The Not-so-shy delegates
This is their first participation, they don’t feel comfortable speaking in English, or they simply prefer to think before acting: it doesn’t stop the “silent” delegates thinking.
Every MUN is a lot of excitement and learning. This is an incredible moment to make new friends, practice its diplomacy skills and enjoy an international experience. However, it is sometimes complicated to catch all the subtilities of the exercise and feel fully comfortable.
Some delegates stay quite silent during sessions, but I can see at their facial expressions that they have a lot to say. Because its their first MUN, that they are shy or simply prefer to see how the discussion is going, I have found it interesting to ask them how they feel about it and what does it means for them.
UN Women – Chili: “I’m more a thoughtful person”
The delegate of Chile is a sweet 20-years-old girl and comes from France, Paris. It’s her first participation in a MUN and she seems happy to be there. She explains to me that listening other delegates speaking is very important to her. She defines herself as a thinker and prefers to prepare its speech before acting. She now feels much more comfortable with the rules of procedures and tries to speak more.
Human Rights – Mexico: “The more you practise, the easier it gets”
For this joyful girl of 22 from Germany, IsarMUN is equally its first experience. She characterises herself as shy but deals perfectly with nervousness while speaking in front of an audience. When I asked her about the reason why she was not as active as the rest of the delegates, she affirms that she does not feel sufficiently prepare to the debate. Also, she adds that debate requires to be multitasking and she thinks that “the more you practised, the easier it gets”. A promising participation to future MUNs!
ACP-EU Summit – Greece: “Even if I’m not as active, my delegation agrees with the main advances”
Delegation of Greece is well represented with this 22-years-old student of science politics from Austria. “Debates are very interesting even if sometimes it’s hard to follow” he says to me. For his first participation, he feels not really prepared but he is honoured to exchange with fellow delegates and to learn the process. “It’s a chance to participate in such event”.
During the various committees sessions, I take the opportunity to ask chairs or regular MUNers some tips to feel more confident and prepared to the debate. Adelaida Rojas Lleras, chair of the ACP-EU Summit confided me: “I think we have to differentiate beginners from shy people. If it is your first MUN experience, do not hesitate to approach your chairs and ask questions. For shy people, I highly recommend having an active participation during unmoderated caucuses: it’s easier to speak in small groups and it shows to your chair that you are in the debate”.
“Veterans” from the Historical Security Council remembered for me their first participation to a MUN: in general, it was a stressful moment, but practice and intellectual pleasure made them do it again. The advice I heard the most was to not be afraid. They recognise that it can be impressive, but it’s crucial to try and a mistake is finally not so significant. “Just enjoy, do your best and let it go”, says another delegate to me. In terms of preparation, they recommend reading frequently international press and deepen researches concerning the country you will represent: “a good historical background is the key. You must understand all the context and not only present facts”, told me a delegate of Human Rights Committee.
Finally, most important points are appreciating debates, learning about United Nations system but above all about itself: practice is the best way to develop confidence and to foment personal skills. All delegates can be proud of them!