Congratulations! You finally became the person you desired to become while you were a delegate, a chair. The idea of being a chair may freak you out, don’t. With enough experience and preparation, you can be a successful chair without breaking a sweat. Anyone who has enough experience and is accepted by the Secretariat of the conference can be a chair. But, being an effective chair is a different matter.
There are three positions in the chair board:
*May vary if the committee follows a different procedure
A first-timer chair will most probably serve as a Deputy Chair or a Rapporteur. To explain them briefly a Deputy Chair, also known as Co-Chair, helps the President Chair during sessions but does the same thing as them, while a Rapporteur takes notes of the debates, speeches and what’s done in the committee overall.
A chair must know the agenda item and should study for it just like a delegate would; in addition Rules Of Procedure has to be known. During the conference, Chairs are obligated to act upon the Secretariat’s orders and don’t decide on anything big without consulting them. This is a key matter because if such a thing happens it may directly affect the committee or even the conference. Knowing the academic part of being a chair is truly important but it doesn’t end there. Chairs influence delegates constantly so they have to act accordingly and knowingly. Being confident is the key to being effective. If the Chairs are unsure of themselves, no one can expect the delegates to have a productive committee. It’s always acceptable to make mistakes since all of this is a learning process, as long as these mistakes don’t affect the course of events in the committee.
The first sessions of committees’ are most likely to be moderated by the President Chair, who usually has more than one chairing experience; the Co-Chair will help the President Chair. However, as the committee goes on the President and Co-Chair(s) will take turns directing the committee. If there are first-timers in the committee, President Chair will explain the basic rules and Rules of Procedure briefly but the delegates are always free to ask about them by raising a Point Of Parliamentary Inquiry. It is always super important to be in sync with your fellow chairs as all the delegates in the committee are looking up to you.
You should always discuss your strategy for the upcoming session so you can go on with the session without experiencing any problems that may have bigger consequences in the upcoming sessions. Another crucial topic to being remembered as a marvellous chair is giving the awards accordingly. Not every delegate will be happy with the awards given but the significant issue here is to make sure they are given fairly. You would have wanted to get the award you deserved so make sure that your delegates get theirs.
To talk about my first time being a chair, for instance, I was extremely nervous even though I had studied to the Study Guide and Rules of Procedure well. I was serving as a Co-Chair in a beginner committee as I was a beginner chair myself. My President and fellow Co-Chair moderated the first two sessions then came to my turn to direct the committee. I knew what I had to do but I was still unsure of myself. I started the session with the Roll Call and everything onwards went super smoothly. We, as a chair board, did have some issues as the sessions went by however we handled them without making a scene in such a professional manner and no one realized that we even experienced problems.
If the occurred problem is bigger than the chair board to handle, the Secretariat must be consulted immediately. It was such a pleasure to finally moderate a session after all those times being a delegate and having delegates demand you questions, seeking help was a constructive reminder that I had come far in my MUN career.
To all future chairs out there, when you have enough preparation and top that off with your MUN skills and confidence there is nothing you cannot achieve. Always remember that you are always free to ask questions to the Secretariat, Academic Advisors or anyone knowledgeable enough to fulfil your inquiry. Do not panic or get nervous, do not let anything get into your way while chairing and enjoy your experience as an esteemed chair.
The Writer of MUNTurkey.com