How to write an Opening Speech in MUN by Irmak OKUR

First Steps on MUN! How to write that Opening Speech which anyone does not have an idea how to.

How to write an Opening Speech in MUN? It is important to know how to write a fantastic opening speech which will make you look experienced and sophisticated –and not like a noob-. Believe me, I am talking with experience right now, an opening speech changes people’s impression on you so quickly that you will be so surprised.

Part 1: Understanding what is an opening speech

”You are representing your country to a bunch of people… on a formal session of UN!”

Understand An OS (Opening Speech) is more like a formal introduction to your country and your delegation. Basically, you are explaining your country’s viewpoint on the problem that you are willing to solve.

 Imagine Close your eyes and imagine that you have been chosen to represent your country in a formal UN Session. What would you say to represent your country?

Learn There are differences between THIMUN and HMUN. Do not forget to check your conference’s format!

Read examples You can find tons of OS examples just by googling it. Read them and ‘’inspire’’ a little bit. But do not copy them!

Check your friends’ speeches Just take a look at your friends’ OS when you cannot write anymore. It will give you some ideas to write more. But do not forget to ask permission first. Sometimes they might be unpleasant about ‘’getting inspired from their speech’’.

Research You have to have basic information about your committee’s topic and your country’s viewpoint. Do not try to write an OS without searching for your topic.

Do not stress it An experienced and knowledgeable delegate may write an OS in 1-2 hours. If it your first conference do not worry. In a worst case scenario, you will write it on 2 days.

Be careful about speech’s time Generally chairs want to get all OSs in one session. Depending on session time, headcount and experience level chairs may set a time for delegates’ OS time. They usually change between 45 seconds and 2 minutes.

Get knowing people’s help Your friends, a senior or a teacher may help you. Personally, I do my best to help first-timers. We are eager to help! Just do not makes us write your OS.

And no. You do not have to write two opening speeches for two topics.

Part 2: Writing Your Opening Speech

‘The part that everyone is afraid of… Actually sitting and writing your opening speech without an excuse.”

Harvard MUN Format

Flatter Everyone Before Going for a Speech This is an unwritten rule of all MUN conferences. You can hear that everyone starts to their speech by saying ”Honourable Chair and Esteemed (or distinguished whatever) Delegates”. You can try to be creative on this part but keep it diplomatic. People usually do not realize this type of little surprises.

The Formal Introduce Part (Not Always Necessary) As we all know MUN is a conference that sometimes you should use fancy sentences in order to look formal. In this part, you should use sentences which explains how honoured you are as a country to take place in this ”prestigious”-yep, a popular MUN word- conference and saying that you wish to tackle significant issues by debating.

Example:

   As the delegate of X (Always use your country’s full and official name like the ”Federal Republic of Nigeria” instead of just ”Nigeria”) we would like to state that it is a great honour to take place in this prestigious conference.

Or another example

  It is a great honour to represent X in this respected conference.

Briefly Explaining the Situation In this part you should explain your topic by a few sentences and avoid from detailed ones if possible. (if you have two or more topics then try to write generally on your committee)

  1. a) Firstly explain why you have gathered.
  2. b) Tell that why this situation is dangerous to people by using data.
  3. c) Then add the viewpoint of your country on this situation.

Your Best Wishes on Debating and Epilogue Give your best wishes about debating and solving the situation that you are meant to solve in a diplomatic, positive and meaningful way.

THIMUN Format

In THIMUN format there are special delegates called ‘’Ambassadors’’ which meant to make a speech on General Assembly. In additionally they have to make another one on their committee. So Ambassadors should be prepared for two opening speeches.

There is only one ambassador in each delegation. These Ambassadors’ speech on GA (General Assembly) should contain all topics of that conference. You do not have to explain them all. A speech about the conference’s theme referring to committee agenda is fine for a start. You do not have a strict time limit but keep it short and brief as possible.

Write your other OS as usual.

Part 3: Performing that Opening Speech (Do and Don’ts)

‘’Writing is okay. What about reading?’’

Do’s

Practice Just read your speech to your friends a few times before actually making your speech to your all committee.

Take criticism Accept qualified criticism and listen to them. It will make your speech better.

Use body language Body language will make you appear more confident and listenable which is a thing that we aim for.

Use ‘’We’’ instead of ‘’I’’ Since you are representing a country you should not say ‘’I’’. For example, we do not say ‘’I feel very honoured to attend this conference.’’ Instead of that, we prefer saying ‘’We feel very honoured to attend this conference.’’

Speak clearly Try to be understandable. If anyone did not understand anything from your speech, then your speech is useless.

Don’ts

Don’t look at your paper all the time Reading every sentence from a paper is a very annoying behaviour. Try to make eye contact and look at your paperless as possible.

Don’t try to memorize your speech, Of course, it would be great to memorize your speech but it is unnecessary. Use that time for understanding your topic and get enough information.

Don’t be a perfectionist, First of all, it is okay to make mistakes. If you did pronounce wrong just ignore it. Probably they did not even realize it. All MUNers has embarrassing yet funny stories- yep nearly all of them- Be relaxed and have fun.

Irmak Okur

The Writer of MUNTurkey.com

Email:

irmak.okur@munturkey.com

Cover Picture: ETUMUN

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