Public speaking is one of the most important skills you will use as a Model UN delegate. You will need to convey your member state’s positions, help build consensus and formulate resolutions. Usually, the length of time a delegate is allowed to speak is set by the conference organizers. Delegates can make a motion to increase or decrease the time allotted to each speaker. If another delegate seconds the motion, then the committee will vote on changing the speaker’s time.

    You will have numerous opportunities to speak in your committee during a Model UN simulation. The Chair will maintain a speakers list of delegates who would like to make formal speeches. During caucusing you will have an opportunity to speak informally to delegates in your committee, but it is still important to keep the principles of effective public speaking in mind.

    Although speaking is an important part of any Model UN simulation, many delegates fear speaking in front of a large group. The best way to cope with these fears is to be well-prepared.You should research as much as possible about your country and the issue the committee will be debating. You should be comfortable explaining your country's position and have ideas on what you would like to include in the committee’s resolution. If you come to the conference prepared, you will be eager to speak in committee and project confidence.

    How to make an opening speech

    • First, you should thank the presiding official by saying "Thank you Mr./ Madame/ Honorable Chair/ President…"
    • Then begin by providing a brief history on the issue as it relates to your country.
    • Speak about how the issue is currently affecting your country.
    • Provide yourcountry's position on the issue. Include an explanation for your country’s stance, such as economic or security concerns or political or religious ideology.
    • You may choose to give an explanation of how yourcountry's position relates to the positions of other member states such as the major powers or countries in your regional bloc.
    • You should discuss some of the past actions taken by the UN, member states and NGOs to address the issue.
    • Present ideas for a resolution, stressing your country’s objectives for the resolution.
    • Talk about the role that NGOs or regional organizations have to play in addressing the issue.
    • Indicate to the committee members whether your country is willing to negotiate.

    How to make speech during debate

    • Again, you should thank the presiding official by saying "Thank you Mr./ Madame/ Honorable Chair/ President…"
    • Encourage collaboration among member states by proposing ways that your country would be willing to work with other member states.
    • By referencing what other delegates have said, you can show support for your allies or indicate which proposals your country does not favor.
    • Present ideas for draft resolutions.
    • Explain why your country does or does not support other draft resolutions.