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Most Common Mistakes Made by First-Timers in MUN Conferences by Alara Wilson

At your very first MUN conference, it’s normal to make some mistakes. At MUN conferences no one will make fun of you for your mistakes as everybody there went through the situations that you’re going through right now, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your best to stay away from mistakes.

No one is expecting you to get an award from your first conference but you need to try your best and leave an impression on your fellow delegates as well as your chair board. So for you to reduce your possible mistakes I summarized some of the most common mistakes made by first-timers in MUN conferences.

Not Doing Enough Research

Not doing enough research doesn’t just apply to first-timers as even MUNers who are experienced might not do enough research as well. One of the most important things to do before your MUN conference is to make thorough research. The more detailed your research is, the easier it is for you to find solutions.

Using an Unmoderated Caucus Like a Coffee Break

Unmoderated caucuses are normally reserved for writing Resolutions. As a first-timer, you might not know how to write a Resolution or you might be intimidated to give your input for your committee’s Resolution, so you might pass time on your phone or talk with other delegates who are not helping with the Resolution either. But looking at your phone for reasons other than doing research and talking to your fellow delegates in subjects that are unrelated to the topic is out of order and if you are caught by the chair board you will get a warning. Don’t be afraid of helping and giving suggestions for your committee’s Resolution. This will make you look good and it will be helpful for your MUN career.

Not Knowing When to Yield the Time

Probably the most common mistake made by delegates is the misuse of yielding. You yield your remaining time only when you give your GSL speech you don’t have to yield when you have finished your speech for a motion nor when you have finished giving your Opening Speech. There are 3 types of yieldings; the first one is the most commonly used and the most mistakes made, yielding your remaining time to the chair board. Most delegates yield their remaining time back to the chair. This is wrong, as the time was given to you in the first place, not to the chair.

You yield your remaining time to the chair. The second is yielding your remaining time to another delegate. You can’t really make mistakes with this one but don’t forget the delegate might not accept it. And the third and last yielding is yielding your remaining time to any points of information. Again with this yielding, you can’t really make mistakes with this one. Just use your time efficiently.

Not Reading the Study Guide

Probably the most important source for your research is your committee’s Study Guide. Just by reading your committee’s Study Guide will make you understand your agenda item and your committee. The Study Guide will help you in your research as it shows which parts are more important. You should read your Study Guide at least twice (first time for getting an idea of the topic and the second for taking notes) so you can understand it properly.

Drifting From Your Policy

One of the biggest problems in MUN conferences is delegates drifting from their countries’ policies. Even though your country’s policy is against your beliefs you still have to follow them. You might not like it but for productive and proficient debate, following your country’s policy is important. And it’s more fun like that. Think about it, two blocks in the committee going against each other and increasing your debate skills.

Pre-writing Every Speech

If you’re a beginner in an MUN conference it’s totally normal for you to feel scared to improvise your speeches. For you to feel reassured you might want to pre-write your speech. But writing your speech can make you miss others’ speech and the topic you want to debate about might have already been debated and a new topic might be discussed at that moment. So don’t restrict yourself to your pre-written speeches too much, and don’t be scared to improvise.

Staying Silent

The final and most common mistake made by first-timers is being silent and not being involved in the debate. You’re a first-timer and you’re scared to talk and give your input in the matter at hand, everyone will understand but you won’t be able to conquer your fear. If you have an opinion, don’t be afraid to talk. It will help you, your committee, and your future MUN career. Your input will be appreciated by your fellow delegates as well as by the chair board.
These are of course not the only mistakes that you might make but these are the most common I have seen so far in my MUN career. I hope this was helpful. And don’t forget to have fun!


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Written by Alara Wilson

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