A few days ago, I completed my term as one of the Dais members for Model United Nations. Exactly Five Years ago, I remember being so anxious for my first ever MUN that I still vividly remember the mixture of excitement and anxiety that consumed me as I stepped into the conference room. Looking back, I realize that this transformative experience helped me become a better person and taught me numerous valuable lessons along the way. In this article, I will delve into my initial anxieties, the challenges I faced, and the lessons learned along the way.
I recall that it was winter when I participated in my first committee session. As the cold sent shivers through my body, my anxiety surged within me as I remained uncertain about what would unfold in the DISEC(Disarmament and International Security) committee. The committee itself was excellent, and I held the position of Delegate of France. Having dedicated my time to research until 2 a.m. in the morning, I felt fairly confident about my knowledge of France’s stance in the committee. Fast forward to the end of the committee session, I received a verbal mention and was thrilled to be chosen as one of the club members for GCMUN(Global College Model United Nations) club.
Soon after various committee sessions, grand MUNs, and having received awards, I soon started my journey as a Dais. Being in the club, one of my responsibilities included interviewing the Delegates to select and to place them on different committees. From giving an interview to interviewing the Delegates myself, I learned to analyze details, gain an understanding of various perspectives and put myself in Delegate’s Shoes. I also developed core empathy in making committee sessions more comfortable for the Delegates. I will, thus in the following points analyze the lessons I have learned along the way.
Lesson 1: The Power of Active Participation
As a delegate, active participation is crucial. The more you participate, the more you learn. I always encourage first-timers to participate more in my committee. I have found myself saying “You may be scared of making mistakes, but remember, the Dais are not there to judge you but essentially to help you out.” By actively participating, you not only enhance your knowledge but also develop crucial skills such as effective communication, critical thinking, and prompt problem-solving. As per my observations, Delegates who actively participated were more likely to enjoy the committee sessions and join more MUNs in the future than those who didn’t.
Lesson 2: A Learning Mindset will take you Along
The transition from Delegate to Dais requires a continuous thirst for knowledge. Approach every interaction as an opportunity to expand your understanding and gain new perspectives. Be open to learning from others, whether they are fellow delegates, speakers, or mentors. There are a couple of websites like ‘bestdiplomats.org‘ and ‘bestdelegate.com‘ to enrich your MUN journey as they are sure to provide the best materials for you. By adopting a learning mindset, you can extract valuable insights that will make you extra on the committee!
Lesson 3: Necessity of Building Meaningful Connections
Conferences and Events provide an excellent platform for networking. As a Delegate or a Dais, make an effort to connect with like-minded individuals who share your interests or professional goals. Explore more committees, lobby around and build meaningful relationships. These relationships will prove invaluable in the future!
Lesson 4: Mastering the Art of Effective Communication
MUN provides you with real-life global situations to master this art within yourself. Similarly, the value of effective communication is as important in real life, if not more. As a Delegate, focus on improving your communication skills, including verbal, nonverbal, and written communication. Pay attention to your body language, tone, and clarity of expression. Watch MUN conferences in YouTube and observe how Delegates behave. Filter out the best ones by yourself and try to imitate them in your next committee session. Using this trick has helped me become a better MUNer and to refine my own communication style too.
Lesson 5: Embodiment of Professionalism
Remember, you are representing a particular country in MUN conferences. While it is recommended to dress appropriately, delegates should also bear in mind that professionalism encompasses more than just one’s outward appearance. It extends to your preparedness and commitment to the tasks at hand, be it submitting your Position Paper on time, having your GSL (General Speaker’s List) prepared or noting two pages of probable motions for Moderated Caucus. Professionalism not only enhances your credibility but also demonstrates your commitment as a fellow Delegate. By embodying professionalism, you establish yourself as a reliable and influential individual within the MUN community and beyond.
Lesson 6: The Power of Compliments
What better culture than a complementing culture? MUN flourishes on the culture of compliments and gives out the best opportunity to compliment and encourage other individuals to be a better version of themselves. After receiving a couple of compliments for your prom night, the commendation for your well-prepared motions during the Moderated Caucus, chits passed during Motion of Entertainment, and compliments received at the back of your country’s placard, you will feel more confident about yourself and embrace your unique style with pride, knowing that your efforts and personal flair have been recognized and appreciated.
The journey from delegate to Dais for me was an exciting and transformative one and I was privileged to acquire the above-mentioned insights along the way. It is also important to remember that every individual has unique experiences in MUN, whether as organizers, Executive Boards, or Delegates. It is crucial to find your own path and create meaningful MUN experiences that align with your goals and aspirations. Embrace the diversity of experiences and forge your own fulfilling journey in the world of Model United Nations!